What Personal Training Can Do For You And How To Know If You Are Being Trained Properly

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In their pursuit to lose some extra kilos, people quite often go for strict diets, which involve limits on the amount and type of food a person eats. Such extreme measures may help in reduction of weight for a brief period, but pose serious health hazards if carried on for a long enough time. Exercising periodically for some time under the supervision of a personal trainer is a lot better alternative than engaging in strict dieting.

However, a high percentage of people are not sure about the advantages of working with a personal trainer, and express suspicion as to how effective such a program would be. There are, actually a whole lot of reasons to engage a personal trainer.

personal trainer

First of all, a personal trainer will create a comprehensive exercise plan for you and this will encourage you to attain your health objectives. This will help you become more driven towards your efforts to care for your fitness and overall health.

Secondly, a personal trainer, being a specialist, guides you on the correct exercises and techniques to use while working out, and will offer an exercise schedule and diet plan suited to your body and its specific requirements. Hence your self formulated exercise schedule and reckless attempts at eating less will be replaced by a more planned and concentrated program.

Thirdly, a personal trainer is more sincere to you than you tend to be with yourself, and can give you a correct picture of your fitness and health standards. Your road to a longer and healthier life will also be paved by a personal trainer who will plan for you strategies to battle against general health issues.

Fourthly, preventive measures against injury and quick recuperation from an injury can also be taught by a personal trainer, and he can make you informed enough to continue with your exercises without his instructions.

Lastly, a personal trainer makes you responsible enough to meet deadlines and abide by schedules, encouraging you to develop an ongoing approach to the maintenance of your new found good health.

In a personal training program, you and your fitness needs get complete attention from your trainer. A clear idea of your health needs and fitness aims is the first step to ensuring a fruitful personal training program. Moreover you can check on references, qualifications and experience of the trainer beforehand, and develop a good way to communicate once training starts. A cautious consideration of all these factors can ensure a very satisfying personal training experience.

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The Down Side of Supplements In Body Building

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Many people take dietary supplements to help them stay healthy, but many bodybuilders abuse supplements, in an effort to get bigger muscles faster. The most commonly abused drug among bodybuilders is the anabolic steroid. While its true you may see results in less time than a natural bodybuilder, the disadvantages of using steroids greatly outweigh the benefits.

The first thing you should know about steroids, is they are illegal. You also need to know that competitive bodybuilders often have to undergo drug tests before they will be allowed to enter an event. If you get caught with steroids, it can ruin your reputation both in and out of the bodybuilding world. The negative side effects of steroids are not only the legal aspects. Using steroids can do some serious damage to your body, as well as your overall health.

bodybuilders

Even though men and women may react differently to steroids, they both face the same types of dangers. For example, steroids will cause a man’s testicles to shrink, sperm count to drop, have a deeper voice, hair loss, and make him develop breasts. Women too will experience deepened voices and hair loss, as well as enlargement of the clitoris, and increased growth of facial hair. In teenagers, who have not yet finished growing, it will stunt their growth.

If these side effects haven’t put a scare into you yet, continue reading. It can get much worse. For one thing, steroids can damage your liver by causing you to develop jaundice; a disease with flu-like symptoms that turns your skin yellow. Steroids have also been known to cause cancer and liver tumors. Perhaps the worst side effect is the one that affects the heart.

Using steroids can cause enlargement of the heart, as well as hardening of the arteries, both health issues are precursors to heart disease, and in the end heart failure. People who abuse these supplements have also been known to develop skin spots, acne, trembling, and uncontrollable anger that makes user become physically violent.

Truth be told, steroids are only useful if you are a dedicated bodybuilder already, so you won’t gain any muscle mass simply by popping pills or injecting yourself. Steroids help your muscles recover from training, so while most body builders need at least 48 hours between sessions to see results, users are ready to train again in a few hours.

Therefore, users can build muscles faster.

You must keep in mind, just because things happen faster, does not always mean its better. There are some bodybuilders who are pushing for steroids to be legal when used responsibly, but professionals generally agree that abusing steroids will result in an untimely death.

