Jim Curtis, Contributing Writer
Did you know that adding a supplement before each workout can be greatly beneficial? Start your workout right with pre-workout supplements. Here are 5 benefits to doing so before every single workout.
There are multiple ingredients in that help increase the body's overall energy. This can be anything from caffeine to guarana, ginseng, creatine, and more. Some of these are naturally made by the body in smaller amounts.
Increased Muscle Stamina and Building Power
In order to get in a good workout, your muscles need pre-workout supplements to be able to handle it. Some pre-workout supplements can increase muscle stamina, as well as help them build much faster.
Become more aware of your surroundings and how you are doing your workout. Increased mental alertness is good overall, but is especially good when trying to focus on a workout.
Improved Ability to Handle Strenuous Activity
Pre-workout supplements can often aid in the ability to handle stress, meaning you may last longer during strenuous workouts. This is especially good when you have a specific goal in mind.
Many pre-workout supplements are packed with various nutrients, electrolytes, and more. Some of these ingredients are healthy to consume, even for those not doing strenuous workouts.
From physical to mental, to fun and exploration, try trail walking regularly for your health. You may find the results are surprisingly refreshing. It can also give you something new and fun to focus on. Whether you've been on the trails before or haven't given it a second thought, it may be beneficial to your physical and mental well-being to add regular trail walking to your schedule.
Help Keep Your Body Energized
Walking is a great way to increase energy. While it may seem that physical activity would take away energy, the opposite is true, in healthy doses. Physical exertion, such as walking, can increase endorphin presence. This causes a natural energy, sometimes referred to as “runner's high”. In addition to an increase in energy levels, walking can also help some people have a more positive outlook. This is also due to the increased endorphin release.
Free Your Mind With Nature
Viewing nature can help free your mind and give you something wondrous to think about and enjoy. It's good for mental health to enjoy mind-freeing activities wherever possible. Take a look around. Enjoy the trees, birds, and other wildlife while trail walking. Is there water? Relax and listen to the sounds it makes. Take time to really see and study what's around you.
Explore Your Area in a New Way
Sometimes, while going about daily life, it's easy to miss what's really around you. From the city sidewalks and streets, it may be readily evident what's available by simply taking the trails instead. Trail walking can help you explore your area in a whole new way. There may be much more to your city or town than you realize. Get to know it even more by regularly walking various trails available. Most cities have them near parks, canals, and elsewhere.
by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
We hear it all the time from our doctors, " you are healthy but you could stand to lose a few pounds," which tells us that while we feel good, chances are, we are overweight. If you take a look at one of those charts that shows what you’re suppose to weigh at a particular height, many of us can describe ourselves as obese. And let’s face it, if you are more than 50 pounds over the standard weight for your height, you fit the definition of fat according to the chart.
And for some of us, if we are fortunate enough to get down to that "target" weight, we feel noticeably weak for some reason. We all have different densities in bone structure and therefore while the chart says you should weigh 200 pounds you would feel comfortable at 220 pounds. You are the perfect judge of how well you feel and you should relay that to your physician. I am not a doctor and I can only use myself as an example, so make sure you voice your concerns with your primary care physician.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about obese children and the campaign to get them to be active 60 minutes a day which is a good thing. A child’s metabolism burns calories at a far higher rate than adults and therefore the 60 minutes of active play could be all that is needed to keep your child at a good weight. Of course a proper diet is also essential and for far too long we have allowed our children to consume massive quantities of junk food if you’ll excuse my use of "conehead" analogy.
It may be quite difficult to deprogram your child from junk food and reprogram them to a healthy diet, but it can be done if you make it a family mission. And if your health allows it, you too can join your child in that target session of 60 minutes of activity a day. Eating healthy and being active together not only provides the benefits for which it was intended, but it also allows family bonding which so many families have lost in this digital world we now live in.
And there’s one more thing that you might be interested in, and that’s learning to make the most of your mornings. That means eat a healthy breakfast everyday not only because it’s the most important meal of the day, but studies have shown that when you eat a real fortified breakfast, it will boost your energy level a lot more than them so called "breakfast bars." Remember, you are the best judge of how you feel and what you think is healthy for you and your family and diet and exercise is something you can control.
Exercise during any pregnancy requires extra care. That is especially true in high-risk pregnancies. Having experienced this type of pregnancy condition more than once, I have learned quite a bit about what works, what is risky, and what the doctors may recommend. Along with the info I discovered and experienced, there are certain exercises that were approved by my doctor and worked well for my high-risk pregnancy.
