Exercise Tips that are Actually Myths

Before committing to an exercise regimen, one needs to distinguish the facts from the myths. Unfortunately, it is common for people to not only get injured from exercising improperly, but to also get the opposite results of what they desired. Sure, you could get a trainer to teach you what to do, but they can get very expensive after a while. So, here are some tips that are actually myths that you should avoid the next time you go to the gym.

-The biggest fitness myth around is to stretch before you exercise. When you stretch stiff, cold muscles, you are more likely to cause harm than good. Try warming your body up a bit before stretching by walking on the treadmill or jumping rope for about 15 minutes. Then, once your body is warmed up, your muscles will be looser and easier to stretch without causing injury.

-Another popular myth is to do crunches to slim down your waist. Crunches actually burn very few calories. They help strengthen the abdominal muscles, but do not actually help shrink your waistline. You must combine crunches with cardio in order to see optimal results.

-Exercise myth #3 is to do the same workout everyday. Your body is smarter than you think. The best way to workout is to trick your body and switch up your workout routine in order to work more muscle groups. This way you will burn more calories and prevent your body from getting used to that one monotonous workout you love to do.

-Myth #4 is that using the elliptical is less strenuous on your joints than running on the treadmill. This is not true because you are still mimicking the motion of running when on the elliptical. Also, the incline at which the elliptical is usually positioned can cause more strain on your hips and knees than running on a flat surface.

-Myth #5 is working out in the heat burns more calories. Just because you sweat more doesn’t mean you are burning more calories. In fact, sweating too much can potentially be dangerous due to the excess loss of electrolytes and water, which can lower one’s blood pressure and even cause them to faint.

-Last, but not least, myth #6 is that cardio is all one needs to lose weight. Even tho cardio does burn many calories, incorporating weight lifting into your regimen will help you lose weight faster. When you build lean muscle, your metabolism increases and your muscles will continue to burn calories even when you are not working out. Light weights with high repetition will help you tone up without bulking up, but heavy weights with low repetition will create larger, bulkier muscles.

So, the next time you go to the gym, make sure you ask questions and research which exercises are best for you before jumping on the first machine you see. Learning the proper way to exercise will help prevent injury as well as help you achieve your goals faster. Remember, separate the tips from the myths.Thanks for reading, this has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

 

 

The Healthy Way to Lose Weight

I’m sure everyone reading this has tried to lose weight at one point in their life. For me, it’s been many points in my life. I feel like I’ve heard about almost every fad diet out there and have been tempted to try most of them. However, when I heard on the news about people needing liver transplants in their late 20s due to taking weight loss supplements filled with random chemicals and exorbitant amounts of caffeine, it really scared me straight. We shouldn’t have to destroy our bodies on the inside for us to look good on the outside. Knowing what to eat, which supplements to take and what exercises are right for you will make it easy for you to lose weight the healthy way.

How many people have tried cutting carbs out of their diet? This is probably one of the worst ways to lose weight. Not only will you feel tired the entire day, because carbohydrates supply the body with energy, but your body will develop a high level of ketones, which can then lead to serious metabolic disorders such as diabetes. If you deprive your body of carbohydrates, your body’s metabolism will eventually be shot, and as soon as you start having carbs again you will gain all the weight back, if not more. People need to distinguish the difference between good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs, also known as complex carbs, are generally high in fiber and are easier for the body to breakdown and expel. Complex carbs, such as wheat bread and granola, do not cause large spikes in blood sugar as simple carbs, such as white bread and candy, do. Complex carbs also keep you full longer and give you sustained energy to keep you going throughout the day. So, as you can see, not all carbs are bad.

Starving yourself is also a horrible way to lose weight. Your body needs food for energy and to carry out its normal bodily functions. If you don’t eat regularly, not only are you depriving your body of energy, but also of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Your metabolism will become so slow that whenever you do decide to eat, your body will hang on to that meal very tightly because it knows it won’t be fed again for a while. Instead, eating 5 small meals a day will rev your metabolism up so that you can lose weight more quickly and get the proper nutrition your body needs. Here is a link to some foods that are good for you and will help speed up your metabolism as well: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/9-foods-that-increase-metabolism.html.