It is not necessary to use steroids to achieve the kind of body, bodybuilders admire. Healthy professional bodybuilders state that there are good training principals, which include the importance of having a nutrient-rich diet, along with the proper rest. Having both nutrition and rest will create a body others will envy.

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Essential Steps for Men’s Balanced Nutrition

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The key to balanced nutrition in men is really quite simple. It’s what we all should follow. Eat at least three square meals a day, don’t skip breakfast, and eat food from every food group at every meal.

Here are some essential steps towards making sure men’s nutrition is balanced, providing the right nutrients for your needs.

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Carbohydrates

Yes, carbohydrates are necessary to men’s health. This is the main source of energy for the body. You need to have simple carbohydrates (sugar) and complex carbohydrates (starches). You should get 60% of your calories from carbohydrates. Generally speaking the average man should consume 2,200 calories a day, meaning that 1320 of your calories should come from carbohydrates. Aim for more of the complex carbohydrates from things like fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, and dairy products.

A good way to start off your day is with a bowl of oatmeal with low-fat milk and some fruit preserves and peanut butter.

Fats

This is essential to have for survival. Fat is needed to help absorb essential vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K. You should have 15-20% of your daily calories come from fat. Aim to get unsaturated fat in your diet as you’ll need the energy. Try to avoid fats from butter, margarine, oil, and Crisco. Eat lean meats and fish like tilapia and tuna steaks. These contain healthy fatty acids of omega-3 and omega-6.

Be wary of low-fat options because the fat is usually replaced with refined sugar. Portion control is important, too. A good lunch option is tuna, chicken or turkey breast on whole grain bread with Gouda cheese, greens, and honey mustard.

Protein

Protein builds and repairs tissue. It’s of course good for muscles, but also skin, hair, and nails. The average man needs about 86 grams of protein a day. So if you eat a 16-ounce steak, then you should go easy on the protein for the rest of the week as the steak has 207 grams of protein. Shoot for 15-20% of your daily calories to be from protein. If you have a smoothie with milk, banana, strawberry, mango, yogurt, and peanut butter post workout, that’s a good source of protein to help repair your muscles.

Meat and potatoes are great, but your protein is best coming from lean meats and fish on a regular basis. The occasional 16-ounce steak is okay, but don’t aim to get an entire month’s worth of protein in one day. Too much of a good thing is never good. So a great balanced dinner option might be a salad sprinkled with almonds or pecans, shrimp, cheese, and black beans. This will be a good source of protein while also being sure to hit those food groups in a balanced way.

Skip the fad diets; they aren’t going to provide you with the balance and healthy nutrition you need. Eating in moderation while following the food pyramid will be the key to balanced health and nutrition. You will have to adjust things based on how active you are and whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, but including carbs, fats, and protein in your diet is going to be essential no matter what your weight goals are.

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6 Simple Steps to Starting a Nutrition Program

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You ve now started your new weight training program and you have your eyes on your goal to burn some fat and put on some muscle. Some think that working out really hard is all you need to achieve weight loss. This approach is false. The foundation for any fitness regimen will always be a proper nutrition program.

Implementing a new nutrition program is a process. Here are 6 simple steps to start your new weight loss and nutrition program.

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  1. Don t let the details slow you down. Jump in and learn as you go. It s best to start with small moves. Since most people s diet consists primarily of starch and processed food, this is a good place to start. Try minimizing or eliminating packaged food and foods that are high in sugar.
  2. Keep your grocery cart full of items you would find along the perimeter of the grocery store. Your meals should be made up of fresh meats combined with colorful fruits and vegetables. Food found inside the aisles are processed and preserved with ingredients that can be harmful towards your long term health.
  3. Your body will tell you everything you need to know. Your goal is small balanced meals about every 3 hours. So start by evaluating the way you feel 3 hours after every meal. If you are sleepy, you probably had too many carbohydrates. If you are really hungry, there was likely a miscalculation in your portions or food combination. If you are still full, you probably had a portion too big for your frame. Set an alarm and evaluate the way you feel every few hours.
  4. Do your research before you take any advice. Knowledge is power. When you have a good understanding why something is good (or bad) it makes the decision making process much easier.
  5. Record what you eat. Make notes of portions and combinations. It s also a good idea to document how you feel throughout the day. Are you feeling mentally sharper or sluggish? Do you jump out of bed or do you hate your alarm clock? Find an accountability partner or coach to help review your journal. A journal will help you understand what works best for you.
  6. With our busy lifestyles, most people will never be 100% with their fitness and nutrition. Strive for 85%. Many people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to nutrition, which eventually leads to yo-yo diet failure. Realize that things happen. If you stumble, it is ok. Get back on track with your next meal.

