Fitness Tip-Switch Your Exercise Order…

If you enjoy strength training with weights as part of your fitness regimen, try this suggestion. Take your normal routine and do it in reverse. After you have properly warmed up take what you would do as your last exercise in your normal routine and begin with it. You will be stronger while performing these exercises because you will not be pre-fatigued. This will enable you to target new muscle strength in these parts of the body exercised first allowing you the ability to work these muscles in a way they are not usually accustomed to. As a result this will stimulate the growth of new muscle fibers. This is beneficial whether strength or size is what you are aiming for.  

No Stitches and Staples after Surgery:


   The Idea of using glue as a replacement for stitches or staples has long been explored. However up to now there is no adhesive that has been found to be strong enough. Researchers are now considering snails and slugs as a possible answer. It seems that the sticky goo, a combination of calcium and iron that is excreted, can be converted to a powerful adhesive. The fact that this residue from both slugs and snails is able to resist being pried off of rocks by birds even when they are underwater has attracted the attention of scientists. Creating a glue with this amount of strength can be extremely useful in healing since it would be able to accommodate both movement as well as any liquid that might come in contact with the skin.

How to deal with Fatigue…

Put quite simply fatigue is a weariness brought on by either physical or mental exertion or both. Is it good to feel fatigue? What is the purpose of fatigue and can it be a beneficial warning sign? Not to be confused with weakness, fatigue is a totally different sensation. Weakness may be a lack of physical strength whereas fatigue is more of a feeling of exhaustion resulting in lack of energy. So what are the benefits of knowing if you are suffering from fatigue?  First it is of utmost importance to determine whether it is the result of something physical or mental. Lifestyle factors can be responsible for physical fatigue. Physical fatigue is a way of the body putting the brakes on things. If we have exercised to our limits it is a sign that we need to step back and let the body rest and recover which is classified as muscle fatigue. This type of fatigue is the failure to maintain the required and expected force of  multiple muscle sites during physical exertion. It is your central nervous system kicking in to prevent you from causing yourself injury. Warning signs can be either soreness, burning or a tingling sensation. This brings us back to the importance of  having a night of sound sleep. Sleep being the most beneficial way of restoring the body back to a feeling of vitality. Although the symptoms for mental fatigue are identical to physical fatigue the causes are totally different and can be completely opposite. Psychological problems can be the cause of mental fatigue.  Unlike physical fatigue from exercise, mental fatigue can be brought on by lack of exercise. Mental fatigue is a little more challenging. The root can be as simple as worrying, boredom or overwork but can in some cases occur from depression, anxiety or grief. Of course depression, anxiety and grief are severe medical problems that require a doctor’s care.   I, however, am writing about the feelings of fatigue that you can take simple steps and recover quickly from. If you feel it might be physical, try to determine if you are exceeding what your body is capable of in the form of exercise. Then determine if you are taking in sufficient nutrition especially electrolytes to accommodate your needs. Evaluate the amount of alcohol, caffeine and sugar you are consuming.  If you feel it is more of a mental fatigue start moving. Most symptoms of fatigue will disappear quite quickly if you listen to your body’s needs but if it is long term you should definitely talk with your physician.

 

When and How to Stretch…Dynamic vs. Static Stretching

Dynamic Stretching

 

Static Stretching

 Warn Up and Down Properly:  Before any exercise or sport it is imperative to warm up properly. Regardless of the weather but especially in winter it is necessary to move blood into the muscles to prevent injury. Dynamic Stretching which involves simulating the range of motion of the exercise you are about to preform is an excellent way to attain this warm-up. It entails working with momentum and not holding at the end position. Static Stretching which involves elongating the muscles through extensions is most productive after finishing your work out.  It stretches the muscles to the point of slight discomfort in an effort to relax the muscle after an exercise has been preformed.        

