Fitness & Wellness

Ever Thought Of Trying A Triathlon?

Ever Thought Of Trying A Triathlon?

Whether you’re working out to get fitter, shed pounds or look better, sometimes you hit a point where it simply gets boring. That’s when modifying your goals or adding a new one can help rev up your passion and get you back into the groove. The new goal should be something that sets your competitive juices flowing, even though you’ll be competing against your own personal best. It should be big enough to get you excited, but still attainable. That’s why trying a triathlon can be a challenge that is perfect to get your head back into the workout and get back on the road to success.

Training for the triathlon is tough.

The triathlon consists of three events, which are normally biking, swimming and running. It has transition periods between events that are also included in the time. That means you must have good endurance and hone your skills in all areas. While winning the race is one of the goals, most people start with the goal of finishing. With each competition, the goal is increased to finishing in a better spot than the last race. If you finished last, long after other contestants, your goal might be to finish with less of a gap.

Find the triathlon that suits your fitness level

You need at least twelve weeks of training to get in good enough shape to participate. You should also pick your triathlon carefully. Not all are the same. Make the first one a Sprint Tri. That race has a 750 meter swim, 12-mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run. The next step up is the Olympic Triathlon where you boost the distance on all areas. The swim is 1.5 kilometers (about twice as long as the Sprint Tri). It also includes double the distance on the bike ride and run. If it’s your first triathlon, you don’t want to take the Ironman challenge or you might get discouraged from the start. It’s a 3.8-kilometer (2.4 miles) swim, with a 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run. That’s a bit much for a first timer.

You’ll get a full body workout when you train for a triathlon.

While riding bike, running and swimming are important parts of your training, you should include strength-building and flexibility training, too. Staying strong and flexible can help you avoid injury and even make your times faster. If your arms and legs are strong, you’ll ride, swim and run faster. Getting a complete workout is as important for success as training in each area is.

  • Learn to eat healthy for maximum performance. You’ll be burning more calories and need the proper nutrition. A solid combination of protein and carbs is important.
  • Stay hydrated when you workout. While water may be great for the gym, even the shortest triathlons are long, so you may need to focus on drinks that provide electrolytes, nutrients and calories to keep you going.
  • Practice the combinations. Bricking is combining two of the elements of the race. Do one full length of one of the sports and a shorter version of the next to allow your body to learn to make the change.
  • Log your progress so you know where you need more training.

Work Just A Little Harder Today

Work Just A Little Harder Today

One way to get results you want is to work just a little harder today. That’s one reason personal trainers push you to achieve your maximum potential and then when you think you’ve accomplished it, make the workout even more difficult. By raising the stakes, for that short time of working out, you’ll be struggling, but for the other 23+ hours in the day, you’ll find life becomes easier and easier.

Don’t get discouraged by the increasing difficulty.

Some people get a bit disgruntled by the ever increasing demands of their workout, but they fail to see the big picture. Working harder today makes life far easier tomorrow. It help the person working hard to achieve their goals faster and strive to even bigger ones. That’s what it’s all about, giving it your all. The more you sew, the more you’ll reap when it comes to fitness.

You’ll be bursting with energy.

The body is so amazing. The more you work it, the more energy it has. Working out isn’t easy if you’re doing it right, but that difficulty will and the exhaustion you feel if you’ve pushed yourself further than you’ve ever gone before, disappears quickly. You end the workout feeling exhilarated and ready to take on the world. You’ll sleep soundly that night and awake in the morning feeling even more energized than you did the day previously.

Working out to the max busts stress and helps release hormones to make you feel fantastic.

If you’re day has been filled with frustration and stress, the gym is the best place to get rid of that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. The harder you workout, the more you sweat, the better you’ll start to feel. That’s because your body is burning off the hormones created by the fight or flight response. Once those burn off, you’ll start feeling the rush of hormones like dopamine and endorphins that give you an exhilarating feeling. If all you got out of the workout was that, it would make it worth working out hard. Luckily, you get so much more.