These 6 tips will help you get started in your pursuit of weight loss, health and wellness. Fitness and nutrition are lifelong endeavors. Make these 6 steps part of your lifestyle and look at the big picture. Your current weight and body composition are a result of many years of your current nutrition and fitness program.

It will not get reversed over night. Be patient and stick with it. These are simple guidelines that will help you get started in a good direction towards your goal of achieving an elite level of fitness, health and wellness.

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8 Elderly Nutrition Tips for Long Beach Seniors

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Elderly nutrition is obviously an important part of a senior s overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, proper elderly nutrition in Long Beach is often overlooked when you consider all of the issues seniors face on a daily basis. Regular activities become more difficult, medication must be taken at specific times, and the home must be made safe.

But what about elderly nutrition? Just like the rest of us, seniors need to eat right to stay healthy. Like anything else, a healthy diet can become more difficult as we age.

Elderly nutrition

Follow these tips for Long Beach seniors to ensure your loved ones maintain a healthy diet:

  1. Eat meals with high nutritional values: Elderly nutrition begins with eating the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Since many seniors experience a decrease in appetite as they age, it s important for their smaller meals to be high in nutrients and calories. The best food includes fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and meat and dairy products that are high in protein.
  2. Sensible snacking: If your loved one won t eat three full meals a day, another smart strategy is to encourage them to have several small snacks throughout the day that are rich with nutrients. Again, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, which are high in Vitamins E and B12, calcium, and zinc.
  3. Add additional flavors: If your loved one s sense of taste is also on the decline, adding dressings, sauces, spices, and herbs to their food can provide that much-needed boost to their appetite. Another way to stimulate the appetite is to have a variety of a small amount of food at each meal.
  4. Avoid eating alone: Mealtime can be depressing when you have to eat alone, so whenever possible try to have your loved one eat with someone. Whether it s a family member or a homecare services professional, many seniors are more likely to eat more and have better elderly nutrition when they eat with someone rather than eating alone.
  5. Get groceries with them: If you re not available, hire a homecare services company in Long Beach to go to the store with them. This is a fool-proof way to make sure your loved ones are buying the right foods to maintain good nutrition.
  6. Watch for dental issues: It s difficult to expect the elderly to focus on nutrition if they re having problems chewing food. Ask if they have any pain when eating, and have them visit the dentist regularly to make sure their dentures fit right and they don t have any cavities.
  7. Seniors who live alone should keep plenty of non-perishable foods in the home. Unless they have a homecare services company managing their care, health problems or bad weather can make it difficult to go to the grocery store.
  8. Provide reminders: Don t let a poor memory get in the way of good elderly nutrition. Make sure your loved ones stay on a regular eating schedule, and provide visual reminders where they spend the most time.

Elderly nutrition is a serious health concern among many seniors. It can make a huge difference in their quality of life, as well as add stability to their daily routines.

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5 Reasons You Should Use a Yoga Ball Chair at Work

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First of all, what the heck is a yoga ball chair? It’s simply a yoga or exercise ball that fits into a chair frame. Some allow you to adjust the height, some have casters, and others have backrests for the upper back. They don’t look comfortable, but they are. What’s more, they can help with the aches and pains of sitting in an office chair all day, every day.