Should Women With High-Risk Pregnancies Exercise?
It is important to remember that each woman's case is different. Your OB-Gyn (or other prenatal care specialist) will be your best source of information for what is right and what is not. There are some precautions all pregnant women should take, especially those who are considered high-risk, due to certain conditions or complications. If you exercised before pregnancy, doctors may recommend that you keep up the same routine, but tone it down to avoid rapid or jerky movements.
Some high-risk pregnancies may require bed rest, which means little to no exercise is allowed. An example of some who may not be allowed much exercise are those at risk of or diagnosed with preterm labor, cardiac disease, seizures, anemia, and other restricting conditions. However, according toNewswise, women with high-risk pregnancies due to pre-eclampsia may benefit greatly from stretching exercises. Always consult a physician before starting any exercise regimen during pregnancy. This is especially true for women at risk.
Exercises for High-Risk Pregnancies
Kegels - Most pregnant women know what kegels are. However, if you do not, kegels are tightening and releasing of the vaginal muscles for a set number of seconds, generally performed in sets. Since kegels do not require very much physical exertion, they are generally safe for high-risk pregnancies. Kegels can help to prepare the body for the birth, as well as prevent tearing during the labor.
Yoga Plank Pose - The Yoga Plank Pose is just like the pose you would get in to begin doing push-ups. This is generally a pretty safe pose, but with high-risk pregnancies, you'll want to be careful not to strain the abdominal muscles during this one. Also, be careful that you balance well. If your arm strength is not good, you may want to avoid this pose, so that you do not accidentally fall onto your stomach.
Yoga Sukhasana (Easy) Pose - The Sukhasana, or Easy Pose, is a seated yoga pose. To create this pose, sit in a cross-legged position, creating a triangle shape in between the thighs and ankles. The ankles should not be tucked close to the sitting bone in this position, as they sometimes are in other yoga positions like this. Place the hands atop the knees with the palms facing up and lengthen the tail bone to the floor, while sitting up tall. This position can be done for most any desired amount of time. In high-risk pregnancies, or any other pregnancy, caution against stretching the abdomen too much.
Yoga Padmasana (Lotus) Pose - The Lotus Pose, or Padmasana, is done quite similar to the Sukhasana Pose above. However, in the lotus pose, the feet should be pulled tighter to the body and placed across the opposite thigh with the soles facing up. As with in the Easy Pose exercise, be careful not to pull the abdominal muscles too tightly.
The Bridge Pose - For this exercise position, you will want to get on the floor (or a yoga mat) on all fours. Arch the back up toward the ceiling slowly. Then, lower it slowly. Repeat several times. Be careful of your abdominal muscles during this one. Normally, you will tighten them a great deal during this pose, but during pregnancy, you may want to do this more loosely.
Leg Stretches - If you are on bed rest during your pregnancy, your legs may not get the movement or exercise required for good circulation. Lie on your side with the legs extended. Slowly lift one leg up toward your head as far as it will go. Slowly release it back down. Repeat this several times. Then do the same with the other side. This exercise will help keep circulation going and help avoid bed sores and varicose veins.
Neck Rolls - Much like the legs, the neck may get sore and stiff and receive poor circulation if you are ordered on bed rest during pregnancy. Even if you are not on bed rest, neck soreness can still occur. You can do a few successions of neck rolls 2 or 3 times per day. This exercise should generally not be a threat to high-risk pregnancies.
Lengthening Stretch - This pose is done while lying flat in the bed. Place the arms over the head, reaching back as far as possible. Normally, you would want to stretch the entire body as hard and far as possible. However, during high-risk pregnancies, you will want to modify this slightly. Still stretch the entire body, but be careful not to pull too hard at the abdominal muscles.
Walking - Good old-fashioned walking is great for pregnancy, sometimes even high-risk pregnancies. Of course, as with all of the exercises, you will need to check with a medical professional familiar with your background, but many times, walking is the best exercise for pregnant women.
Pregnancy Squat - This exercise is good for labor preparation, even in some high risk pregnancies. Your prenatal specialist may suggest that this one is saved for the labor and delivery room. To do this exercise, first get in a standing position. If you cannot balance well, hold onto a chair or other piece of furniture. Turn the knees outward and bend them down until you can no longer go down any further. Stay in that position for several seconds. Then, come back up. Repeat a few more times. Precautions for this position may include induction of preterm labor or abdominal stretching.
