45 Best Ever Health Tips We Can Find

45 Best Ever Health Tips We Can Find

We’ve done the legwork for you and here they are: the 45 best health tips. Make that 46 – taking the time to read this tops the list.

45 Best Ever Health Tips We Can Find

1. Copy your kitty.
Learn to do stretching exercises when you wake up. It boosts circulation and digestion, and eases back pain.

2. Don’t skip breakfast.
Studies show that eating a proper breakfast is one of the most positive things you can do if you are trying to lose weight. Breakfast skippers tend to gain weight. A balanced breakfast includes fresh fruit or fruit juice, a high-fibre breakfast cereal, low-fat milk or yoghurt, wholewheat toast, and a boiled egg.

3. Brush up on hygiene.
Many people don’t know how to brush their teeth properly. Improper brushing can cause as much damage to the teeth and gums as not brushing at all. Lots of people don’t brush for long enough, don’t floss and don’t see a dentist regularly. Hold your toothbrush in the same way that would hold a pencil, and brush for at least two minutes.

This includes brushing the teeth, the junction of the teeth and gums, the tongue and the roof of the mouth. And you don’t need a fancy, angled toothbrush – just a sturdy, soft-bristled one that you replace each month.

4. Neurobics for your mind.
Get your brain fizzing with energy. American researchers coined the term ‘neurobics’ for tasks which activate the brain’s own biochemical pathways and to bring new pathways online that can help to strengthen or preserve brain circuits.

Brush your teeth with your ‘other’ hand, take a new route to work or choose your clothes based on sense of touch rather than sight. People with mental agility tend to have lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related mental decline.

5. Get what you give!
Always giving and never taking? This is the short road to compassion fatigue. Give to yourself and receive from others, otherwise you’ll get to a point where you have nothing left to give. And hey, if you can’t receive from others, how can you expect them to receive from you?

6. Get spiritual.
A study conducted by the formidably sober and scientific Harvard University found that patients who were prayed for recovered quicker than those who weren’t, even if they weren’t aware of the prayer.

7. Get smelly.
Garlic, onions, spring onions and leeks all contain stuff that’s good for you. A study at the Child’s Health Institute in Cape Town found that eating raw garlic helped fight serious childhood infections. Heat destroys these properties, so eat yours raw, wash it down with fruit juice or, if you’re a sissy, have it in tablet form.

8. Knock one back.
A glass of red wine a day is good for you. A number of studies have found this, but a recent one found that the polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) in green tea, red wine and olives may also help protect you against breast cancer. It’s thought that the antioxidants help protect you from environmental carcinogens such as passive tobacco smoke.

9. Bone up daily.
Get your daily calcium by popping a tab, chugging milk or eating yoghurt. It’ll keep your bones strong. Remember that your bone density declines after the age of 30. You need at least 200 milligrams daily, which you should combine with magnesium, or it simply won’t be absorbed.

10. Berries for your belly.
Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries contain plant nutrients known as anthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidants. Blueberries rival grapes in concentrations of resveratrol – the antioxidant compound found in red wine that has assumed near mythological proportions. Resveratrol is believed to help protect against heart disease and cancer.

11. Curry favour.
Hot, spicy foods containing chillies or cayenne pepper trigger endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Endorphins have a powerful, almost narcotic, effect and make you feel good after exercising. But go easy on the lamb, pork and mutton and the high-fat, creamy dishes served in many Indian restaurants.

12. Cut out herbs before ops.
Some herbal supplements – from the popular St John’s Wort and ginkgo biloba to garlic, ginger, ginseng and feverfew – can cause increased bleeding during surgery, warn surgeons. It may be wise to stop taking all medication, including herbal supplements, at least two weeks before surgery, and inform your surgeon about your herbal use.

13. I say tomato.
Tomato is a superstar in the fruit and veggie pantheon. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful cancer fighter. They’re also rich in vitamin C. The good news is that cooked tomatoes are also nutritious, so use them in pasta, soups and casseroles, as well as in salads.

The British Thoracic Society says that tomatoes and apples can reduce your risk of asthma andchronic lung diseases. Both contain the antioxidant quercetin. To enjoy the benefits, eat five apples a week or a tomato every other day.

14. Eat your stress away.
Prevent low blood sugar as it stresses you out. Eat regular and small healthy meals and keep fruit and veggies handy. Herbal teas will also soothe your frazzled nerves.

Eating unrefined carbohydrates, nuts and bananas boosts the formation of serotonin, another feel-good drug. Small amounts of protein containing the amino acid tryptamine can give you a boost when stress tires you out.

15. Load up on vitamin C.
We need at least 90 mg of vitamin C per day and the best way to get this is by eating at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. So hit the oranges and guavas!

16. No folly in folic acid.
Folic acid should be taken regularly by all pregnant mums and people with a low immunity to disease. Folic acid prevents spina bifida in unborn babies and can play a role in cancer prevention. It is found in green leafy vegetables, liver, fruit and bran.