  • Only putting in half effort is useless. The more effort you put in, the results grow geometrically and far beyond what you’d expect.
  • Challenging yourself is fun and it makes you look forward to exercising even more.
  • Putting in the extra effort helps you shed weight and look fabulous faster. That keeps you more focused and motivated.
  • When you’re doing everything right and putting in the extra effort, you’ll be amazed at how much you’re capable of achieving.

Discover What You Can Become As You Achieve Your Goals

Discover What You Can Become As You Achieve Your Goals

Each accomplishment in the gym helps you discover what you can become as you achieve your goals. While you may have started working out with an ultimate goal in mind, the more progress you make the more you’ll realize the sky is the limit as you see your body transform and feel the new wave of energy course through your body. What may have started out as begrudgingly going to the gym to shed a few pounds becomes a whole new way of life.

You’ll love the changes you see in the mirror.

If you wanted to look good, after a few months, you’ll notice that the effort was worth it. You’ll start to look better than you ever imagined possible. That can inspire you to even bigger goals that you didn’t think possible before the change. You’ll start to enjoy shopping for bathing suits and loving the image you see each time you try on new clothes. You’ll understand just how much in control you are of your own destiny when it comes to fitness.

With each passing day, you’ll feel more energetic and powerful.

That exhaustion you felt at the end of the day that never was satisfied with a short nap is gone. You’ll no longer have a difficult time falling asleep and doze off immediately when you’re head hits the pillow. You’ll awaken in the morning, feeling rested and ready to take on the world. It’s more than just the energy you build, it’s the strength, too. There will be small daily reminders that you’re stronger and more fit. You’ll be able to carry more groceries into the house at once, manage to move the furniture easily to clean or do tasks that require lifting without having to wait for help.

You’ll build the self-confidence you deserve.

Social situations will still be intimidating at first, but as you realize you’re no longer the powerless person you were, you’ll find them easier and easier to face. Before you know it you’ll start enjoying meeting new people and look forward to new situations and exciting new adventures. You’ll walk tall and your demeanor will demonstrate your new found confidence.

  • You may not notice some of the changes in your attitude, but friends and acquaintances will. They’ll start treating you differently because you’ll look and act more confidently.
  • New goals to tackle that have nothing to do with fitness will be on your list to accomplish.
  • You’ll love the new lifestyle changes you’ve started and find that you no longer enjoy the foods that added pounds and behaviors that were self-defeating.
  • People will look to your for guidance to help them become all they can be.

Carob Healthy Chocolate Alternative

Carob Healthy Chocolate Alternative

Is carob a healthy chocolate alternative or is that just another marketing ploy to sell more carob? It’s often hard to separate fact from fiction in today’s marketplace, since advertising has promoting their product sales down to a science. Let’s take a look at all the benefits that carob has to offer, but also include some of the benefits of eating healthy chocolate—the darker kind. First, carob contains no caffeine or theobromine, another stimulant. Unlike caffeine that primarily works on the nervous system, theobromine affects your pulmonary and cardiovascular system. It can affect sensitive people and prove lethal to dogs and can cause fibroid tumors in humans.

Carob is naturally sweet.

If you’ve ever made the mistake of chomping down on a hunk of baker’s chocolate, the kind that has no sweetener added, you probably wore that scowl on your face that the bitter chocolate created for quite a while. Oil, cream and sugar are added to make it smooth and more palatable, but it also makes it far less healthy. One reason for the oils and milk or cream is to create a smooth, less grainy texture. Carob is both naturally sweet with a smooth texture that doesn’t require the extra additives.

You might not like chocolate if you watched the processing at the source.