As the ball is the seat, you need to make slight adjustments to keep yourself balanced. While you may not even realize you are doing this, you will notice as you use it more because these stabilizing adjustments give your core and thigh muscles a passive workout. These are just a couple of the benefits of using a yoga ball chair as your desk chair. Below we’ll outline even more reasons why you should use one of these at your desk.

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Aligns the spine

As you need to stay balanced on the ball of the chair, you naturally sit up straight rather than slouching, which is typical in a regular office chair. Our brain recognizes that we are somewhat “unstable” and so keeps our spines in proper alignment in case we need to suddenly adjust our position. This alone eases back pain.

Enforces movement

One reason for stiff, sore muscles after sitting all day is because we hold the same position for hours at a time. But when sitting on a ball, we are forced to make micro-movements to stay balanced and stable. These small movements are just enough to keep our blood from pooling in certain areas of the body which keeps it from circulating, causing pain

Boosts Energy

Ever feel sluggish and lethargic after a day at the office? This is not only caused by consistent mental stress, but also from staying in one seated position for extended periods of time. Using a yoga ball chair increases
your movement naturally, as mentioned earlier, which keeps your energy higher throughout the day.

Burns calories

It turns out, those micro-movements end up burning around 350 more calories every 8 hours than would occur when sitting in a normal chair. This strengthens your core and burns calories. What else could you ask for in a chair?

Improves circulation

When we sit in a chair for 8 hours each day, our circulation is in effect cut off, causing our legs or feet to go numb or feel heavy once we get up to move. When using a yoga ball chair, you have the micro-movements working for you, but you are also in better alignment, so your blood can flow more freely rather than pooling in your lower extremities.

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How to Make Menu planning with Low Costs and High Nutrition

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The frenzied lifestyles we lead these days barely give us any time to think of what we will be having for the next meal of the day. But with some effort, you can easily chalk up a menu (for a week or two) that is nutritious and cost effective as well. A menu plan not only helps you save a whole lot of money, but it also lets you know what you will be eating.

It is far more healthier to have an idea of what you will be preparing, instead of pulling out the first thing you see in the pantry/freezer and deciding to make a meal out of it. To create a menu plan that saves time and money, here are some tips that you can follow:

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The first step of menu planning is to find out what you have in hand. Make a mental note of the meals you can prepare using what is available in the freezer, pantry and fridge. Prepare a shopping list of the things you have to buy to help you shop smartly, avoid impulse purchases and save money and time. Remember the essentials like fresh fruits, cereal and milk which you always buy.

Before you set out, plan your expenses. Have a look at the grocery ads and food coupons you already have. Maintain a price book in which you record how much things cost at different stores to help you know where you will find the best bargains for different items.

When you plan the menu for different meals, pay attention to serving enough vegetables and fruits and remember to balance your meals. Keep note of the requirements of your family, based on their ages, activity rates etc to ensure that food does not get wasted. The trick to make a meal appealing is by offering a variety that is both tasty and nutritious.

While planning a menu, you should think of how you will utilize leftovers. Leftovers can come handy on a day when you don’t have time to do elaborate cooking. Making use of a part of a meal to make a completely new meal can help you reduce your cooking time and food costs.

There are bound to be times when you will have to come up with quick alternatives when things don’t go according to plans. A hectic day at work, your kid’s illness, surprise visitors at home or weeks when you need to stretch the paycheck are situations when you should be prepared to make changes to your menu and reschedule your plans accordingly.

When our fast paced routines give us no time to breathe, having a menu plan means one less thing to worry about. With a clear plan of healthy and cost-effective meals for the day and week, you can be content about taking care of your family’s dietary requirements without spending too much money.

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Active Nutrition for an Active Lifestyle

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It’s important to eat right at all times. But when you live an active lifestyle you have got to be sure you’re fueling your body right in order to keep up and not get run down and even get sick. If you don’t have the proper nutrients and end up running around like crazy, then you are more likely to have faster crashes and burns and even to end up catching colds and other illnesses much easier.

So here’s how to eat to fuel your body so you can keep up with everything you want to do.