17. A for Away.
This vitamin, and beta carotene, help to boost immunity against disease. It also assists in the healing process of diseases such as measles and is recommended by the WHO. Good natural sources of vitamin A are kidneys, liver, dairy products, green and yellow vegetables, pawpaw, mangoes, chilli pepper, red sorrel and red palm oil.

18. Pure water.
Don’t have soft drinks or energy drinks while you’re exercising. Stay properlyhydrated by drinking enough water during your workout (just don’t overdo things, as drinking too much water can also be dangerous).

While you might need energy drinks for long-distance running, in shorter exercise sessions in the gym, your body will burn the glucose from the soft drink first, before starting to burn body fat. Same goes for eating sweets.

19. GI, Jane.
Carbohydrates with a high glycaemic index, such as bread, sugar, honey and grain-based food will give instant energy and accelerate your metabolism. If you’re trying to burn fat, stick to beans, rice, pasta, lentils, peas, soya beans and oat bran, all of which have a low GI count.

20. Mindful living.
You’ve probably heard the old adage that life’s too short to stuff a mushroom. But perhaps you should consider the opposite: that life’s simply too short NOT to focus on the simple tasks. By slowing down and concentrating on basic things, you’ll clear your mind of everything that worries you.

Really concentrate on sensations and experiences again: observe the rough texture of a strawberry’s skin as you touch it, and taste the sweet-sour juice as you bite into the fruit; when your partner strokes your hand, pay careful attention to the sensation on your skin; and learn to really focus on simple tasks while doing them, whether it’s flowering plants or ironing your clothes.

21. The secret of stretching.
When you stretch, ease your body into position until you feel the stretch and hold it for about 25 seconds. Breathe deeply to help your body move oxygen-rich blood to those sore muscles. Don’t bounce or force yourself into an uncomfortable position.

22. Do your weights workout first.
Experts say weight training should be done first, because it’s a higher intensity exercise compared to cardio. Your body is better able to handle weight training early in the workout because you’re fresh and you have the energy you need to work it.

23. Burn fat during intervals.
To improve your fitness quickly and lose weight, harness the joys of interval training. Set the treadmill or step machine on the interval programme, where your speed and workload varies from minute to minute. Build up gradually, every minute and return to the starting speed. Repeat this routine. Not only will it be less monotonous, but you can train for a shorter time and achieve greater results.

24. Your dirtiest foot forward.
If your ankles, knees, and hips ache from running on pavement, head for the dirt. Soft trails or graded roads are a lot easier on your joints than the hard stuff. Also, dirt surfaces tend to be uneven, forcing you to slow down a bit and focus on where to put your feet – great for agility and concentration.

25. Burn the boredom, blast the lard.
Rev up your metabolism by alternating your speed and intensity during aerobic workouts. Not only should you alternate your routine to prevent burnout or boredom, but to give your body a jolt.

If you normally walk at 6.5km/h on the treadmill or take 15 minutes to walk a km, up the pace by going at 8km/h for a minute or so during your workout. Do this every five minutes or so. Each time you work out, increase your bouts of speed in small increments.

26. Cool off without a beer.
Don’t eat carbohydrates for at least an hour after exercise. This will force your body to break down body fat, rather than using the food you ingest. Stick to fruit and fluids during that hour, but avoid beer.

27. ‘Okay, now do 100 of those’.
Instead of flailing away at gym, enlist the help – even temporarily – of a personal trainer. Make sure you learn to breathe properly and to do the exercises the right way. You’ll get more of a workout while spending less time at the gym.

28. Stop fuming.
Don’t smoke and if you smoke already, do everything in your power to quit. Don’t buy into that my-granny-smoked-and-lived-to-be-90 crud – not even the tobacco giants believe it. Apart from the well-known risks of heart disease and cancer, orthopaedic surgeons have found that smoking accelerates bone density loss and constricts blood flow. So you could live to be a 90-year-old amputee who smells of stale tobacco smoke. Unsexy.

29. Ask about Mad Aunt Edith.
Find out your family history. You need to know if there are any inherited diseases prowling your gene pool. According to the Mayo Clinic, USA, finding out what your grandparents died of can provide useful – even lifesaving – information about what’s in store for you. And be candid, not coy: 25% of the children of alcoholics become alcoholics themselves.

30. Do self-checks.
Do regular self-examinations of your breasts. Most partners are more than happy to help, not just because breast cancer is the most common cancer among SA women. The best time to examine your breasts is in the week after your period.

31. My smear campaign.
Have a pap smear once a year. Not on our list of favourite things, but it’s vital. Cervical cancer kills 200 000 women a year and it’s the most prevalent form of cancer among black women, affecting more than 30 percent.

But the chances of survival are nearly 100 percent if it’s detected early. Be particularly careful if you became sexually active at an early age, have had multiple sex partners or smoke.

32. Understand hormones.
Recent research suggests that short-term (less than five years) use of HRT is not associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer, but that using it for more than ten years might be. Breast cancer is detected earlier in women using HRT, as they are more alert to the disease than other women.

