Making Exercise More Fun

Nothing beats waking up in the morning with the thought of exercise, rather going to the gym to lift weights or jog on the treadmill. After a hard days work, the gym is one place you don’t even want to think about. Sometimes, even the thought of exercising at home with your own equipment can be less than desirable.

Sometimes, just trying to get and stay motivated to exercise on a regular basis can be a challenge. No matter how you look at it, exercise can be downright boring and even tedious at times.

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So, you may be wondering just how you can get the motivation you need to exercise on a regular basis. If you’ve been wondering what you can do to make exercise more fun, you’ll find some ideas below that just may help to make exercise more fun and a little bit easier.

First things first, you should exercise with a friend. You can challenge each other, help each other out, keep each other motivated and on track, make each other laugh or just make a game out of your exercise programs.

You can also try something different. If you go to the gym each and every day and use the same piece of equipment or use the same piece of equipment at home, you should try mixing things up. Reverse your routine or just change the order of your exercises.

Go to a city park that has playground equipment and use the slide, climb on the monkey bars, do pull-ups, hang from your knees, just let your imagination guide you. You don’t always need to follow a strict routine, just get out there and have fun working your muscles.

An outdoor circuit in the park is also something you can try. There are some parks that have circuit courses set up with a planned course where all you have to do is walk or jog to each station and then follow the instructions. If there isn’t a planned course, then you should do a combination of jogging and walking, picking a distance of a
couple hundred feet. Jog 100 feet then drop and do a couple of push-ups, walk the next 100 feet and then drop to do sit ups.

You can also ride a bike around your neighborhood or hike on a hiking trail. A walk in the park or around your neighborhood is also a great way to get some exercise. Doing yoga in the park or on a beach is also a nice and relaxing way to exercise both your body and your mind.

Playing a competitive sport is also something you can try. A lot of cities have team activities such as softball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and so on. These types of activities will not only provide you with good exercise but they will also help you to meet new people as well.

When you exercise, try to picture your muscles getting bigger. Research has shown that if you focus all of your thoughts on the muscles that you are working, they will respond better. Try to watch them work with each repetition as your muscles contract and relax.

As you can tell, there are plenty of ways you can make exercise more fun and interesting. You don’t need to follow the same routine day after day, as you can do many other things to get in some exercise.

The important thing is that you should always try to incorporate exercise in any various form into your everyday life and make these habits the kind of habits that will last a lifetime.

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The Road to Health and Fitness

Walking towards health and fitness is not really the hard arduous job that everybody seem to think it is. When you really think about it, the hard part is often the start. Afterwards, everything else will be easier once you really get the hang of it. All it takes is discipline and commitment.

Below are some tips on how to get a head start on your road to health and fitness. Read each one and you’ll realize that it is actually easier to undertake. You just need to take the first few steps.

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  1. Start small If your favorite dish is something that your doctor asked you to avoid, there is no sense in skipping it altogether and then binging on the dish when you can’t take the abstinence anymore. Take moderate steps towards the goal. If you eat the dish everyday, try to cut down on your consumption and make it just three times a week. IF you have managed that, cut down further and make it once a week. That way, you are able to still enjoy the food and not increase your craving for it.

  2. Plan modestly Set goals for yourself but that does not mean that you have to kill yourself to get it and when you don’t you’ll also kill yourself. Setting too high goals will often only lead to disappointment and frustration. When you plan, make sure that you can do it. How will you know? Be realistic. You know what you are capable of. It is better to set goals for yourself that you know you can do. Accomplishing them will give you a sense of achievement that will make you more confident and more willing to continue with your task.

  3. Have a buddy Sharing the aches and pains as well as the joys of accomplishment with a buddy will help make the process easier and more bearable. In fact, people with a buddy when doing a self-improvement project are better able to stick with their plans than those who are doing the projects alone. This is because when you have a buddy with you, he or she acts as a support system that will help keep you on track and prevent you from giving up. Besides having a friend with you experiencing the same things makes the process more fun and more enjoyable.

  4. Have discipline This is one of the few things that will make or break your plans to finally live a healthy lifestyle. In order to really stick to the plan, you need to develop self-discipline especially when it involves things that you really want to do or things that you are used to doing. Temptations along the way will be many and you need to be prepared to face all that!

