Smartphones, tablets, laptops and other gadgets are all devices we use on a regular basis. You likely even have one of these devices on you at all times. Is it possible that the same device you use to talk to friends, keep track of meetings, play games and check the scores to your favorite sports team could help you in fight of the battle of the bulge? If you have a Twitter application and a Twitter account, you may just be able to help yourself shed some unwanted pounds.
According to research conducted by the University of Arizona, women who reveal health, fitness and nutrition victories on a weekly basis are more likely to shape-up faster than those who keep their victories to themselves. Research also indicates that one in three Americans are currently using social media sites to aim in the weight loss process. With many of these sites being free, the University of Arizona indicates that going viral with your weight loss goals can help you achieve your goals without breaking the bank. The University of Arizona encourages these types of programs to help men and women stay on track with their fitness goals.
If you love Twitter, you may enjoy the Tweet What You Eat means of losing weight (@twye). Tweet What You Eat is an online food journal that lets other users look at what you are eating. Users report they are more careful when it comes to eating healthy when using the Tweet What You Eat program. After all, no one wants to the world to see what you’ve eaten a piece of chocolate cake with a side of ice cream for lunch.
While Tweet What You Eat does not provide you with the tools and know how to lose weight, Tweet What You Eat can help you go public with your goals. Sharing what you eat can help you to make more conscientious decisions when it comes to your diet.
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Time for a long overdo addition of health and fitness Friday!
Mistakes that are Sending Your Fitness Goals Down the Drain:
What’s your fitness goal? Maybe you want to lose weight, improve your appearance, tone-up, improve your health or just feel better about yourself. You can hit the gym on a daily basis, but this does not mean you are going to achieve the goals you had additionally planned. There are multiple reasons why you may not be achieving those goals. Here are some mistakes to avoid to help make your fitness goals a reality.
Your first mistakes just may be that you don’t have a plan. You’ve stepped foot in a gym, now what? You’ve taken a class, lifted some weights and even hit the treadmill. This may not be giving you the results you want. You need to follow a training (as well as nutrition) plan that is specific to the goals you want to achieve. Try balancing cardiovascular exercise with strength training to get yourself on track.
Your second mistake may be that you are overdoing it on the cardiovascular exercise and underdoing the strength training aspect of your workout. No matter what type of fitness goal you have set for yourself, excessive cardio may be hindering your progress toward these goals. It is important to remember that just cardio will not help to tone up your muscles. Try incorporating a circuit training program to help build muscle tone while burning off unwanted fat. A fast-paced workout with an elevated heart rate means stronger and leaner muscle mass.
As a third mistake, you may be ignoring the nutritional aspect of your fitness plan. Nutrition is a huge part of your fitness plan. If your nutrition isn’t hitting the mark, your workouts may not be either. You need to be consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet. A healthy diet will give you more energy, you’ll be more productive and you’ll recover faster.
The final mistake you may be making is packing on too much weight while strength training. Just because you are watching the guy (or girl) next to you at the gym lift three times the amount of weight you are does not mean you should try it. Work on perfecting your form with a weight you are comfortable with before increasing the amount of weight. It is important to work at your own pace.
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Fat-Burning Super Foods:
The saying usually goes you are what you eat. However, some foods may just turn you into a fat burning machine. While eating fat burning foods is not a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise, there are plenty of foods available that can help to speed up your metabolism – which means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. Here are some fat burning foods you may want to consider picking up next time you step foot inside of a grocery store.
- Avocados. Avocados normally get a bad rep as being a fatty food. However, avocados are great for helping you to lose weight because of their healthy fats. Avocados are packed with mono-unsaturated fats, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and micro-nutrients, which can lead to a healthier you.
- Apples. Apples can do more than just keep the doctor away. According to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, individuals who consumed an apple before lunch consume fewer calories during lunch than those who opt for other, often less healthy, snacks. The antioxidant components of apples can also help to speed up your metabolism.
- Beans. Beans are a super-food when it comes to the fat burning department. Beans contain the perfect balance of ingredients to help fight fat. The fiber, iron, carbohydrates and protein found in beans can help break down fats.