33. Beat the sneezes.
There are more than 240 allergens, some rare and others very common. If you’re a sneezer due to pollen: close your car’s windows while driving, rather switch on the internal fan (drawing in air from the outside), and avoid being outdoors between 5am and 10 am when pollen counts are at their highest; stick to holidays in areas with low pollen counts, such as the seaside and stay away from freshly cut grass.

34. Asthma-friendly sports.
Swimming is the most asthma-friendly sport of all, but cycling, canoeing, fishing, sailing and walking are also good, according to the experts.

Asthma need not hinder peak performance in sport. 1% of the US Olympic team were asthmatics – and between them they won 41 medals.

35. Deep heat.
Sun rays can burn even through thick glass, and under water. Up to 35% of UVB rays and 85% of UVA rays penetrate thick glass, while 50% of UVB rays and 75% of UVA rays penetrate a meter of water and wet cotton clothing.

Which means you’ll need sunscreen while driving your car on holiday, and water resistant block if you’re swimming.

36. Fragrant ageing.
Stay away from perfumed or flavoured suntan lotions which smell of coconut oil or orange if you want your skin to stay young. These lotions contain psoralen, which speeds up the ageing process. Rather use a fake-tan lotion. Avoid sun beds, which are as bad as the sun itself.

37. Sunscreen can be a smokescreen.
Sunscreen is unlikely to stop you from being sunburned, or to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. That’s because most people don’t apply it properly, and stay in the sun too long.

The solution? Slather on sunscreen daily and reapply it often, especially if you’ve been in the water. How much? At least enough to fill a shot glass.

38. Laugh and cry.
Having a good sob is reputed to be good for you. So is laughter, which has been shown to help heal bodies, as well as broken hearts. Studies in Japan indicate that laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body shake off allergic reactions.

39. It ain’t over till it’s over.
End relationships that no longer work for you, as you could be spending time in a dead end. Rather head for more meaningful things. You could be missing opportunities while you’re stuck in a meaningless rut, trying to breathe life into something that is long gone.

40. Strong people go for help.
Ask for assistance. Gnashing your teeth in the dark will not get you extra brownie points. It is a sign of strength to ask for assistance and people will respect you for it. If there is a relationship problem, the one who refuses to go for help is usually the one with whom the problem lies to begin with.

41. Save steamy scenes for the bedroom
Showering or bathing in water that’s too hot will dry out your skin and cause it to age prematurely. Warm water is much better.

Apply moisturiser while your skin is still damp – it’ll be absorbed more easily. Adding a little olive oil to your bath with help keep your skin moisturised too.

42. Here’s the rub.
Improve your circulation and help your lymph glands to drain by the way you towel off. Helping your lymph glands function can help prevent them becoming infected.

When drying off your limbs and torso, brush towards the groin on your legs and towards the armpits on your upper body. You can do the same during gentle massage with your partner.

43. Sugar-coated.
More than 80% of type 2 diabetics die of heart disease, so make sure you control your glucose levels, and watch your blood pressure and cholesterol counts.

44. Relax, it’s only sex.
Stress and sex make bad bedfellows, it seems. A US survey showed that stress, kids and work are main factors to dampen libido. With the advent of technology that allows us to work from home, the lines between our jobs and our personal lives have become blurred.

People work longer hours, commutes are longer and work pervades all aspects of our lives, including our sexual relationships. Put nooky and intimacy on the agenda, just like everything else.

45. Good night, sweetheart.
Rest heals the body and has been shown to lessen the risk of heart trouble and psychological problems.

Enough reading. Start now.
Nah, finding this article wasn’t difficult. Now that you’ve got the 45 greatest weight loss tips over and done with, use them. Stop searching for anymore tips. Get cracking right now. Good luck.
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6 Effective Ways To Get Bikiny Ready

6 Effective Ways To Get Bikiny Ready

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to start preparing your body for the summer season right now. Women tend to work out, make diet changes, and switch up their skincare routines when summer hits, however, why not get your body summer ready well in advance? You will avoid committing skincare mistakes, tone up your body and be ready to hit the beach as soon as the weather permits. Check out what you should do to get your body summer ready in a month.

6 Effective Ways To Get Bikiny Ready

1. Eat more fruits and veggies

Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables to detox your body, improve your health and keep your weight under control. From asparagus to strawberries, there are many spring fruits and vegetables that you can use in your meals and drinks each day. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals and they are super versatile. Consider making your own juices, smoothies, salads, and munch on fresh fruit or veggie whenever you need to alleviate your hunger. Consuming more fruits and veggies on a daily basis helps improve your skin health, hair health, mental and physical health, and burn excess calories.

2. Exfoliate your skin twice a week

Exfoliate your skin twice a week to remove dead skin cells and ensure silky skin. The bikini season is almost here so you want to make sure your body looks awesome. When exfoliating, pay more attention to your elbows, knees and soles which tend to be drier no matter the season. Don’t exfoliate too much to avoid any skin irritations. If your skin is highly sensitive, try to exfoliate once a week, using a mild scrub.