  5. Do it for yourself A lot of people start to live a life of health and fitness when they are trying to get a new guy to notice them or when they want to impress a lover. Although these are valid reasons, sometimes, they are not enough to see you through the entire process. It is better that you do it for yourself because you want a healthier and better you than do it for other people’s approval. After all, the only approval that you will ever need is your own.

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Benefits of an Effective Home Fitness Program

Nowadays, people have become more health conscious, thanks to the media for spreading knowledge about health and fitness. Many people have become profusely interested in looking for and joining fitness programs.
Whether you have joined a gym or at home, following a fitness workout program has numerous benefits. Firstly, a fitness workout would allow you to lay down your fitness goals, and it comprises a detailed plan on how to achieve those objectives.

For example, if you have set your aim to shed at least 5 kilos in just two months, the fitness program can guide you on the daily exercises that need to be done and the type of diet you should have to reach your fitness goal. An effective home fitness program should enable you to stay focused and encouraged on the task.

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The fitness training plan should teach you to abide by the program seriously without being distracted by anything whatsoever. Once you find that you are progressing with commendable success, it can be an indication of the effectiveness of the plan and this will motivate you to complete it.

A home fitness program to be successful should incorporate some major elements. It is always important to choose a program which is effective and worth the money and time invested, so that you can see yourself in excellent health after its completion. A good fitness program should be precise and have clearly defined goals. Thus, if your endeavor is to burn excess fat and reduce body weight, then focus on related workouts instead on muscle building exercises.

Depending on objectives that have been set, you should make a decision if you can workout at home or if you need to join a gym. Then, you would have to determine if you require a personal fitness trainer or not. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to take guidance from a fitness expert both while devising a fitness program and implementing it.

In the end, you should make sure that your fitness program suits your health conditions and fits easily in your schedule. If you set an extremely difficult goal to achieve, then you might not have adequate time for doing the whole set of workouts, and eventually lose interest to go ahead with your fitness program. However, if your targets are practical and modest, it can motivate you to work hard and stick to the routine. Thus, you should make your attempts to strike the right balance and then follow your fitness program so that you accomplish your targets without any difficulty.

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Why Our Diets Are Badly Failing Us and What We Can Do About It

Right now, there’s a good chance that your diets is woefully inadequate when it comes to ensuring you are in the best possible health. In fact, there’s a good chance that your diet may be killing you.

And what is the culprit here? The answer is empty calories and processed foods.

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These days, a huge proportion of what we eat is ready prepared and ‘processed’. That means that it has spent a lot of time in a factory and thus bears little resemblance to what the ingredients originally looked like.

A good example is a bag of crisps, which doesn’t tend to have much potato left in it at all. Chocolate is made from a cocoa bean but the rest is purely processed. And ready made lasagne will have had all the goodness fried out of it and a ton of salt, sugar and bad fats added to try and keep it preserved.

All this means that you’re getting calories from your diet – calories that will provide you with energy and make you gain weight – but no nutrition.

Why We Need Nutrition

It is a mistake to think of food as fuel. Calories are fuel and they happen to be in our food. But food is more than that.

Apart from also being a social event and a hobby, food should also be a source of raw materials. The saying that you ‘are what you eat’ is literally true and when you eat any meal, your body will break it down into its constituent parts and then reassemble those parts in order to build your muscle, create enzymes and hormones and even produce neurotransmitters (the chemicals that make our brain work).

When you don’t get these things, you’ll find yourself feeling considerably worse. If you don’t get enough vitamin C for example, then your immune system won’t be able to perform at its best and you’ll be much more likely to get ill. Worse, vitamin C is also crucial for helping you to produce serotonin. Take that away and your mood will plummet. It also helps us sleep!

Similarly, when you don’t get enough omega 3 fatty acid, it can cause inflammation – this makes your joints hurt, it creates brain fog and it can lead to illness.

A lack of amino acid will mean that your muscles are weaker and smaller. And it will result in your skin looking grey and your nails being brittle.

The short term issues are worthy of a lot of concern but more worrying still is what this does to your health in the long term. The damage here is cumulative and in the end you will be more likely to suffer with a range of diseases.

What to do About It

The answer is to stop thinking of food as fuel and to instead think about the quality of the raw materials you’re putting into your system. Find ways to get more nutrition food in your diet -even if that means just adding a smoothie into your routine!