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Healthy Nutrition for an Active Lifestyle

Antioxidants 

Fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants. What this does for your body is protect it from damage due to free radicals which will cause you to age faster and break down the cells in the body. Lots of colorful fruits and vegetables will help to neutralize the effects of free radicals on your body. So fill up your plate, or at least half of it, with these foods.

Vitamins and Minerals 

Whole grains, low fat dairy, lean meats, and fruits and vegetables all provide the vitamins and minerals needed for energy to fuel an active lifestyle. Our bodies aren’t very efficient at producing the vitamins and minerals needed to function properly, so we have to choose the right foods with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Portion Control 

Instead of eating three large meals a day, eat smaller, healthy, well-balanced meals throughout the day. Eating six to eight smaller meals a day instead of three large meals will keep you energized throughout the day so you can maintain your active lifestyle. It will keep your energy up and metabolism high.

 Healthy Fats 

You cannot avoid fat. Most foods contain fat and your body is in need of fat. But you need to choose healthy fats, not empty calories. Eating fats with key fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 will provide you with good heart health and will lubricate your joints. A great healthy fat to eat would be nuts like walnuts.

Eat before Exercise

Don’t follow the old adage of waiting 30 minutes before you can swim. Eating prior to exercise will fuel that workout. But be smart about what you eat. You don’t want a big heavy four-course meal; it should be sensible. This way you aren’t hungry in the middle of your workout.

Stay Hydrated 

Remember to drink water throughout the day. An important part of nutrition is to remain hydrated, no matter what kind of lifestyle you live.

What you put into your body – your food and drink – is going to have a huge impact on how you perform throughout the day. So choose the right diet, but then fine-tune how you eat throughout the day based on how you perform. Be open to making changes and space out your eating schedule differently. Doing this will improve your performance, and will help you maintain your active lifestyle and remain in good health while doing it.

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5 Ways Yoga Improves Work Productivity

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Happy, healthy employees are more focused and productive, which should come as no surprise. But it’s taken the corporate world a long time to figure this out. Research shows that the average company spends approximately $14,000 annually for each employee on medically-related productivity costs.

However, companies who offer yoga and other wellness programs to employees reduce this rate drastically, lowering their health insurance premiums and improving their profitability. Yoga provides many benefits to employees, all of which add up to more focused and productive workers.

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Alleviates Physical Ailments

Who can focus on work tasks when they are constantly thinking about and dealing with chronic aches, pains, and stiffness? Yoga relieves the symptoms of common to those who sit at a desk all day, including carpal tunnel, shoulder stiffness, neck strain and daily headaches. Eliminating these body stressors frees up the mind so employees can concentrate on their job duties.

Increases Energy/Reduces Fatigue

Sitting for hours on end creates stress in the body by slowing blood circulation, among other things. In fact, one study demonstrated that sitting for five or more hours a day not only greatly reduces productivity, but negatively impacts the health of the individual to the tune of smoking a pack of cigarettes. This has clear implications for employers—both short-term as well as long-term. Companies who offer employees yoga classes on site can make a huge difference in the lives of their employees, while at the same time, profiting from it.

Relieves Stress

Mental and emotional stress from a job affects employees daily; this stress builds up and causes chronic health issues that employers end up paying for via health insurance premiums. Companies may not be able to provide less stressful jobs, depending on their industry, but they can provide yoga classes that elevate stress so that it doesn’t build up, leading employees to need to take more time off due to illness and injury. Consider one statistic: It’s estimated that 90% of all doctors’ visits are stress related. That says it all.

Improves Concentration & Focus

Spending hours each day fighting fires and deadlines is enough to make even the most peaceful person feel scattered and overwhelmed. By implementing yoga meditations and breathing exercises, employees can more readily enjoy an uncluttered mind, which leads to better decision making, fewer basic mistakes, and more creative thinking.

Increases Positivity/Morale

We are all more friendly and helpful when we feel physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. This holds true in the workplace as well. Employees work together more congenially and energetically when they feel balanced and supported through wellness programs that include yoga. This high morale impacts employee interactions with one another, but also with clients.