3. Moisturize your body from the inside and out

Even though it’s vital to drink enough water daily regardless of the season, during the spring and summer seasons your body may need more fluid. Dehydration makes your skin look unhealthy. If your skin looks unhealthy, you suffer from acne and saggy skin, develop a habit of drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day – avoid drinking coffee, black tea, soda and any sugary drinks though.

Invest in a good moisturizer to keep your body hydrated and make your skin glow. Look for moisturizer with SPF 30 to protect your skin from the sun. A high-quality moisturizer helps to prevent premature aging as well.

4. Move your body

If you are looking to tone up your body, don’t just improvise and expect great results. Create an effective workout routine and stick to it on daily basis. Exercise is one of the best ways to shed some pounds, relieve stress, fight fatigue and anxiety. Walking, jogging, running, swimming, and yoga are all great exercises to try. Do at least 30 minutes of exercise early in the morning and 40 minutes in the evening to get your body beach ready in a month.

5. Choose your perfect hair removal method

Experimenting with hair removal methods during the summer months isn’t a good idea. Laser hair removal, for example, requires several sessions and takes a few weeks to restore. There are many other hair removal methods to try, such as waxing, shaving, threading, plucking, sugaring and many more. Choose your perfect hair removal method now to enjoy the smooth skin during the summer season.

6. Get rid of cellulite

You can’t get rid of cellulite completely, but you can reduce it or make it less visible. There are many ways to do it. One of my favorite one is to do coffee scrubs twice a week. Simply massage your cellulite areas with the coffee grounds for 3-5 minutes, rinse it off and apply coconut oil to them. It’s messy but effective.

There are also foods that can help prevent or fight cellulite, such as chili and cayenne peppers, green tea, salmon, olive oil, dark berries, dark chocolate and apple cider vinegar. Avoid eating fried foods, salty and sugary snacks, and limit your alcohol consumption.

Summer is a fun season that we are looking forward to all year long. The beginning of summer can be stressful at times, so it’s best to prepare your body for summer in advance. You have enough time to get your body summer ready so what are you waiting for? Reconsider your meal plan, make a list of exercises you are going to do each day and take care of your body on a daily basis.
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16 Tips For Super-Effective Workout

16 Tips For Super-Effective Workout

You don’t want to spend long hours at the gym, but you want to get stronger, fitter, leaner, and just plain look good. If that isn’t happening for you right now, it’s possible that you’re not getting the most out of your workout time. But don’t fret. It IS possible to get a super-effective workout in 30 minutes, and only do a few workouts a week, if you maximize your workouts.

Here are 16 tips to maximize your workouts – you will see quicker and better results and you would’ve have spent less time doing it.

16 Tips For Super-Effective Workout

1. Limit your workouts to 30-40 minutes

Though the tendency of some people who really want to get a lot out of their workouts is to spend a lot of time at the gym, the truth is that after 30 or 40 minutes, the benefit isn’t as great. To go that long, you’d have to lower the intensity of the workout, and that means that you’re spending too much time working out. It’s better to work out at a higher intensity for a shorter amount of time.

2. High-intensity workouts

If you’re just starting out with exercise, it’s best to take it slow. If you’re running or cycling, for example, build up your endurance for at least a month before you get into anything more intense. That means going at a rate where you can easily talk without being out of breath. However, once you have that base of endurance, step up the intensity to step up the effectiveness of the workout.

3. Protein

Many people don’t pay enough attention to getting the protein their muscles need to rebuild. If you don’t, you are going to get very little out of your workout, as both cardio and strength workouts require protein for building muscles. I recommend either whey or soy protein shakes.

4. Water

Be sure to hydrate throughout the day. It takes a couple of hours for your body to absorb the water, so you can’t just drink right before exercise. Make it a habit to drink water regularly throughout the day.

5. Carbs

Although the low-carb craze might say otherwise, carbs are our body’s main source of fuel. If you do intense workouts, you will need carbs, or you won’t have enough energy. If you do a shake, be sure to include carbs — or a banana is a great source of low fiber/high glycemic carbohydrates that you need for exercise.

6. Shake before and after workout

It’s best to take a protein/carb shake just before your workout and then just after. Taking it before your workout increases the flow of amino acids to your muscles during training, giving them the building blocks they need. After the workout, the shake stimulates muscle growth. Also take a small protein/carb meal 60-90 minutes after a workout — a meal replacement bar would work fine.

7. Slow lifting

Many people contract their muscles slowly and then release more quickly. But if you lift slowly in both directions, you are maximizing each move. Lift and lower to a 5-second count in each direction.

8. Heavier weight

When you’re starting out, it’s best to start with lower weights so you can focus on good form. But once you’ve gotten your form down, it’s best to lift the heaviest weights you can lift while still keeping good form. Don’t sacrifice form for heavy weights — that is ineffective. But heavy weights, with good form, can give you better results in a shorter amount of time. Heavy weights are not just for those who want to bulk up — that’s a common misconception.