Stress is also a major player when it comes to losing weight. When your body is under stress, the cortisol levels in your body are high. High cortisol levels suppress normal thyroid functioning, which is important in regulating your body’s metabolism. Also, high cortisol levels lead to increased fat storage, especially in the abdominal area. This is because when your body is under stress, it feels as though it is under attack (a response that stems from  the body’s natural “fight or flight” mechanism). So, to prepare itself for the effects of the “attack,” your body wants to store excess fat in case it needs it for more energy to “defend” itself down the line. Also, high cortisol levels trigger a hunger response in the brain so you tend to eat more, and I know we have all experienced that in times of stress! Being aware of when you are under stress and countering it with relaxation techniques, such as heavy breathing or meditation, can prevent you from gaining unnecessary weight and destroying your metabolism in the long run.

There are also some natural and safe supplements that you can take to help you lose weight. White kidney bean extract prevents your body from breaking carbs down into simple sugars, so the calories cannot be absorbed. However, this should only be taken before large meals filled with simple carbs because remember, you don’t want to block the absorption of all carbs since they supply the body with energy. Vitamin B12 is also good because it helps speed up your metabolism and give you long lasting energy. Fish oil is another great supplement because it helps lower cholesterol as well as triglycerides, which are the building blocks of fat. L-carnitine is an amino acid that also helps lower triglycerides by actually transporting them into the cells of our body and converting them into energy. Green tea or green coffee extract are both safe and natural sources of caffeine and antioxidants that can help elevate your metabolism without making you feel jittery as other artificial weight loss supplements that are packed with ridiculous amounts of caffeine tend to do. Last but not least, chromium picolinate helps regulate blood sugar by increasing the efficiency of insulin in our bodies, thus preventing the conversion of excess sugar into fat.

Above all, exercise is the most important factor in losing weight. Not only does exercise help you burn fat and boost your metabolism, but it helps keep your cortisol levels low as well. This is because exercising reduces stress by causing the body to release natural endorphins. As cliche as it is to say, eating healthy and exercising is the only way to maintain long term weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight is a lifestyle, not a one week starvation diet. For those of you who are thinking, “how am I supposed to resist those donuts I see at the office next to the coffee machine everyday,” well, it takes about 4 to 5 days to get rid of a craving. After resisting those donuts for about a week, I promise you won’t even look at them twice thereafter.Thanks for reading! This has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

 

Plain Yogurt Is Not As Plain As You Think

Are you trying to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, or even fight off a cold? Yogurt has been shown to do all those things and more. Yogurt is filled with essential nutrients that can make your body healthier and stronger. Here are some reasons why plain yogurt isn’t so plain.

Yogurt is packed with protein to help build lean muscle, which helps burn calories faster, even when you aren’t working out! People who had yogurt as a snack lost 81% more belly fat than those who skipped it. Yogurt also contains probiotics, also know as good bacteria that  help regulate your digestion and strengthen your immune system. It also boosts the amount of T-cells in your body, which help attack foreign viruses and bacteria to prevent infection. Yogurt is also high in potassium so it helps flush out the excess sodium that your body retains, and in turn lowers your blood pressure. Yogurt can also help build strong bones since it is naturally a great source of calcium. For people who suffer from acne, applying yogurt to your face can help get rid that. This is because yogurt also has many antibiotic properties that can kill the bacteria trapped in your pores. Since yogurt is naturally acidic, it also helps draw out the excess oil in your skin, leaving your complexion soft and smooth. Yogurt also helps deliver many vitamins and nutrients to your skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.

Try adding a cup of yogurt to your diet every day. It is low in calories and high in nutrients. If you are thinking I am advocating going to Yogurtland and stocking up on their yogurt, you are seriously mistaken. Stick to plain, old-fashioned yogurt because that will give you the most benefits. Thanks for reading, this has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

Resveratrol: The Secret to Youth and Longevity

The benefits of red wine have been known throughout the world for quite sometime now. However, what is in red wine that makes it so beneficial? The answer is resveratrol. Clinical studies have recently proven the wonderful benefits of resveratrol, which spurred manufacturers to market this substance alone as a pill. Now, just one pill has the benefits of more than a hundred glasses of red wine without any intoxication or hangover the following day. Even though resveratrol’s benefits range from weight loss to fighting cancer; what makes it so unique is its ability to keep the body youthful and increase longevity.