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Nutrition and Supplementation for Fortified Brain Power

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So overall, the cons might just outweigh the pros when it comes to using nootropic to increase or decrease quantities of specific neurotransmitters.But that is not to say there’s no way you can effectively increase your brain power with a little outside assistance. The key is simply to switch your focus to your long term brain health rather than trying to get an immediate boost to your intelligence.

And doing this is very easy with the right diet. Diet is absolutely essential for brain health and many of us don’t realize just how critical it is in this regard. Let’s take a look at just some of the nutrients and supplements that you can use to enhance your brain power.

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Amino Acids 

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When you eat any meat, your brain will break it down into the amino acids and then recombine these to build tissues around your body. These tissues include use in the brain and so consuming more amino acids can be used to actually improve the body’s ability to repair and grow the brain!

But this is not where the importance of amino acids ends.

Amino acids are also crucial for creating many neurotransmitters. For example, l-tyrosine is used to create dopamine, whereas tryptophan (discussed earlier) is used to create serotonin. Others, like l-theanine, can have direct effects on the brain and in this case it’s a somewhat calming effect. L-carnitine meanwhile has an energy boosting effect on the brain by increasing the performance of the mitochondria (more on this in a second!).

As we’ve seen with 5-HTP, it is possible to consume many of these amino acids on their own, in order to trigger immediate changes in the levels of neurotransmitters. However, this leads to imbalances as we’ve discovered and despite popular opinion, this is never a positive thing.

So instead, the best advice is to focus on trying to get a healthy mix of as many amino acids as possible. By simply eating lots of protein, or supplementing with amino acid products, it’s possible to provide the brain with all the materials it needs to create all of the different neurotransmitters as and when it needs them.

This then makes it better at entering every mental state and ensures that you can maximize your focus, concentration, memory and relaxation all at the same time. The best way to conveniently get lots of amino acids? To consume plenty of eggs. Eggs are one of the only ‘complete proteins’ meaning that they contain all of the amino acids that the brain doesn’t create on its own.

On top of this, they also contain choline, which is the precursor to excitatory neurotransmitter acetylcholine. They’re a great source of healthy saturated fat too and seeing as the brain is predominantly made from fat, this is also a very important and beneficial factor.

Vitamins and Minerals 

The same goes for countless vitamins and minerals. These too are used to create a lot of the neurotransmitters that are so highly sought after by people trying to enhance their productivity and focus. Vitamin B6 in particular is used to create a huge number of neurotransmitters. Vitamin C meanwhile is key for increasing serotonin and boosting the mood, while also providing protection against illness (which brings with it cytokines – an inhibitory neurotransmitter).

And there are plenty of other roles for vitamins and minerals too. Iron and vitamin B12 both help with blood flow by producing more red blood cells. Vitamin D helps with the regulation of hormones, especially testosterone. Zinc plays a key role in enhancing neuroplasticity. Magnesium meanwhile helps to combat depression and anxiety. In short, if you are not getting the micronutrients you need, then you are not giving your brain everything it needs to function optimally.And this is why you need to avoid processed foods.

Anything that is very artificial like a Mars Bar, bag of crisps or McDonald’s burger will contain calories to fill you up but won’t contain the nutrients you need to function. You’ll stay alive but you’ll feel tired, sluggish and far less productive as a result. Eat healthy salads, smoothies and lots of fruit and veg and you’ll find that you start feeling healthier and alert. The next best thing is a multivitamin and if you get the right one of these then it can do a lot to improve the function of your brain as well as your overall health and wellbeing.

Vasodilators 

If you’re looking for an immediate brain boost that you can get from safe supplements and foods, then look for vasodilators. A vasodilator is any substance that dilates the blood vessels (veins and arteries). These will allow more blood and more oxygen to get around the body, which in turn will result in more making it to your brain.