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Lose Weight by Understanding Your Metabolism

Western countries are beginning to note the increase in individuals who exhibit obesity and obese characteristics. No country understands this better than the United States, which have been on the leading edge when it comes to obesity. However, citizens who are worried about their eating habits and weight control may be able to help themselves simply by educating themselves.

Despite the fact that individuals in the United States are more likely than most individuals in other countries to pursue higher education, there are still a number of people who do not understand how to lose weight.

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By understanding the way metabolism works and the ways in which an individual can lose weight, it is easier for these individuals to diet and/or lose weight because they understand the science behind weight lose and appetite control. When it comes to losing weight, individuals need to be prepared to work with their metabolisms since it is the metabolism of a body that burns off energy and subsequently fat.

Some people are able to increase their metabolism and others are eager to purchase pills that claim to help. Still, it is helpful for these people to first learn about the metabolism and what they can do to help their metabolism, which would save many people money since they are not immediately going out to purchase supplements that may or may not actually work to help them lose weight.

Metabolism is the body process that keeps an individual alive since it powers the body. Metabolism is the chemical process wherein the energy and stored fat in your body is burned off in order to help fuel the body. Almost every involuntary process that takes place in the body is controlled by the individual’s metabolism and this includes cell respiration and re-growth, digestion and other such processes.

BRM stands for the basal metabolic rate. The word basal means the lowest possible or first possible; the phrase is indicative of the individuals lowest metabolic rate, that is, how much energy the body is able to burn when it is at rest.

When a body is functioning and working, it will burn more energy since the body is required to do more. The BRM is indicative of the number of calories that the body needs to consume in order to function and stay alive, but not to do anything that would exert the body. When people want to increase their metabolism, they are looking to increase their BRM. There are a number of different ways that individuals can try to reach this higher number.

Exercise is a very effective option and it prepares the body to work harder throughout the entire day. While many people may estimate their BRM, a doctor is the only person who can effectively come up with an accurate number for the individual that would help them to more effectively lose weight.

Although some available metabolism boosting pills can increase the energy that an individual feels, it is widely believed by the medical community that these pills are not effective when it comes to actually increasing one’s BRM.

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Avoiding exercise should be no excuse anymore!

When it comes to exercising, many people think that they have to get a gym membership. This is the main reason why most people do not exercise. However, here are some tips that would help individuals to exercise in the comfort of their home without having to spend their money at a gym.

Due to amplified health awareness, people have become more health conscious. Most of us take a balanced diet and chalk out a regular exercise routine. Most people may even get membership at the best gym and follow exercise ardently. However, there are just a few people who actually take it seriously and for sustained period. Sometimes it may not be possible to go to the gym regularly, but thankfully there are several exercises that can be done at home and which are equally beneficial.

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It is crucial to recognize the significance and advantages of physical activity, which inspires us to exercise regularly. We all know that exercise helps to stay fit and healthy, lowers stress, and maintains proper blood pressure. Some of us also exercise to prevent obesity and get the desired body shape.

Thus, individuals undertaking any kind of physical activity are at lower risk of suffering from obesity, high blood pressure and heart diseases. Even though we may have a busy working schedule, we should spare a few minutes for exercise each day. Apart from regular exercise, there are physical activities such as walking, bicycling, and swimming that can help individuals to stay fit.

When at home, we can make use of treadmill or exercise bike while watching television. Watering plants, gardening and cleaning the house can also be good form of exercise and can be better than not doing exercise at all. Playing with kids, and undertaking easy exercises such as climbing stairs, skipping etc. are also the best type of physical activities that can be performed at home.

There are even simple exercises to lose weight at home like squats, push-ups, sit ups, and lunges. This exercise can be carried out by everyone at any age.

Following these simple and easy to do exercise tips on regular basis would help us to lose weight and maintain a healthy body. However, it should be remembered that along with exercises, it is also necessary to follow a proper diet and develop healthy eating habits.

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Top Tricks to Make Your Smoothie More Exciting!