9. One set, to failure

Instead of doing 2-3 sets, as many people do, maximize your effectiveness by doing just one, with heavy weights, until you can no longer keep the proper form. Lifting to “failure” doesn’t mean that you should lift the last few times with a wobbly or inefficient form.

10. Compound exercises

Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises such as the bicep curl, you can maximize the time you spend in a workout by doing exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at once. With just a few exercises, you could get a full-body workout. Another benefit is that your muscles are working together as they do in the real world, rather than alone. Some great compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, good mornings, lunges, pushups, bench presses, military presses, rows, pullups, dips, and more.

11. Balance lifting

Instead of having exercises where you’re sitting down or holding on to something or otherwise stabilized, it’s more effective to do them standing up, or on one leg, or on a Swiss exercise ball. These types of exercises force you to balance yourself while lifting, which brings your core muscles into play. This gives you a stronger overall body and allows you to lift more over time.

12. Pick a cardio exercise you enjoy

It’s no fun to exercise if you hate it. And you won’t keep it up for very long. Pick something that’s fun — running, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, rowing, stairmaster, etc. After the initial phase when you’re getting used to exercise, you’ll start to have a blast and look forward to it.

13. Mix it up

Don’t stick to the same workout routine for too long, or your body will adjust to the stress level and you won’t be getting an effective workout. For strength training, change your routine every few weeks. For cardio, it’s best to cross train rather than, say, to run every time.

14. Good form

For strength training especially, and swimming, form is very important, but it’s also important for other types of exercise. If you’re strength training, start with lighter weights so you can work on your form. It’s good to have an experienced spotter or trainer who knows good form to help you for the first month or so. Never sacrifice form for heavier weight. For swimming, you’ll need to get a coach to teach you form.

15. Hills

If you run or bike or walk for cardio, you’ll want to incorporate hills (after the first month or two of doing it at an easy pace on flat ground). These will make you stronger and make your limited workout time even more effective. Take them easy at first, but once you’re used to hills, you can get a good pace going. Either use a hilly route or do repeats on one hill.

16. Circuits

One mistake that people make is to do multiple sets of the same exercise without rest between the sets. This doesn’t allow your muscles to recover and it’s a waste of your workout. But instead of doing a set, resting, and then doing your second set, it’s more effective to move on to multiple exercises in a circuit, so that you don’t rest between exercises but do rest each muscle group. This will give you a good cardio workout while you do your strength training.
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10 Things You Can Do In 10 Seconds To Get In Shape

10 Things You Can Do In 10 Seconds To Get In Shape

Seriously, 10 seconds is all you need to slim down, shape up, and get healthy once and for all. Here are 10 quick and simple tips that you can do or change in 10 seconds or less for better health and fitter body.

10 Things You Can Do In 10 Seconds To Get In Shape

1. Got Milk?

Think you’re getting a nutritional boost from your morning cereal? Up to 40 percent of the vitamins in fortified cereals dissolve in the milk. If you don’t drink the leftover cow juice, you’re not getting the fancy-pants nutrients!

2. Ice It to Ace Your Workout

Drink a few glasses of ice-cold water before and during exercise. Studies show that the cold stuff can improve endurance by about 23 percent. And ice water forces your body to expend calories warming it up, boosting your metabolism as well.

3. Lift Those Weights, you baby.

Verbally expressing emotion while lifting increases muscle strength by up to 25 percent. (Of course, it also increases your risk of being tossed out of the gym by the same percentage…) Or get someone to scream at you: You’ll be able to lift 5 to 8 percent more weight if you get verbal encouragement from a trainer or workout partner.

4. Motivate Yourself Fit

Bet a colleague (like the one who’s not so secretly gunning for your job) 50 bucks that you can stick to your workout program for 6 months. Studies show that those who do achieve an average 97 percent success rate. Alternate plan? Schedule your workouts, then put a few bucks in a jar for each one you make. Pledge the money toward something sweet, like a new bike or a trip to Vegas.

5. Always The Red Cabbage

Red cabbage has 15 times as much wrinkle-fighting beta-carotene as green cabbage. Red bell peppers have up to nine times as much vitamin C as green ones.

6. Cure Hangovers (if you must) with Asparagus

To reduce the severity of a hangover, order a side of asparagus. When South Korean researchers exposed a group of human liver cells to asparagus extract, the extract suppressed free radicals and more than doubled the effects of two enzymes responsible for metabolizing alcohol.

7. Keep Those Feet Safe

If you can hear yourself running, you’re setting yourself up for injury. Pounding the pavement comes from bad form. Keep your feet close to the ground and use a quick, shuffling stride.

8. Don’t Buy Wheat Bread

Huh? Isn’t it good for me? Actually, “wheat bread” is often just white bread dyed with molasses to make it look dark. Look instead for “100 percent whole wheat” or “whole grain.” Even better: rye bread. Swedish researchers found that 8 hours after people ate rye, they felt less hungry than those who noshed wheat bread, thanks to rye’s high fiber content.