A particular favorite among nootropic-fans is vinpocetine because this vasodilator focusses on the brain specifically – and the prefrontal cortex even more specifically. This means you’re getting more energy right to the part of the brain that you use for planning and problem solving and some people describe the feeling as being like ‘a cold shower for your brain’.

Cognitive Metabolic Enhancers 

This is a fancy term for anything that increases your brain’s energy levels and often this means things that will increase the efficiency of your mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy factories of your cells. They float around inside the cytoplasm and they use glucose and ATP to power your bodily functions – including brain function!

Numerous things can help your mitochondria to perform better and these include CoQ10, lutein, l-carnitine, PQQ and more. In other words, a mixture of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and all kinds of lesser known nutrients available in supplement form.Again, the best strategy is just to eat a very balanced and nutritious diet but you can also increase your energy levels further by using creatine.

Creatine is a supplement that is very often used by athletes and bodybuilders. Its main function is to convert used ATP (adenosine and ADP) back into more useable ATP. In other words, it recycles adenosine which thereby provides you with extra energy to use in your training. The more recent surprise though is that this also enhances brain function by improving the energy efficiency of brain cells.

Basically, it allows the brain to recycle its ATP too, which means you get just a second or two of extra energy at maximum exertion. Studies show that individuals who take creatine get a slight boost to their IQ, so this is definitely a very effective nootropic – and one with zero side effects or risks! Creatine is produced naturally in the liver and can also be obtains from your diet (sources such as beef). However, the best way to see a significant boost is to use it in supplement form – look for creatine monohydrate.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid 

Omega 3 fatty acid is a great antioxidant that is found in tuna and other oily fish, as well as some nuts and various other sources. What makes omega 3 useful for the brain though, is the fact that it can improve ‘cell membrane permeability’. Essentially, this means that it makes the cell walls of the neurons just a little more permeable, thereby allowing things to pass through a little more easily. That includes neurotransmitters, nutrients and more – so it essentially makes brain cells more responsive and thereby gives you a slight boost yet again.

<Antioxidants

Antioxidants are key for looking after your brain’s long term health. These include vitamin C, omega 3, resveratrol and tons of other micronutrients. Essentially, antioxidants work by destroying ‘free radicals’ – substances that damage cells when they come into contact with them and which can even lead to cancer if they make it through the nucleus and cause damage to the DNA!

Consuming antioxidants is thus a very important strategy for your overall health and will also help you to reduce your likelihood of illness by strengthening your immune system. However, what we’re interested in right now is how this can boost your brain power in the long term by protecting brain cells from damage and potentially lowering your chances of developing tumors later in life.

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Back Pain Indicators

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Back pain is usually an indicator of an underlying problem. For example, if your back bothers you once and later the pain will stop. Later, the pain may start again. This means you have received the indicator of future problems. The first time you have back pain, you can consider it as a warning that something is not right. You will need to pinpoint exactly where the pain originated, and what you were doing when the pain began.

Once you determine the day the pain started, and exactly what you were doing when the pain began, you will know what to avoid doing later in life. Did you fall? Were in you a car accident? Were you picking up a box?

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What Did the Pain Feel Like?

After you have determined what triggered your back pain, you will need to take into consideration the symptoms associated with the pain. Did you feel the pain? Did you feel weakness in the area surrounding the muscles? Did you feel weakness that extended to your legs? Before the pain hit, was your back stiff, or did you feel numbness in the area?

Now that you know what triggered the pain, you can utilize the indicators to discover where exactly the pain started. Was the pain in the top of your back? Did the initial pain cause radiating pain? Did you feel pain around your neck? Was the pain constant or did it come and go? Did the pain shoot to other locations in your body?

How Did the Pain React?

Did the pain increase when you performed certain activities, or moved in a certain way? Did the pain decrease during certain activities or movements? Did the initial injury cause constant pain, or did the pain come and go over time? Were there any long-term problems associated with the injury? Did the pain go immediately, or did it take a while to fade away?

Why You Should Consider These Questions

The answer to these questions can assist your doctor in determining the cause, and fully understanding the condition you are suffering from. If you were in an accident, and were treated by a medical professional, you will want to let your doctor know what tests were performed when you were treated. What was found on the exam, tests, and images taken during the visit?