Once you’ve added the liquid, the base, the fruits and vegetables and blended them all into a smooth drink, you might think that your smoothie would be complete. And it can be, sure, but if you want to get more inventive and creative and make something really memorable and really healthy, then you can instead start experimenting with some exciting additional ingredients, tricks and tweaks.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

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Herbs and Spices

You can add a herb on top of your smoothie as a garnish or drop it in in order to make it more attractive and add a nice flavor. Mint leaves are particularly popular and will go very well with green smoothies (for a mojito-like effect) as well as milky ones.

Better yet are spices. Cinnamon and vanilla are spices that can add a little sweetness and that might seem like a more logical choice for a smoothie but you can also get more adventurous and add cooking spices to your smoothies. Why not give your smoothie a spicy kick with a little cayenne pepper? This will make it spicier but it will also act as a thermogenic; increasing your heartrate and thus increasing your calorie burn!

Honey

If you’re looking for a sweetener, then honey is a great choice. Sure, honey contains sugar and won’t work that well in a low calorie or low-sugar diet. But it’s also very healthy in a number of other ways, potentially fighting inflammation and certainly acting as an amazing hangover cure and a good source of antioxidants.

Ice

If you want to make an exciting smoothie for summer, then consider ice. You can add this at the end to have your smoothie fit around blocks of ice, or you can blend the ice to create a slushy. Either way, this will be a very nice way to chill your drink and also a fun way to make it a little like an ice cream – great for kids.

This too can actually enhance your metabolism as your body tries to warm itself back up. And what’s more, is that ice is a great way to wake yourself up in the morning!

Protein Shake

Add protein shake to your smoothie if you want to turn it into a muscle building tonic. Protein shakes taste great in milk-based smoothies and in smoothies with bananas or strawberries in particular. This will help you to recover from training and can be useful as a way to reduce your diet in other areas as a quasi-meal replacement and thereby lose weight as well.

Nuts

If you want to garnish your smoothie with something pretty, then sprinkling a few nuts on top can be a great way to do so. You can add walnuts for a chistmassy smoothie for example and this can add to the look of the smoothie while also providing additional healthy fats, magnesium, zinc and protein!

Get creative and think about what else you can do to make your smoothie more exciting!

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How to Lose Weight and Improve Health By Eating!

Many people want to lose weight. Sometimes, it’s harder for some people as opposed to others. However, by adopting the right attitude, a person can lose weight – even if they keep eating! First, it is important to outline and remind yourself of your goals; why are you losing weight?

Many people understand that by having strictly short-term goals or plans for weight loss, they can easily pack back on the pounds after their one goal is over. In order to maintain a steady and healthy weight, one’s lifestyle needs to change and here are some pointers!

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1: Eliminating an entire food group from your diet will rarely incite positive results. Moderation is everything, and everything in moderation. In order to function properly, an individual needs lots of different foods and items. By cutting out an entire food group or type of food, the body no longer gets that it needs.

2: Keep in mind specifically what helps your body and when. Carbohydrates and fats are best in the morning and when individuals need caloric energy in general. Protein is also a fuel for the body, but some protein can be high in fat, so watch carefully what you eat and what raw material the food comes from before you ingest it.

3: An ideal diet will depend on the individual. Different individuals have different lifestyles, and different lifestyles need different things in order to keep the person in proper health. If you are more active, you will need to eat more to maintain your lifestyle. Individuals who are less active can eat less because they are not being as hard on their bodies or demanding as much from their bodies.

4: Still interested in counting calories? For some people, counting calories helps. For others, they can lose sight of what they are trying to achieve by cutting out high calorie foods – and potentially limiting their body’s sources of nutrients and vitamins. Most adults can eat between two and three thousand calories each day, and as a general rule average women can consume less calories than the average man.

Possibly the most important thing is to observe where your food is coming from before you eat it. More important than counting calories and limiting yourself on food, it is important to look at what types of food you are eating versus what types of food you should be eating in order to improve your body and/or your lifestyle. Carbohydrates can safely make up sixty percent of one’s diet, which can be supplemented by about thirty percent of fat and ten to twenty percent of one’s diet made up by protein. These are averages and specifics will vary from person to person and will be dependent on the specifics of their body and exertion levels. Individuals do not necessarily need to eat less in order to lose weight, rather they can almost always benefit by eating different things in order to help fine tune their diet and their lifestyle. By eating the right items in the appropriate amounts, a person can create a healthier lifestyle – and lose weight!