- Vegetables. Eating your vegetables is more important than ever if you are looking to lose weight. This is largely because your body burns calories trying to break vegetables down. Vegetables are often high in fiber, which can be difficult for your body to breakdown.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a super strong fat burner. Oatmeal can be eaten alone or added to a protein shake. Why is oatmeal so great? The carbohydrates found in oatmeal are released overtime. As a result, you won’t experience insulin spikes throughout the day that can have a negative effect on the fat burning properties found within simple carbohydrates.
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What are You Really Paying for When You Purchase Bottled Water?
We all drink water. Chances are you take a bottle of water to the gym with you, carry one during a run or even keep a bottle on your desk during the work day. We have been told to drink at least eight, 8 oz. glasses of water per day for probably as long as most of us can remember. However before you run to the vending machine and grab a bottle of water or stock up on a 24 pack at the grocery store, you may want to think twice. Bottled water may not be the best way to go about staying hydrated – when it comes to your health as well as your wallet.
What are you really paying for?
Much of the time, bottled water is simply tap water. Take a look at where your bottle of water was bottled. There is a good chance you may simply be drinking tap water from the town your water was bottled in. In some cases the tap water may be filtered or purified . A lot of times you may just be paying for the exact same water that comes out of the facet at your house. Here’s something to think about: have you ever seen a label on a bottle of water that indicates that’s in the city’s water that you have been consuming? The chances are slim; especially if you are drinking water bottled in a different town or across the country. Purified water also has its downfalls; it may be very acidic.
Health concerns with bottled water:
If you’ve ever turned on the news or gone shopping for plastic dishware or water bottles, the letters BPA probably sound very familiar to you. Why? The plastic bottle that you are drinking water out of may be more of a concern than the actual water itself. Your plastic bottle may be packed with harmful chemicals. A large number of plastic bottles contain a chemical called bisphenol A or BPA which can contaminant the water that you believe to be purified. This can lead to a host of health problems. One of the biggest health problems caused by drinking water is abnormal fluctuation of your hormones.
Personally, I am a big fan of the Brita Filter!
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What Beats Cardio? HIIT
If you are a fan of cardiovascular exercise, you may think there is nothing better. Guess again! Researchers have found that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is more effective than Continuous Moderate Intensity Exercise or cardiovascular exercise. HIIT is more effective at improving peak oxygen consumption and decreasing fasting glucose levels in adults with cardiometabolic conditions – such as heart disease, obesity or metabolic syndrome. That’s right…it may be time to trade your cardiovascular routine in for something new.
Confused? You are probably wondering why improving peak oxygen consumption and decreasing fasting glucose levels are important. Here’s why:
- Elevated fasting glucose levels are a common symptom found in adults, who are obese, with metabolic syndrome as well as heart disease.
- Elevated fasting glucose levels are an uncommon syndrome in adults at normal weight without heart conditions or metabolic syndrome.
Commonly associated with elevated fasting glucose levels is low peak oxygen consumption. V02 max is a measurement of your body’s ability to transport and use oxygen during exercise. It is also a strong indicator of your physical fitness.
- A high V02 max is good.
- A low V02 max is not so good.
The bottom line? You never want your doctor to tell you that you have elevated fasting glucose levels! What can you do to get read of elevated fasting glucose levels? Do more HIIT!
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Interval Training: The Fast and the Furious of the Exercise World
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve likely heard this saying before and chances are you will hear it again at some point in time or another. However, it doesn’t hurt to throw a little cardiovascular training into this marathon we call life. Interval training has its benefits – they have been studied, marketed and even have made national news headlines. Why? Interval training works.
In a study conducted in the Journal of Physiology, researchers found that 20 minutes of interval training – including 30 second burst followed up with four minutes of recovery – works. This type of training produces the same results of an hour and a half of moderate cardiovascular exercise. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also reported similar findings. The list of research studies on the effectiveness of interval training goes on and on.
Interval training is great for your body and can help you burn calories. What’s not to like?
What if you’ve tried it and can’t seem to get results? Chances are you are not going at it hard enough or aren’t allowing enough time for recovery. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to exercise between 85 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. This will help to give you the results you want. (Remember your maximum heart rate can be determined by subtracting your age from the number 220).
Moral of the story? Interval training works and fits well into even the busiest of schedules. Imagine cutting your workout from 90 minutes to 20 minutes. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
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