9. Cheat With Your Weights

Lift a weight as many times as you can. Then, when you can’t complete one more repetition, use your free hand (or a workout buddy) to help push your weighted hand through another rep. Once you’re at the top of the move, remove your free hand and slowly lower the weight. Studies show that negative resistance exercises like this are more effective at muscle building than standard exercises.

10. Dry Off Head To Toe

After a shower, you’ll prevent a chill by drying your head and neck first. You’ll also reduce the risk of anything nasty from the shower floor making its way up your body.
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6 Simple Tips for Serious ABS

6 Simple Tips for Serious ABS

For many active people, six-pack abs represent the holy grail of athleticism. Why? Because six-pack abs are both rare and demonstrate a visible commitment to eating well and exercising regularly. They’re also incredibly sexy.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work to get your body to a place where abdominal muscles are visible. But there are a number of steps you can take to get this very attractive and enviable look…

6 Simple Tips for Serious ABS

1. Cook for Yourself

Here’s the problem with going out to eat all of the time: no matter how healthy a menu claims to be, you don’t really know what’s going into your food. A chef may claim to use all kinds of healthy ingredients, but they may also be adding lots of salt, oil, butter, sugar and other unhealthy items to your food.

That’s why it’s best to eat at home whenever possible. Cook your own meals using lots of fruits and vegetables and as little oil, salt, sugar and butter as possible. That way you can better monitor your food intake and inch closer to the six-pack abs you desire.

2. Eat Lots of Greens

There are few food items healthier than leafy greens, which contain zero fat and almost no calories. What they do boast is lots of nutrients, including high amounts of calcium and dietary fiber, which can keep you feeling full longer.

So, next time you make a stir fry, pasta sauce or salad, reach for spinach, kale, or broccoli—all of which have the compounds necessary to cut fat and expose those abdominal muscles. The good news is you really can’t eat too much of this stuff.

3. Keep Sugar at Bay

Here’s the problem with sugar: if you eat it and don’t do something physically active—like go for a brisk walk, bike ride, or run—your body will convert it to fat. Most men and many women will then see that fat stored right on their belly, making it impossible for anyone to see our abdominal muscles, no matter how built they may be.

If you simply must have sugar, try “pure” or “raw” sugars, which don’t contain high-fructose corn syrup and won’t send your insulin levels skyrocketing. However, it’s best to get your sugar through fruits, like apples, pears, and bananas, all of which contain lots of filling natural fiber.

4. Guzzle Water

It’s really easy to gain weight when all you drink are sugary, high-calorie beverages like iced tea and soda. But it’s not just pop that’s a problem—many people add cream and sugar to their hot beverages, including tea and coffee. Also, keep in mind that many fruit juices, like orange juice, apple juice, and fruit punch are also loaded with sugar.

That’s why it’s important to drink lots of water, which contains no fat or sugar. Water can also keep our energy and hydration levels up and make us feel full, making it easier to say no to that unhealthy snack.

5. Eat Less Food

There’s really no way around it: if you want to have six-pack abdominal muscles, you have to have very low body fat levels (10-percent or less for men; 20-percent or less for women). Unfortunately, you just can’t hit those rock-bottom body fat levels without eating less food.

That’s why it’s so important to eat foods that will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, including food items that are high in fiber. You should also drink lots of water, which will make you feel full and keep your metabolism up. Finally, avoid going for seconds—make yourself one plate of food at each meal and stick to it.

6. Don’t Deprive Yourself

You know the saying—“everything in moderation, even moderation.” That should be a key part of your dietary outlook when pursuing the perfect six-pack abs. Yes, it’s vital that you eat healthy (and less). But it’s also important that you not deny yourself the foods you love all of the time.

Problem is, swearing off delicious but unhealthy foods—from pie to cake and donuts—altogether will only result in binge-eating and self-loathing. It’s a lousy approach to diet and exercise that will only make you feel worse. So, once in a while feel free to treat yourself, just don’t make a regular habit of it.
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10 Mental Rules Fit Women Live

10 Mental Rules Fit Women Live

Personal trainer Joel Harper has spent two decades helping his clients (from Olympic medalists to Dr. Oz) reach their fitness goals, and over the course of his career he’s discovered the reason why some people thrive and others fail: It's all about attitude, he argues in his new book, Mind Your Body: 4 Weeks to a Leaner, Healthier Life ($20, amazon.com).

Harper has taken years of experience and distilled it into “10 core concepts for optimal success.” Health spoke with Harper about these rules, and how to put them into practice.

10 Mental Rules Fit Women Live

Shut out the noise

By “noise,” Harper means the constant stream of negative thoughts that runs through most people’s minds. That mental static is your biggest obstacle, he says; learning to filter it by focusing on positive thinking is essential to your success.

Maximize inner motivation

To do this you need to be absolutely clear about why you want to get fit. “Figure out what’s really important to you,” Harper urges. “Do you want to lower your blood pressure? Fit into a size two? Or do you just want to feel better?” Motivation that lasts can’t come from an outside source—like your doctor or a loved one who wants you to slim down. It has to come from a personal, deep-rooted desire for change.