If you did see a medical professional and they recommended a specific treatment, what was it? Did the treatment help you? If the treatment did help, are you willing to try the same treatment again?

Backpain Caused by Other Conditions

Did your back pain start after having surgery? Maybe it is associated with a joint or musculoskeletal disorder. By letting your doctor know if you have any of these problems, you may help them find a solution to your problem.

Other things you may want to take into consideration is whether your job requires you to lift heavy objects, causes emotional distress, or causes you to suffer serious stress. Are you required to stand for prolonged periods of time, or maybe sit for extended periods of time?

Do you exercise properly, or often? Do you stretch before exercising? How much stress do you endure on a regular basis? Do you perform physical activity in order to relieve emotional and mental stress? All of the problems listed here can cause acute and chronic back pain.

Does Your Family Carry a Hereditary Back Problem?

Once you have asked yourself the important questions above, you need to consider your family history. If there is any possibility of hereditary back problem. If there is, letting your doctor know there is a possibility of this history, it can help him to determine the origin of your injury or pain. Many times, patients ignore this possibility, which causes confusion for physicians.

Recurring Back Pain

If your back pain has occurred before and has recently come back, let your doctor know the answer to the questions above. Let your doctor know exactly what treatments you have tried at home, along with what has worked and what has not.

Doctors commonly recommend rest as a treatment for back pain. They may also make a referral to a chiropractor or physical therapist. These professionals will be able to recommend stretches you can do to release tension from muscles that are commonly overlooked, which may prevent future pain.

It is important that you do not ignore back pain indicators. As soon as back pain starts, take note of it. Discuss the problem with your doctor to help prevent future problems and possible permanent damage.

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Back Pain Relief A Guide to Understanding Back Pain and How to Get Relief (FREE DOWNLOAD)

5 Top Yoga Apps to Use at the Office

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Not everyone is fortunate enough to work for a corporation that offers free yoga classes for their employees on-site. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do yoga at work.

These top 5 apps make it a breeze to take yoga with you wherever you go…including the office.

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Simply Yoga

This app is great for beginners who want to ease into a practice without others around. Expert instructors demonstrate a variety of over 30 poses, while the preset routines offer users a choice of 20, 40 or 60 minutes. Plus, it’s easy to follow along since this app provides audio that guides you through each step of a pose. The basic app is free, but you can get it even more great stuff with the premium upgrade option.

Daily Yoga

This app focuses on making yoga a part of your daily routine by offering lots of options for the beginner to the advanced practitioner. It also allows you to set goals for yourself, such as learning to meditate or toning your body. If you are looking to improve your overall fitness, you can also take advantage of the other options available with the app, like Pilates. They add new workouts each month, and you can customize your own program and even track different aspects of your fitness like calories burned. The basic app is free, but you can get it even more great stuff with the premium upgrade option.

Universal Breathing—Pranayama

One aspect of yoga is using the breath to steady the mind or pranayama. This app offers courses to help you practice breathing to lift your mood, boost energy, reduce stress and anxiety. The app courses guide you with animations and music to assist in reaching your peak mental health. The cost for this app is $4.99

Pocket Yoga

This app offers users both audio and video instructions as you move through each pose, including pranayama exercises. They have 27 different programs so that you can choose the level of difficulty that’s right for you, and if you are unsure about proper alignment for a pose, you can view their 200 illustrated poses to ensure you are getting the full benefit of your practice. The app automatically tracks your practice, which makes it a breeze to track your progress. This app costs $2.99.

Yoga.com Studio

This well-designed and popular app offers a wide array of programs (37 in total) and gives you the next-best yoga experience than a class—HD videos that show each pose. They provide nearly 400 postures and breathing exercises in their library and 3D muscle images to gain a fuller understanding of how each pose builds and works your body. This app is free for Android and $3.99 for iPhone.

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Yoga for Beginners (INSTANT DOWNLOAD)