Sure when you see the chocolate final product, it came from the clean sanitized factories locally. It doesn’t start out that way, however. Chocolate is fermented to get the chocolaty flavor we all love. To do that, it’s heaped on the ground in piles. Not only are there bugs flourishing in the area, there are dogs running loose who choose those piles as their personal urinal. The chocolate heats as it ferments, just as compost piles do. It releases moisture and the combination is a perfect setting for mold and bacteria to grow. Cancer-causing agents, aflatoxins, which occur with the molding now are in the cocoa beans. The processing of carob is quite different and doesn’t require fermentation.

People have eaten carob for centuries.

Carob, also known as St. John’s bread and locust, has a prominent place in the Bible and throughout history. The bean can be eaten raw or dried and ground for other purposes. While the nutrient value varies by the variety of carob, all contain a multitude of mnerals, which include magnesium, zinc, copper and more. Carob is a significant source of iron, potassium and calcium, too and it has an alkalizing effect for the body. It provides vitamins K, E, C and A, while also providing protein and a healthy ration of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids.

– Carob is rich in antioxidants that can boost the immune system and help fight environmental toxins.

– Carob may help lower cholesterol and can be used as a digestive aid. Chocolate, on the other hand, is one culprit that may trigger the digestive problem GERD.

– You can use carob in a number of ways from eating the fresh pods to roasting it. You’ll often find carob powders in the grocery, but be aware these may have commercial


– Dark chocolate does have many health benefits, too. It’s rich in nutrients and antioxidants, plus may lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol levels, prevent plaque build up and prevent heart disease. It’s also good for the brain and skin.

Benefits Of Greek Yogurt Vs Regular

Benefits Of Greek Yogurt Vs Regular

There are benefits of Greek yogurt vs regular yogurt, even thought the two start out basically the same. Greek yogurt starts out being regular yogurt, but has one extra step. It’s strained and much of the whey, the liquid in yogurt and lactose are removed, leaving a thicker product that’s creamier and smooth, with a tangy flavor that is the perfect substitute for sour cream. Besides being thicker and to most people, better tasting, it has other attributes that are beneficial.

With the whey removed, there’s more curd.

If you’ve only heard the term whey when you’ve heard the nursery rhyme “Little Miss Moffat,” you may wonder how that can make Greek yogurt more beneficial. Whether making cheese, cottage cheese or yogurt, the milk solids, or curd, separates from the liquid, or whey, to create the product. Whey has protein, too, but not as much as the curds left behind after it’s drained. Greek yogurt, because of the fluid removed has a thicker consistency and more protein. It’s almost double that of regular yogurt.

You can make your own Greek yogurt at home and even use the whey to make ricotta.

If you purchase live culture yogurt, it doesn’t take much to create your own Greek yogurt quickly. Get a wide mouthed bottle, a coffee ground strainer and a large portion of regular yogurt. Just put the yogurt in the strainer and drain the whey until you have the consistency you want. You can use the left over whey to make home-made ricotta cheese, which is also good for your health.

Not all Greek yogurt is real Greek yogurt.

Unfortunately, there is not standardization when it comes to labeling Greek yogurt. Not all the yogurt is a strained version that removed the whey. Some has additives to make the yogurt thicker, so you don’t get all the benefits normally provided by Greek yogurt. Some companies add thickening agents and extra protein rather than straining the yogurt. Read the labels to see the contents if you want true Greek yogurt.

– Just because Greek yogurt is healthy, it doesn’t mean all forms of it are. Some flavored varieties contain large amounts of sugar. Check the label to make sure the first ingredient is milk, followed by live cultures and fruit. Better yet, add your own fruit.

– Compare labels for protein content. Since they’re not all made the same way, protein content will vary.

– If you decide to change regular yogurt to Greek yogurt, you can use the whey to start fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, kimchi and natto.

– Greek yogurt is a healthy substitute for sour cream, oil, butter and mayonnaise. It saves you calories and provides more nutrition.

