Strength Matters

The article below includes tips for those people wishing to start a weight lifting regime in the gym.  Beyond cardio and dieting, weight lifting is essential in obtaining a healthy, fit physique.   Often times the body experiences a plateau when one attempts to lose weight and engages in only cardio as a means of weight loss.  Lifting is a great way to burn more calories and increase muscle tone.  It is important to start a lifting routine by using the proper amount of weight, correct form, and calculating the right amount of sets and reps in order to produce health/fitness/muscle gain results.  The link to the article provides tips and information on which machines to use in order to target certain muscle groups, as well as how to properly use those machines.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/beginner_weight_training.htm

Reward Yourself

Once you have reached a fitness goal, it is important to reward yourself properly.  Unfortunately, rewarding yourself by eating a big slice of cheesecake after losing ten pounds is rather counter productive.  You do not want to get into the habit of making food a reinforcement for working out or eating healthy.  A habit like this is likely to ensure that unhealthy foods will still be a part of your lifestyle.  Instead, reward yourself in a healthier way by buying new clothing or doing something fun and exciting that you did not feel comfortable doing at a heavier weight, such as singing karaoke in front of a large group of people.  For some people, a new work out might even be rewarding, for example, going for a hike outside.  Rewarding yourself in ways that both avoid unhealthy foods and emphasize your new fit lifestyle are both rewarding, as well as reinforcing of your new lifestyle.

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/10-Ways-Reward-Yourself-Reaching-Fitness-Goals-3362372

Maximize your Weekend Workouts

During the week, most people fit their daily workouts into a specific time slot, that works into a busy schedule.  On the weekends, this schedule is more flexible and allows for more time to spend in the gym.  It is a great idea to use this extra time in order to burn some extra calories, or explore new workout routines or classes that you don’t have time for during the week.  Since most people have more free time on the weekends, it is also a good idea to gather some friends in order to exercise or take a class together.  Another suggestion is to take your workout outside, maybe for a hike or a jog, where you don’t have to constantly check the clock for the time.  A long weekend workout is a great way to burn extra calories and give you that extra boost for a night out.

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Tips-Better-Weekend-Workouts-23563433

Make Dessert A Healthy Option

We all get the craving for something sweet every now and again, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely break our diet in order to satisfy this craving.  The article provided in the link includes 33 different ways to incorporate some healthier ideas into a sweet snack.  It is important to recognize and attend to the fact that sweet treats can in fact be healthy.  If we always associate a sweet tooth with unhealthy options, we are likely to always overindulge these cravings.  By simply starting to incorporate healthier foods, such as fruits, whole-grain, products, and Greek yogurt into sweet snacks, we are likely to create a habit of utilizing healthier options in order to satisfy our cravings.

http://greatist.com/health/healthier-dessert-recipes

Workouts to do with a Cold

The link provided gives the best and worst workout ideas for when you have a cold.  In general, light to moderate cardio workouts have the ability to relieve congestion and stress.  Exercises that are done in very public places, such as team sports or machine lifts, are best avoided when cold symptoms arise.  The transfer of germs is facilitated through sweat when working out and can easily cause others to catch a cold as well.  Extraneous exercises such as lifting and endurance running can increase stress and tension within the body, making symptoms worse.  Exercising with a cold may be beneficial and should not be avoided as long as workouts are kept light or moderate and do not over stress the body.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/10/health/exercising-with-cold-flu/

Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Coffee is commonly consumed in order to increase energy and get the day started right.  However, coffee also has many benefits that most people are unaware of.  Coffee has the ability to increase energy levels, mood, and brain functioning through its interactions with neurotransmitters in the brain.  Caffeine may also increase metabolism and the rate of fat burning in the body.  Coffee is a great drink to consume an hour or so before the gym, due to its effects of increased levels of epinephrine and stimulation of the nervous system.  Coffee is packed with essential nutrients as well, including riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, etc.  Several studies have also shown a correlation between coffee drinkers and a reduced risk of various diseases including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers.

http://authoritynutrition.com/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee/

Guide to Never Feeling Tired

The article provided in the link below contains an in-depth list of tips to increasing and maintaining energy throughout the day.  The article touches upon the topics of diet, exercise, sleep, emotions, and relaxation techniques in helping to keep energy and sleep well through the night.  People often don’t realize how much of an effect that our emotions and stressors can have on our experience of fatigue.  The article contains methods to handle our emotions and stress in a way that allows release and relaxation of the mind.  Letting go of harbored up emotions can reduce the tension of the nervous and immune systems, allowing for a more energetic feeling.  Our excessive use of technology before going to bed is also a contributing factor to sleep loss.  There are many common, everyday habits that lead to fatigue that can be avoided by making a few, simple adjustments.

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/your-guide-to-never-feeling-tired-again