Cultivate grit

Grit is the resolve and passion required on a daily basis to pursue a long-term goal. To cultivate grit, you have to commit to consistency no matter what. A fit person wakes up every day knowing she will do whatever it takes to stay on track—whether that means getting up an hour earlier to make it to the gym before work or squeezing in a power walk at lunch. The secret is focusing on the thoughts that drive and inspire you. If it helps to remind yourself how good you'll feel post workout, for example, do that. If it motivates you to daydream about your future toned tummy, do that. Concentrate on exactly what you want to achieve and make every day count.

Set specific intentions

The more detailed your daily goals and plans, the better. In his book, Harper cites an English study on women enrolled in a weight loss program: The researchers asked about half of their subjects to write down their strategies for managing temptation (for example, When sugar cravings strike, I will make a cup of tea). After two months, those women had lost twice as much weight as women in a control group.

Visualize success

Harper has all of his new clients close their eyes and imagine their ideal body—both what it looks like from head to toe, and how it makes them feel. Then he tells them to go shopping: “I say to people, ‘Hey if you want that body, then buy clothes that would fit if you had it. And try them on every day until they fit.’”

Eliminate excessive choices

Chocolate croissant or steel cut oats? Grilled salmon or a quesadilla? When you have to make these types of dietary decisions all day long, you may end up exhausting your willpower. Planning your meals in advance, however—even just one meal per day—can make it easier (and less stressful) to eat healthy.

Extinguish escape routes

There are a few classics, like “If I don’t exercise at lunchtime, I’ll do it tonight” or “I’ll have ice cream today and get my diet back on track tomorrow.” But any sort of procrastination runs the risk of bumping you off course, Harper says. His advice: Don’t give yourself an out, and stick to the path that leads to your goal.

Yield to traffic

It’s inevitable that from time to time your healthy routine will get interrupted by forces outside your control, like when your partner proposes an impromptu date night right after you’ve bought salad ingredients. When that happens, try to go with the flow and enjoy yourself.

Believe it and become it

This rule is simple: “If you believe you can be in amazing shape, then you’ll do things on a day-to-day basis to accomplish it,” says Harper. The problem is, many of us carry around defeating beliefs. When you recognize a negative thought (like, “I’m so uncoordinated”), ask yourself why you think that way. You may discover the criticism originally came from your parents, or your sibling, or a childhood buddy. “Don’t give those outdated internal beliefs power,” Harper says. “Just let them float away, like leaves that have fallen into a river.” You have control over your thoughts, he insists; they don’t have control over you.

Jump for joy

Harper’s most successful clients are the ones that celebrate their milestones. If you don’t appreciate your successes along the way, “you risk becoming emotionally numb, nonreactive,” he explains. But giving yourself regular (healthy!) rewards (like a massage, for example), provides a little “added oomph” to keep going and push yourself even harder in the long run.
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6 Ways To Make Your Gym Time Count

6 Ways To Make Your Gym Time Count

Most common excuse for not exercising?

Survey says: “No time.” But examine that excuse at close range and you’ll see it’s usually about something deeper, says Lavinia Rodriguez, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Mind Over Fat Matters: Conquering Psychological Barriers to Weight Management (iUniverse, 2008). “Typically, it’s lack of motivation, lack of enjoyment, negative associations, fear or maybe low self-esteem,” she says.

Busy as we may be, we have less trouble finding time for television, social networking or even dull household tasks, Rodriguez observes, because there simply aren’t the same steep psychological barriers to those activities.

If you want to exercise, you’ll make the time. We interviewed psychologists, exercise scientists, celebrity trainers, authors and busy everyday people to get a handle on the 6 most promising strategies.

6 Ways To Make Your Gym Time Count

“The best way to make time for exercise is to have a written plan,” says Chris Evert, 18-time Grand Slam tennis champion. “Decide on the best time for exercise in your schedule and actually enter it into your computer or cell-phone calendar as a repeat event. This way it shows up daily and there’s less chance of you scheduling something during that time. Also, when you check your schedule in the morning, you’ll see it there and form a mental picture of when and how you’ll be exercising that day, which helps you stay motivated.”

Even if your day is packed with meetings and other commitments, you absolutely can eke out five minutes for yourself, says Simmons. And that simple act of self-care has the potential to change your life. “I tell people it’s OK to start very, very small.” A five-minute walk now can easily turn into daily 30-minute walks a few weeks from now. “You have to start somewhere,” he says.

When you do watch TV, make the most of it. Do some ball-crunches, planks, yoga poses, squats, lunges or pushups while you’re watching. Keep fitness equipment, such as a kettlebell, resistance bands and a jump rope, near the TV. Or use the commercial breaks to mix in brief cardio intervals. Run in place or up and down the stairs; do some burpees or jumping jacks.

Putting some money on the line may provide you with the motivation you need to show up for activity. Sign up for a yoga workshop, book some sessions with a personal trainer, or plunk down some cash for a race or other athletic event you’ll have to train for. Schedule a babysitter to watch the kids while you go for a run. Or take a few salsa lessons.