Get The Right Gear

Get The Right Gear

The right gear doesn’t mean the right “in-style, latest outfit.” It does mean having the clothing appropriate for the workout, the right equipment and good shoes. The clothing appropriate for a hard workout doesn’t have to be pretty, but it should soak up sweat—they’ll be a lot of that in our programs. Comfortable shorts and t-shirts that don’t restrict your movement and socks that absorb sweat. Some people wear a head band or backward hat to soak up the sweat and keep it of their brow. For ladies, you’ll need something to tie your hair back if it’s long.

Shoes, an important element that needs to fit well.

Since we train boxers, many people think they need special boxing shoes. You don’t absolutely need special boxing shoes but you do need at least comfortable, well-fitting athletic shoes. A good pair of real boxing shoes is best since they help your overall performance. They add speed, agility, mobility and are extremely comfortable. Boxing has you moving in ways most sports don’t. The shoes help with that movement. Best of all, even if you’re a beginner who just wants a workout, you’ll have a comfortable pair of shoes that allows you to do that and that can be worn for all the exercises we provide.

Good gloves are a must.

There are all types of boxing gloves. Some high quality, some not. Using the wrong gloves can cause injury to your hands. That’s one reason we supply the first set of gloves for beginners. As an expert in the area of boxing, I know the right type of glove to choose. As you progress further in boxing, it’s time to start looking at different types of gloves, such as competition gloves or sparring gloves, over all purpose gloves.

Hand wraps protect your hands as you’re punching.

Boxing is a lot about the use of the hands and they can take a beating. Hand wraps help protect the knuckles and small bones in the hand. They come in a lot of different lengths, normally between 108 and 180 inches. There are classic-style wraps and “Mexican-style” wraps. Classic-style wraps are shorter and don’t stretch like Mexican-style ones do. These are normally the easiest for beginners to use. There are even junior wraps for young boxers that are shorter than either the classic-style or Mexican-style wrap.

– Get a gym bag to carry your workout clothes and other essentials. It doesn’t have any other requirements, but being sturdy and longer lasting.

– When you spar against a partner, you’ll need a mouthpiece, headgear and groin or chest protector.

– While most people train solely at the gym, if you train at home a bag is an important item to have.

– Also for at home practice, don’t forget a jump rope. There are all types of jump ropes, but when you first start working out, inexpensive is the way to go. You can opt for weighted, a speed rope or other options once you get established and know what you personally need to develop further.

How To Do Squats The Right Way

How To Do Squats The Right Way

There are all types of squats that can be broken down to two categories, those using weights and those using only body weight. No matter which type you’re focusing on, you have to do squats the right way or you won’t get all the wonderful benefits they provide and in some cases, may even injure yourself doing them improperly. Here are some tips on the most common mistakes that occur when doing a squat, which is squatting down with your body facing forward, feet pointing forward and then rising again. It’s a basic movement that’s often done wrong.

Your stance isn’t right from the start.

If your feet are too wide apart or to close together, it completely changes the muscles you work and how hard you work them. It also throws you off balance so you can’t get low enough to get the most out of the exercise, since it affects the movement of the hips. The way to solve the problem is by doing it right in the first place. Your feet should be at shoulder width and just a smidgen turned outward. You don’t have them placed exactly parallel.

If your form is correct, you should be able to squat to a 90 degree angle.

If you don’t look like you’re seated when you’re at your lowest squat point. You’re making a mistake and not getting the maximum benefit. You’re also not working your butt. Squats need to put your thighs parallel to the floor to get the full benefit for the glutes. Get a box or chair that’s knee high and lower yourself until your bottom barely touches the top of the chair.

Keep your back straight and tummy tight.

Some people roll their shoulders forward when doing a squat. That adds pressure to the lower back and can cause muscle strain. While your back has a natural curve, you should try to keep your trunk perpendicular to the ground as you do each squat, keeping your chest up—not just your head. Too many people arch their neck thinking head up position is correct. Push your chest out and up as you squat down while keeping your torso tight.