Resveratrol may be hard to pronounce, but it’s easy to understand why it should be added to your daily diet. Resveratrol helps fight diabetes and aids in weight loss by keeping the body’s blood sugar levels low and increasing the body’s basal metabolic rate. It also helps fight heart disease by lowering cholesterol, inflammation, and blood clotting factors, all of which increase the chances of a heart attack or stroke. Resveratrol has also been shown to cause apoptosis in abnormal cells, such as in malignant tumors that arise with cancer. Resveratrol also inhibits the growth of the herpes simplex virus by interrupting a step in the early phases of the virus replication cycle. Supplementation with resveratrol has also been proven to significantly reduce plaque formation in mammalian brains, which is what can cause Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Since resveratrol is an antioxidant, it protects cells from being damaged by radicals in the body, which helps slow down the aging process. The more your cells are protected and stay free of damage, the longer your body will stay healthy and youthful. Last but not least, resveratrol has been shown to stimulate the SIRT1 gene, which is associated with longevity. The expression of this gene has been shown to prolong one’s lifespan through cellular regulation, boosting the immune system, enhancing genomic stability and increasing DNA repair.

The Fountain of Youth has been something people have sought for centuries, but now it is as easy to obtain as going to your local GNC, pharmacy, or any other health food store. I know some people like to drink red wine to wind down at the end of the day, and that is still ok to do even with additional resveratrol supplements. However, don’t forget, the benefits of just one resveratrol capsule is equivalent to that of over 100 glasses of red wine. Thanks for reading, this has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

Fiber is Your Friend!

How many people associate fiber with cardboard? How many people think that fiber is something that only their grandparents have because people only need fiber when they’re old? Well, fiber can actually benefit us at any age and doesn’t always necessarily have to taste bad. Fiber can be found in many tasty foods such as fruits, beans, nuts and even popcorn! So, stop thinking about fiber so negatively and learn why fiber is one of the most essential additions you can make to your diet.

Fiber is most commonly known for increasing regularity, but the list of benefits goes way beyond that. Aside from relieving occasional constipation, fiber can also lower blood cholesterol levels. Fiber binds to LDL, which is known as “bad cholesterol,” and carries it out of our bodies through our feces. For people with diabetes, or at risk for diabetes, fiber helps decrease blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar and preventing large spikes in insulin secretion. Fiber also aids in weight loss because it gives our meals bulk, making us full faster and keeping us full for a longer period of time. Also, foods high in fiber tend to have less calories, so there is less potential to gain weight. Fiber has also been linked to lowering blood pressure because it absorbs excess water in the colon. Most importantly, fiber binds to toxins and harmful bacteria that may have entered the body through our food and eliminates them through our feces so that they cannot be reabsorbed into our bloodstream. This also helps decrease inflammation in our bowels, which decreases the chances of developing such illnesses as irritable bowel syndrome.

As mentioned earlier, foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, whole grain bread, nuts, and beans. If none of these foods stimulate your appetite, you could also take fiber supplements. There are fiber caps or even fiber chews out there, such as Fiber Choice, that would deliver the full daily dose of fiber you would need. Women need about 25 grams of fiber a day and men need around 38 grams. Do not confuse fiber with laxatives. Laxatives are often stimulants that can make your body dependent if used for longer than 2 weeks. They also deplete your body of essential electrolytes, which can be very dangerous, especially for your heart.

So, now when you think of fiber, I hope you don’t just think of old people eating prunes or Metamucil. Instead, think of all the benefits fiber can bring and how it can help regardless of what age you happen to be. One last thing, make sure to drink plenty of water with a high fiber diet to get optimal results. Thanks for reading. This has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.