If family obligations prevent you from fitting in regularly scheduled workouts, rope your gang into other types of group activities. Schedule family hikes, soccer games, after-dinner walks, bike rides or family trips to the gym. Let the kids suggest family-activity options. And remember that exercise is something you’re doing for your family, says Pai. “When the kids see that exercise is important to Mommy and Daddy, it will be important to them, too.”

Have a conference call you can’t miss? Need to return a few phone calls to family and friends? Grab your cell phone (and, ideally, a headset) and get walking. Assuming your area has reliable reception, strive to walk whenever you’re on the phone. A note of caution, though: Talking and listening will tend to distract you from the fact you’re exercising. That can be a good thing, or a dangerous thing. So always take care to remain aware of your surroundings, traffic and so on. The goal is to squeeze exercise in wherever you can — safely.
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9 Moves To Tone Whole Body

9 Moves To Tone Whole Body

The following strength training exercises can be performed right in your own home with a simple set of dumbbells – making this workout convenient for anyone. For this workout routine to be effective,  you will need to pair together a lower body move with an upper body exercise, and then adding a core exercise to finish each ‘set’ off.

These three exercises should be performed back to back, taking no rest time between each one and after all three are finished (which makes one set), then you can rest for one minute before carrying on. Aim to perform 10 to 15 repetitions per exercise. Once the entire circuit (all 9 exercises) is completed, repeat one more time through. Aim to perform this workout three days per week, taking one day off for rest and recovery between sessions.

9 Moves To Tone Whole Body

Now, are you now ready for a total-body workout? Here are the 9 strength training moves:

1. SQUATS (lower)

Nothing beats the squat when it comes to a fantastic lower body exercise. To perform this, hold a dumbbell down between your legs, taking a slightly wider-than-hip-width stance. From there, bend the knees as you lower yourself as low down as you can go. Pause for a brief second and then rise up again to complete the rep.

2. PUSH-UPS (upper)

For an upper body move, the push-up is a good classic standby. Get down so that you’re balancing on your hands and either the knees or the toes. From there, lower the body down, keeping the back straight at all times, until your sternum is almost touching the ground. Pause and then straighten up the elbows, pressing up to complete the rep.


To hit the lower abs well, the lying leg raise is a great move of choice. Lay flat down on the ground, back down and bring the legs up so that they are at a 90-degree angle with the body. From here, lower down until they’re almost touching the ground and then reverse directions, bringing them back up again. Continue on until all reps are completed, making sure to keep the back pressed flat into the ground at all times.

4. LUNGES (lower)

Holding a set of dumbbells, one in either hand, in an upright position, take one step forward and begin to bend the knee as you lower yourself down into the lunge. Keep the back straight at all times to prevent excess stress from being placed on the lower back. Once lowered as far as you can go, press back up again to complete the rep, bringing the back leg forward and using it to step forward into the next rep. continue alternating legs as you move through this exercise.

5. BENT OVER ROWS (upper)

To perform the bent over row, place the set of dumbbells directly in front of you on the floor. From there, bend over at the waist and then reach forward to grab the dumbbells. Keeping the back flat, slowly contract from the shoulder blades as you bring the weights upward so they move toward the underarm. When you’re as high as you can comfortably go, pause and then lower down to complete the rep. The weights should not touch the floor until all reps are completed.

6. BICYCLE (core)

The bicycle is a fantastic ab movement for working the oblique muscles, helping you firm up your love hands. Lay flat down on the floor, legs straight and arms bent, hands by your head. From there, crunch upward and as you do, twist to one side of the body. At the same time, bring the opposite leg upward, bending the knee and trying to get it to touch the elbow. Once as high as you can go, pause and then reverse directions, returning to the start. From here, twist to the other side this time, alternating as you go. Continue on alternating until all reps are completed.

7. STEP-UPS (lower)

The final lower body move in this workout is the step-up. To perform this, hold a set of dumbbells down by your sides and stand in front of a bench or sturdy chair. Step one foot up onto the chair/bench and then slowly bring the other foot up to meet it. Once standing on that chair/bench, lower back down, leading with the same foot. For the next rep, switch sides and repeat. Continue alternating until all reps have been completed.


The shoulder press is the next great upper body move to round out this workout program. Hold a set of dumbbells, one in each hand and then in the upright standing position, bring them up so they are resting on the shoulders. From there, drive the weights straight above the head until the elbows are extended but not locked. Pause and then bend down again until they are back to shoulder height. Press up to complete the next rep.

9. PLANK HOLD (core)

Finally, the last core exercise to finish off this workout is the plank hold. To perform this one, simply get down on the ground so your stomach is down and you are balancing the body on the forearms and toes. Your body should look like a flat tabletop in this position. Now hold that for as long as you can maintain good form. If you ever start to feel yourself coming out of good form, stop and only continue on once you can resume proper form. Aim to hold this for 30-60 seconds before moving on.
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