– Too often just sticking with one simple form of squat restricts the advantages of all the other forms. Once you have the primary form down, you can start experimenting and maybe use a wider stance to work the inner thighs.

– Make sure you keep your feet flat on the ground.

– If you’re having problems, try a toddler squat, where they drop their butt to the floor behind their lower legs and the back of their upper leg touches the lower leg. It really improves your range of motion.

– Make sure as you squat that your knees stay over your feet and don’t wobble to the side or inward. That puts extra stress on your knees.

How To Tailor Your Diet To You

How To Tailor Your Diet To You

To get the best results and a diet that you’ll stick with or a healthy eating plan that’s good for you for a lifetime, you need to tailor your diet to you. Some of the tailoring is important for more than just taste preferences. Some people can’t digest certain foods properly, lactose and gluten intolerance are examples of that. There are also food allergies that affect the type of food on your diet. List all the foods you can’t eat because of health reasons first.

Add in the food preferences.

Not everyone loves oysters, some people rave about them, while others gag watching people eat them. That’s a distinct food preference. Now if you hate vegetables, you’ll be out of luck because every healthy diet needs fruits and vegetables, so skipping those is not an option. Find either new healthy ways to cook vegetables or combinations you like raw. That’s super important.

Make sure the diet contains all the essentials.

A healthy diet should have a lean source of complete protein at each meal, vegetables at each meal and for snacks in between, healthy fat at least once a day…avocado sounds great…plenty of water throughout the day an consist mostly of whole foods. Whole foods are foods that are closest to their natural state and have been processed very little. Whole foods contain far more nutrients than processed foods, so you get more nutrition without having extra calories.

Identify the times you overeat.

Everyone has an eating trigger. Some people reach for a donut when they’re tired, while others soothe their stress with sugary treats, chips or fries. If you know what your trigger is and how you appease it, it’s easy to find a healthier substitute. If you grab a bag of chips when you’re angry because you like the crunch, pack raw vegetables and have it ready for those stressful times. Do you want to drown your sorrows in Ben and Jerry, low fat yogurt could be just the trick. Are you tired and need a lift. Try water. That’s right. Cold water will wake you up faster than coffee or sweets.

Identify the foods you love and find ways to make them without the fat and calories. Vegetable lasagna is delicious, but it’s made with zucchini instead of lasagna noodles.

Try a new low calorie treat each week. Be adventurous. Try mangosteen or other exotic fruit you may never have tried. There’s a whole world of interesting foods that are both healthy and delicious.

Create your personalized diet with several smaller meals, such as six. You’ll feel less hungry and have more energy.

Great Spices To Give Your Favorite Low Cal Foods A Kick

Great Spices To Give Your Favorite Low Cal Foods A Kick

Rice cakes are not necessarily tasty, but they are low in calories. However, you don’t have to give up great flavor to lose weight. In fact, many people who eat healthy find they love their new way of eating and it’s almost gourmet. They use spices and herbs to boost the flavor. These don’t add calories, but they do add nutrients and have health benefits, too. Here are some great spices to give your favorite low cal foods a kick. A good place to start is a personal favorite, cinnamon. Cinnamon can boost the flavor in sauces, meats and vegetables. It actually can replace some of the sugar. Make your oatmeal dynamic with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some nuts or berries. It helps control blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of coronary disease. (Cinnamon basil is also a personal favorite.)

Chili peppers create a spicy delight.

You can change a simple soup to a roaring hot delight when you add chili peppers. Chili peppers have compounds that not only help prevent illness, they help make you well. Whether you choose fresh chili peppers, dried or powdered, you’ll make every meal more memorable. You can also stuff and road certain types of hot peppers if you’re more adventurous.

Have you had caroway seeds?