Things to Watch for During Exercise in High-Risk Pregnancies
Exercise can go smoothly, but sometimes things can also go wrong. Here are just some of the warning signs to look for. Consult your regular prenatal medical professional for information specific to you.
***Note: The author is not a medical professional, but is simply sharing her personal experience and studies. Always consult with a medical professional before doing any exercises during a high-risk pregnancy and even in general. Each person's body and situation is different.
Life can get busy at times, leaving little to no time for exercise, or so you think. If you would love to utilize your TreadClimber more often, but simply don't have the time, you need these tips for your workout.
Use TV Time
One solution to using the TreadClimber is simple. If you really do not wish to sacrifice your TV show, consider working out during the show. The TreadClimber can be strategically placed within viewing distance of the television set, so that there is no excuse to miss out on needed exercise. Exercise can be done at any convenient time throughout the day.
A 25- or 30-minute window is one that could be used with the TreadClimber. Many people likely spend at least that just sitting in front of the television. Because the TreadClimber is a cross between an elliptical machine and a stair-climbing machine, both results can be had from just one workout, which is great for someone who has only the time to use the TreadClimber.
Multitask Your Workout
Whether someone is a busy business owner, a working mother or father, a pro-golfer or any other type of person, the fact remains that a good routine workout is needed. Finding time to use a TreadClimber can be as simple as multitasking. Use your workout machine in between household chores. Just a few minutes at a time throughout the day can be more beneficial than you think.
TreadClimber Workout Tip For Busy Parents
Getting in shape from working out at home with the TreadClimber can be done in virtually any room of the house. After having kids, getting back in shape can be difficult, not only due to pregnancy weight gain but due to limited free time. This is true for both moms and dads.
Since the TreadClimber has a compact-size option that can fit into any room, working out could be easier for busy moms and dads. Simply place the TreadClimber in the nursery or playroom and enjoy a workout while supervising the kids during a nap or independent play.
Living in Two Places?
Perhaps a person has a home in two different locales. Why not purchase a TreadClimber for each place of residence? This way, that much-needed workout is achieved no matter where a person may be. With the TreadClimber, the gym is at home and can be accessed at any time. This is a good option for those in a busy career. Home gyms, like the TreadClimber, are very convenient to use in such situations, as they are readily accessible whenever is convenient.
Between work, household errands and taking care of the family, there seems to hardly be time in a day to fit in exercise. However, for health purposes, exercise is necessary. There are ways to make time for a TreadClimber workout without sacrificing other important things in life.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Established in 1997, Anusara yoga now is one of the most popular forms of yoga being practiced today. It is also often referred to as heart-centered yoga. Its popularity may have something to do with the positivism it espouses.
By definition, Anusara specifically means to go with the flow of nature, the flow of grace, or to follow your heart - hence the alternate title of Heart-Centered Yoga. In Anusara yoga, the "asana" poses, when combined with the "universal principles of alignment," allow a connection with the divine goodness of nature. This connection is referred to as "supreme consciousness." To achieve that, Anusara yoga practitioners must exercise the principles and go with the flow.
For some, simply hearing the words "go with the flow" can be very relaxing. But Anusara yoga does not end there. It holds a much deeper meaning. The feeling obtained also is much more intense. It is an overwhelming feeling of joy, love, peace, enlightenment, happiness, oneness and connection with nature. In this type of yoga, your heart is centered and in tune with nature, as well as yourself.
Energy from the Heart
The energy that is tapped for Anusara yoga comes from within the body, rather than the outside. Specifically, the energy is deeply rooted in a natural state of inner feelings from the heart. To tap these feelings, Heart-Centered yoga participants use the universal principles of alignment.
In the words of Dr. Douglas Brooks, a leading scholar of Hindu Tantrism, "Flowing with Grace, anusarena, we experience our inner worth, we align our bodies, our minds and hearts in the current of the Divine flowing through us, we celebrate life itself as we touch the Divinity who pulsates within us as our every thought, feeling, and experience."
One With Nature and Heart-Centered
Anusara yoga celebrates the heart as well as nature. It is not a domination of nature, but rather a harmony and participation with the natural flow of things. "Inner body bright" is a secondary principle and is the term for the energy flow achieved through the first main principle of Anusara yoga. That first principle is called "opening to grace" and is an essential starting point for every pose. In opening to grace, the goal is to align with supreme consciousness.