Healthy Weight Loss Tip #17

Eating Healthy while Traveling: Eating healthy for those of us who travel can become a challenge. Don’t expect to find all the snacks and foods you prefer while you are on your way to your destination. Airports have upped their food stands to a degree. It is now possible to find yogurt, salads and wraps that are a little more healthy than airport food has been in the past. However these foods can still contain a more sugar and bad fat then you may wish to consume. Try to prepare by taking along a healthy sandwich, trail mix or a few of the better nutrition health bars. The same holds true while traveling by car, bus or train. The additional advantage being that you are permitted to carry liquids which means that you can possibly mix yourself up a healthy protein shake. 

Za’atar…

Za’atar is a versatile mid-eastern blend  of spices     that can be used on meats, fish, bread and grain.       It enhances most foods because it is made up            of so many different spices. A combination of     sumac, thyme, marjoram, oregano, sesame seeds  and salt give it a unique flavor. It gained notoriety        in the 12th century for its medicinal properties         and even the physician Maimonides is said                to have prescribed it to his patients. Since            these spices are chock full of flavonoids they can        aid in reducing cell damage due to their anti-inflammatory abilities. Spread it over                 pita with a little olive oil, add it to yogurt as a dip         or just sprinkle it as a spice when preparing                to bake chicken or fish. It will expose you                   to an entirely new taste sensation.

Quiet Please…

 For a great many of us we only experience silence during that brief moment when we close our eyes after turning off the lights preparing for sleep. Even then some of us cannot sleep unless we are accompanied by some form of background noise. We have machines that mimic everything from waterfalls to frogs to aid us. We live in a world filled with noise and clamor that we have forced ourselves to adjust to even though it is effecting our physical, mental and spiritual health. Studies have shown that constant noise impacts a child’s speech, language, as well as their social and emotional development. Why is it that we have such difficulty listening to someone speak without our minds wondering off thinking of something totally unrelated? In many eastern traditions silence is considered an integral part of obtaining inner clarity and yet in our present lives we feel the need to be constantly connected. How rare is it to see someone walking in the street or driving in a car without a phone attached to their ear? Taking the time to seek a moment of silence can do so much for improving our skills at work, relationships, focus, listening ability and even general overall happiness. Silence can help us decipher what is really worth saying and what is not. In other words what really matters. Not being able to separate ourselves from all the noise that surrounds us can slow us down since we are not allowing our bodies to heal. Quiet time is the result of allowing ourselves some moments in our day that are free of structure and distraction. How do we free ourselves from thoughts of the past and future and learn to enjoy the here and now? Reviewing unpleasant events from the past and worrying about what may happen in the future can become extremely draining.  Taking daily moments of silence even for as little as 5 minutes can boost immunity, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, promote healing, reduce pain, regulate hormones as well as increase cognitive abilities and energy. So how do we accomplish this? Practice eating at least one meal a day in total silence. Be or walk with a close relationship in total silence and reconnect with the joy of just being with someone you are close to. Start by lowering the volume of your TV, radio and cell phones. Cut back on computer time by as little as 20 minutes and take a short walk. The same way you structure the itinerary for the day structure time for silence. Learn how to take time to listen to yourself breathe properly. Simple steps can bring vitality to yourself as well as all those who surround you.

Beets…

Beets come in several colors all of which are rich in nitrates. Nitrates are important for a healthy body because they open blood vessels increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain. They contain a compound called betaine which can help with symptoms of depression. Although they are extremely high in sugar, they provide lasting energy due to the fact that the glucose is released slowly into the body. Another great benefit of beets is that they help in detoxing the body. Careful not to over-steam.  Tip–drink a cup of the water that remains after you are finished steaming. Try to purchase fresh beets with the greens attached and saute them separately with olive oil and garlic.

Healthy Weight Loss Tip #16

  Don’t Deprive Yourself:
Try never to deprive yourself of your favorite food or snack. Not consuming those items you most enjoy will only increase the desire to have them. Instead allow yourself small amounts of these foods, savor and enjoy them. Abstaining from the foods that delight you can result in bingeing when the situation arises.