You probably have eaten caraway seeds if you’ve had Christmas baked goods with an origin in Europe. They have an anise flavor and are often in breads. There are loads of healthy nutrients in this little seed, plus iron, calcium and potassium. It also has antiaging compounds too. That cooked cabbage can play a number on your digestive system, fennel helps with the problem.

Cocoa can add comfort to a dish or create a delight when combined with other herbs and spices.

Adding a bit of cocoa to your milk or milk substitute, like almond milk not only adds flavor, it can boost your metabolism and make weight loss easier. It increases brain hormones that suppress your apetite too. Not only is this a comfort food, it improves your mood and makes your hair dazzling. If you want a meat marinade that will make the dish special, create one from 100 percent raw cocoa and chili powder.

If you like the licorice tast of caroway seeds, consider fennel seeds, better yet, try cooking a fennel bulb. It’s low cal and yummy. Fennel also boosts your metabolism and aids digestion.

A pinch of garlic can make any dish more desirable, while having loads of health benefits. It does leave a lingering odor if much is ingested, so eat it wisely and when you’re planning to be alone for an evening.

Turmeric adds an exotic flavor to dishes.and has huge health benefits. There are studies that indicate its good for a number of conditions, including slowing th progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Fresh oregano has a mild taste that adds extra flavor to salads, soups and other dishes. It also has many health benefits like antioxidant properties, antibacterial properties plus vitamins and minerals. Sprinkle some on tomato slices to boost the flavor.

Stretches That Relieve Stress

Stretches That Relieve Stress

If you’ve had one of those days where every muscle in your body is screaming from the tension, you don’t have to reach for the ibuprofen to relieve your headache. It probably won’t help that knot in the pit of your stomach or bring the relief you hoped to achieve. There are stretches that relieve stress, however, which can do the trick and have you feeling better in no time.

Relax your shoulders and neck.

Many people, particularly those at a desk job, start to feel stress in their shoulders and neck. In fact, people with TMJ may actually get relief from massages to the muscles at the back of the head and even stretches for the neck. If you’re sitting in a chair, put both feet flat onto the floor and sit up straight. Your feet should align with the outer edges of your shoulders. Put your hands behind your head, interlocking your fingers. They should be at the base of your neck. You’ll be holding that position as you tilt your head forward and slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold it for about 15 seconds, release and push them tightly together three more times. You’re feeling better, aren’t you.

Another neck and shoulder stretch to do.

The neck and shoulders is often the area where people feel the pain the most, with the back being next in line. You need to stand for this stretch, keeping your knees slightly bent. Drop you head until your chin touches your chest. Put your hands behind your head and push down. You’ll feel it slightly stretch. Hold that position and breathe in and out normally several times. Slowly raise your head and repeat about five times. You’ll feel the difference.

Stretch those back muscles and leg muscles.

This can be a lifesaver if you have an achy back from stress. Lay on the floor with your knees bent. Hold a rolled towel with one end in each hand. Lift one leg, extending it upward and putting the towel either behind your heel or on the arch of your foot. Gently pull your leg toward you, feeling the stretch. Hold it and then relax, doing the other leg.

Do a push away for upper back relief. You can do it standing or sitting. Interlock your fingers in front of you with your arms parallel to the floor. Keep your neck relaxed and round your back, pushing your hands forward with the palms facing outward. Hold, breathe in and out slowly, relax and repeat.

To relieve lower back stress, sit in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lean over and grab your ankles with both hands. You’ll feel the stretch in your lower back. Hold that position for a few seconds and then repeat several times until it no longer feels tight.

While it’s not exactly a stretch, this one does relax your hands. Bend your arms at the elbow with your hands up. Relax your hands and shake them by moving the forearm slightly forward and back quickly. Shake them side to side too. They should be like limp rags. You’ll feel the muscles relax.

Try a breathing exercise for overall relaxation. This yoga style technique works every time. Close your eyes and focus your attention to your breaths, breathing in slowly through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Spend a few minutes doing this and you’ll chase away overall stress.