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Exercising at Home to Stay Away from Gym Constraints

It is known to all that utilizing free weight and gym fitness machines is one of the fastest and most effective ways to improve metabolism and increase vitality and strength. However, for many reasons, such fitness equipment might not be readily available or convenient for users.

Due to busy work schedule, you might not have the time to go to a fitness club, but there can be a solution for this- a fitness training exercise without the need of spending on expensive equipment. For almost all workouts, whether you are utilizing your body weight, free weights or machines, if there is no increase in resistance, your muscles will not be exercised to the full capacity.

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Workouts if done correctly will help to build muscles and enhance your metabolism similar to performing workouts at gyms, however, without any time and money constraints. These workouts can be done almost anywhere be it in bedrooms, at offices, in parks, or even in a passage way, and all that you need to do is make use of your imagination.

There can always be a procedure to augment resistance to your exercises. No matter, whether you are exercising at your home or office or in a park, you need to warm up before starting your workout and cool down once your exercise session is over.

Though your own body weight can provide enough resistance to offer an effective workout, you will require progressive load to become stronger. In this case, all we need to do is just add some more load to increase the resistance. No matter, if there are no metal plates and fancy equipment, as long as the body receives some resistance, it is fine.

You can utilize loads such as heavy books clasped in your palms. You can even opt for inexpensive dumbbells, and barbells or ankle weights. A weighted plank will also allow adding resistance for both push-ups, and sit-ups. A backpack crammed with books can be the perfect fitness equipment for most of the workouts and it comes as a cheap alternative.

We all know that free weights and fitness machines are the quickest and most effective way to build muscles and get a better shape. There are several easy ways to follow home exercises which offer the same benefits as going to gyms but without any money and time constraints.

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Top Tips for Making it Easier to Make Smoothies

The great thing about smoothies and the main reason they’ve become so popular, is that they provide a very easy and convenient way to get a lot of extra nutrition in your diet. Eating healthily isn’t always easy and a lot of us will find we run out of time to prepare homemade meals and that it can even be quite expensive trying to eat fresh!

But then making smoothies isn’t always a walk in the part either and sometimes that can even seem like too much effort. The aim of this article then is to help you make it even easier to make smoothies, so that you stick with this healthy habit and don’t turn back to the soda any time soon!

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Use Tinned Fruits

Some fruits and vegetables that you will want to include in your smoothie can take a lot of time and effort to prepare. Take peaches for example. You might want to remove the skin from these and you’ll certainly want to take out the stone and all that involves a lot of time when you’re in a hurry in the morning.

The solution? Use tinned peaches instead! These are soft and pealed and stoned and ready to go, so you can simply drop them into your blender and hit blend!

The thing to be cautious of here though, is that you need to avoid tins that contain a lot of added sugar or syrup. Be careful to choose the types that say ‘in juice’ and then drain it off unless you want to risk altering the flavor of your smoothie!

Purees can also work in a similar manner!

Pre and Pick Up

If you are really in a hurry in the mornings, then you’re not going to want to slave over the chopping board no matter how quick it is to make your smoothie. The solution then is to prepare your smoothie in advance and then to just grab it on the way out. This is called ‘prep and pick up’ and you can do it by decanting your smoothies into bottles and dropping them into the fridge. Simple!

Bulk Buy and Freeze

Another issue is that fruit can get expensive. It’s not expensive per unit but because your fruit is constantly going off, you might find you need to keep replacing it – which is a waste.

One solution is to freeze certain fruits like bananas, which will also have the added bonus of making your smoothies nice and cool. Another tip is to bulk buy and order online. This way, you can set up a standing order so that you receive a regular selection of ingredients to your door and you don’t need to worry about constantly replenishing your fruit bowl!

Or instead of freezing, how about going the opposite route and sun drying your ingredients instead? They actually taste even sweeter this way and will last a lot longer – just make sure you give them longer in the blender!

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Healthy Habits When Life is on the Go  

The busy life that people lead these days can make sticking to your diet a real battle. It can seem so tough to find the time to sit down and consume a meal that is good for you. The good news is that there are numerous ways that you can bring healthy eating habits into your life even if you are very busy.

You have a better chance of eating well if you plan ahead and try to make healthy eating a part of your daily routine. If you know that you have a busy week ahead for example you can purchase numerous food items that are quick and easy to prepare.