In Anusara yoga, the main focus is a spiritual connection to innate goodness as well as the freedom of expression related to that goodness. While there are strict principles involved, creativity and self-expression are greatly encouraged.
Anusara (Heart-Centered) Yoga as a Way of Life
The philosophy behind Anusara yoga is not left behind on the mat for participants. It often is a big part of the way they live. Anusara yoga is not just practiced a few times a week like simple exercises. In fact, it is not actually considered an exercise at all, but rather a spiritual connection and a way of life.
With Anusara yoga comes the realization that life, as experienced through one's true nature, is perfect. It is not something that needs to be corrected, but rather should be embraced for what it is. There is beauty in everything and nature is as it was intended to be when created. That said, the spiritual awakening, or supreme consciousness, achieved through Anusara yoga is also intended to allow the discernment between things that are of nature and are good for us, and those that are material and may not be. While not all material is bad, some may be.
An Inviting Community
Anusara yoga is rapidly growing in popularity and has a large community base. Those involved in the Heart-Centered yoga community are said to be friendly, inviting and have open minds. All expressions stemming from Anusara yoga are positive in nature. They stem from the heart and are all about experiencing and expressing love, peace and happiness from the inside out. Because its roots involve love, participants from all backgrounds and religions are welcome to join the community. The philosophy can be learned and practiced by attending classes and seminars.
Anusara Yoga Techniques
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
The definition of Anusara is to flow with grace, or "go with the flow." In Anusara yoga, often called heart-centered yoga, certain principles are followed. But participants are also encouraged to be creative and to go where their heart takes them.
Philosophy and Meaning of Anusara or Heart-Centered Yoga
Anusara yoga has a philosophy that is Tantric in nature, inspiring participants to go where their hearts lead them. It is not a form of exercise, but rather a series of yoga poses that are meant to lead to a deeper spiritual meaning and connection. It is a way of finding the good in everything, including yourself. Basically, you follow the principles to properly achieve the energy, enlightenment and state of awareness required. Then you let natural creativity take over and go with the natural flow of nature.
Universal Principles of Alignment
There are five main principles in Anusara yoga, which are called the universal principles of alignment. Anusara originator John Friend defines alignment as "mindful awareness of how various parts of ourselves are integrated and interconnected." There also are secondary principles involved.
For heart-centered yoga to be effective, each principle must be followed in succession with each pose, while still holding to the preceding principle. For instance, before starting any pose, "opening to grace" must be achieved. Then throughout the pose, each of the alignment principles must be adhered to without interrupting the others.
The Five Principles of Anusara (Heart-Centered) Yoga in Detail
Opening to Grace - Opening to grace is the act of going with the flow to align yourself with supreme consciousness. This is achieved by practicing the poses with an open heart and mind. During this first main principle, "inner body bright," a secondary principle, is achieved. Inner body bright is a feeling and energy that flows from within to the outer body. This energy should create a feeling of fullness and buoyancy in the outer body.
Muscular Energy - Muscular energy is that which is drawn into the focal point. This action causes the pose to be stronger, more stable and more effective. The focal point is a secondary principle in Anusara yoga involving the pelvis core, the heart and the palate. In Anusara yoga, the muscular energy is drawn through the focal point, while the organic energy is extended outward from it.
Inner Spiral - The inner spiral is the energy felt throughout the core, starting at the feet and running up into the waistline. It is the energy that enables inward rotations of the legs to allow for widening of the pelvis and thighs.
Outer Spiral - The outer spiral is basically the opposite of the inner spiral. The outer spiral allows outward rotations of the thighs. This spiral runs outward from the waistline and down and out through the feet. This is the spiral that draws the pelvis and thighs inward, rather than widening them.
Organic Energy - Organic energy is that which extends outward, starting at the focal point and extending throughout the core of the body. This allows for increased flexibility in poses during Anusara yoga.
Applying Principles of Anusara (Heart-Centered) Yoga to Life
Anusara yoga is more than an activity, it is a way of life. The Anusara yoga community consider themselves to be very organized. Yet at the same time, there is much room for individual creativity. Those who practice Anusara yoga often apply some of the things they learn to their lives, such as appreciation for the good in everything. Those interested in learning more about it can learn the principles and techniques from a certified Anusara teacher through seminars and classes offered at many yoga centers.
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