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Make sure that your cupboards are well filled with foods that are low in calories. Even though you should not eat this way daily if it can be helped, there are times where you have to opt for a quick meal on the go.

These fast and easy healthy meals are a great choice for those days when you simply just do not have the time to sit down and eat well.

Whenever possible, make the time to sit down and have a good breakfast. This is a great start to your day and an important part of any diet. When your body has gone all night without food, it is desperate for fuel and nutrients.

Studies have shown that people who avoid eating breakfast often take in around one hundred more calories than people who sit down and have this meal daily. If loosing weight is a priority for you, eating breakfast is a fabulous start.

Your body needs to be well hydrated to operate properly. Water is also needed to process the nutrients in food. When you consume adequate amounts of water, you will find that your body feels fuller and lends to you being more apt to avoiding the temptation of snacks that are not healthy.

On average, you should drink about eight glasses of water each day. This amount will of course vary depending on where you live, if you reside in a warm climate, you may need to ingest more water for the same results.

To maximize the result of water consumption, consider adding ice cubes to each glass of water that you have. Studies have shown that you can actually increase your metabolism by adding ice to the water that you drink each day.

Breakfast is not the only important meal; lunch is almost as vital as breakfast is to keep your body functioning properly. Even if you are tempted to skip lunch to ditch those calories, it is simply not worth it.

When you stay away from lunch, your blood sugar levels dip and your metabolism becomes sluggish. Not to mention the fact that when dinner time roles around, you are bound to be very hungry and indulge in foods that are not good for your diet.

Instead of not eating lunch, choose to have something light but filling. Fruits and veggies are always a good idea or you could have a sandwich on wheat bread with lean deli meats if you like.

Snacks can be the downfall of many people on a diet. However, this does not have to be the case. You do not have to throw out your snacks all together; you just have to pick snack foods that are good for you.

Yogurt low in fat, fruit, trail mix, veggies or wheat crackers with peanut butter will fill you up more than something like a chocolate bar would with only a fraction of the calories.

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Top Liquids for Your Smoothie

When you create your smoothie, you will likely be super excited as you think about all the different types of fruits and vegetables you can put in! This is what is going to dictate the main flavor of your drink and also provide most of the goodness, so no wonder it’s exciting letting those creative juices flow! (There’s a pun there somewhere…)

But while you’re at it, try not to overlook the ‘boring’ part of your smoothie either – the liquid. This might just be ‘water’ but it’s actually one of the most important ingredients in there. And actually, this area allows for a little creativity too…

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The Role of Your Liquid

The role of your liquid is of course to provide the fluidity of your drink. This is what makes it a drink and otherwise it would be a kind of strange mash. Of course it’s up to you whether you prefer a smoothie to be very runny or a little thicker, so choosing the quantity of your liquid is going to be a big area where you can right away influence the outcome.

At the same time, your liquid will also make your smoothie hydrating while affecting the flavor itself. As we’ll see in a second, some liquids can have a big impact on the way a smoothie functions and tastes!

Your Liquid Picks

Water

‘Boring’ old water is perhaps the best choice of liquid if you want your smoothie to be optimally hydrating. It also helps some elements to dissolve and improves your digestion. What’s more, is that it’s plain flavor allows you to be more experimental when combining fruits and vegetables later on. It’s a great pick for ‘green smoothies’.

Tea

Yep, you can also add tea to your smoothie! This might be an iced tea or it might be a green tea. Either way, this makes your tea more energizing thanks to the caffeine content and that also has potent antioxidant and neuro protective properties too. Oh and it tastes great!

Ice

Ice will make your smoothie much colder and almost like a cocktail to drink! When you blend the ice, you can make a kind of slush puppy that is a lot of fun and a great way for parents to get their kids to drink smoothies. What’s more, is that the coldness of ice actually gets your body’s metabolism working overtime. This in turn means that it will increase its metabolism and have a thermogenic effect leading to increased fat burning and weight loss. See, I told you that the liquid could be exciting too!

Milk

While we’re at it, adding milk to your smoothie is a great way to completely alter the flavor and make it much smoother and creamier. Because milk is a source of fat, this can improve your absorption of various nutrients too (the fat soluble vitamins in particular) and it can also provide you with a great source of protein, of healthy cholesterol (which boosts testosterone) and calcium!

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