5-Minute Health Tip For Strong and Healthy Teeth

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Have you ever tried brushing your teeth with baking soda and sea salt? If not, you have probably been avoiding it because of a very popular misconception. It’s been said for years that baking soda is too abrasive for your teeth and will destroy your tooth enamel.  But there could be nothing further from the truth. Baking soda is actually one of the best things you can use for your teeth and gums. Baking soda has been used as a tooth cleanser for over 150 years.  Did you know that when a toothpaste is produced it must get FDA approval before it can be sold to the public?  Toothpastes are first rated according to their abrasiveness.  This is called the RDA value or “Relative Dentin Abrasiveness”.  It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 200.  According to the chart, is actually less abrasive than all toothpastes. Pure baking soda has an RDA of 7.  The closest RDA to this is 35, which is Arm & Hammer toothpaste (which in fact is made with baking soda).

Baking soda aids in removing harmful bacteria that causes bad breath, infections, sore throats and cough. Mixing baking soda and water releases free radicals from the mixture. These free radicals break down the stain molecules on the enamel, which can be removed from the teeth using a toothbrush.  Raw sea salt can also restrict bacterial growth and balance pH levels in the mouth.

Baking soda and Sea Salt For Strong and Healthy Teeth

 

Method

  • Crush 1tsp  salt to make it more gentle for the teeth. This makes the salt less abrasive on the teeth.
  • Add 2 tsp. baking soda and stir the two ingredients well with a spoon.
  • Wet your toothbrush and dip it in the salt and baking soda mixture. Brush the teeth as usual. Rinse with water.

 

Sea salt and water can also  be used as a mouth rinse.  It can be used instead of a commercially produced mouthwash. It will not attack any good bacteria.

Salt Water Mouth Rinse (for sore gums, mouth, or throat)

Ingredients:

½ cup warm water
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Mix water, sea salt and baking soda and stir until dissolved

Take a mouthful and gently swish it your mouth (or gargle) then spit it out.

 

Source: http://romanticupdates.com/

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Colombian president says he will ban glyphosate spraying on coca plants; deadly chemical is routinely sprayed on people’s homes and families

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(NaturalNews) Taking a stance against drugs like cocaine is certainly a good thing, but doing it at the expense of the environment and other people’s lives is devastating and unacceptable. However, that’s exactly what is taking place in parts of Colombia, where aerial fumigations of Monsanto-manufactured glyphosate are sprayed on coca, the plant used to make cocaine.

The amount being sprayed is not insignificant, nor has the spraying been a one-time act. In fact, efforts to get rid of coca crops have been taking place there for more than 20 years. Over the past two decades, more than 4 million acres of coca crops have been sprayed with the toxic chemical.

Not only has the chemical not been effective in wiping out this plant, but it’s producing a chain reaction in which the environment and people’s health have been put at serious risk. In the relentless pursuit to destroy the illegal crop, many residents’ homes and even people themselves have been sprayed. It has also killed thousands of acres of legal crops, affecting the livelihood of individuals and altering food quality. The spraying is also driving people out of the area to nearby locations like Ecuador; there, they hope to escape the lung cancer, hair loss, mental health problems and skin rashes they are developing in droves. The introduction of these health issues then has an impact on Ecuador.

From an environmental perspective, the aerial fumigations are ruining soil and water quality. While that in itself is an issue, those determined to grow coca move to areas where better soil exists. Unfortunately, they are finding their way into the Amazon, where their presence and activity can easily jeopardize biodiversity.

President says spraying of illicit cultivations must be suspended

Thankfully, the Colombian government and many others are standing up against glyphosate spraying. In fact, president Juan Manuel Santos recently called for a ban on it, saying, “I am going to ask the government officials in the National Drug Council at their next meeting to suspend glyphosate spraying of illicit cultivations.” Anti-narcotic officials have until October to find an alternative way to combat the problem of illegal crops.

Santos made it very clear that other methods will have to be used to fight coca production, citing health concerns and referencing the World Health Organization’s report stating that the chemical is “probably carcinogenic to humans” and shown to cause “DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells.” Monsanto, of course, has referred to those findings as nonsense, dismissing them as irresponsible and “junk science.” They maintain that glyphosate is safe for human health.

In fact, Monsanto says they “are reaching out to the World Health Organization (WHO) to understand how, despite the wealth of existing science on glyphosate, the IARC panel could make a classification that disagrees with scientific and regulatory reviews.” The IARC is the International Agency for Research on Cancer and part of WHO.

“As consumers ourselves, the safety of our products is paramount to each of us who work at Monsanto, and our company is built on a foundation of science,” states their press release in response to the IARC classification. “All labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health and supported by one of the most extensive worldwide human health databases ever compiled on an agricultural product.”

Health problems related to glyphosate show dire need to cease its use

Daniel Mejia, the president of the Colombian government’s Advisory Commission on Narcotics Policy, is also against such fumigations. A controversial report he co-authored regarding fumigations between 2003 and 2007 states, “We find significant effects of spraying campaigns on the probability of occurrence of dermatological problems (skin irritations, highlight burnings, etc.) and abortions. Our results corroborate some of the results in the medical literature (e.g., the negative effects of exposure to glyphosate on dermatological problems and abortions).”

Sources for this article include:
http://gmwatch.org
http://gmwatch.org
http://www.naturalnews.com/

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What’s the ultimate health food?

by Sanjeev KapoorYou don’t have to look beyond your refrigerator! Yogurt according to latest scientific research may be the ultimate health food! It’s loaded with goodness and as naani never tired of saying, a glass of chilled chass or lassi, could do you more good than cooling you down in the scorching summer heat. Here’s how  :

Probiotics and nutrients – The process of fermentation to make yogurt improves its nutritive quality as the microorganisms added to it enhance the Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 content in it. Yogurt comes loaded with calcium, protein, phosphorous, zinc and riboflavin and several types of vitamins– that are all essential to maintain good health.
Losing weight – Yogurt is low in fat and high on nutrients. Moreover, it is very easy to digest and does help you lose pounds faster. You can go one step further and make yogurt with low fat or skimmed milk. Blend it along with your choice of fresh fruit to make a delicious fruit smoothie – a perfect post workout and breakfast food option.
Hair and Skin Benefits – Eating your daily dose of dahi will not just make you fitter from inside; it keeps your hair and skin glowing too. Make a face pack using yogurt, turmeric and some gram flour for radiant skin. Yogurt acts as a natural moisturizer – keeping the skin soft and blemish free! For the hair it helps reducing dryness and split ends. Mix it along with egg yolk and fenugreek seeds and apply to the scalp to prevent hair fall.
Calcium – Milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheeses, and buttermilk contain a more efficiently absorbed form of calcium, which is one of the most important minerals for growth and maintenance of the body. Also, very important for healthy and strong bones! Regular consumption of it is said to make teeth whiter and healthier.
Good for the stomach – Yogurt is always a good option to overcome tummy troubles and other problems like diarrhea. It helps stabilize the stomach when it gets upset by invasion of bacteria. Certain medications like antibiotics wipe out both good and bad bacteria from the digestive tract, the probiotics in yogurt can help restore this upset balance. Ulcer causing bacteria have something to fear when the microorganisms from yogurt take over.
Better option for lactose intolerant people – It has been observed that yogurt is better tolerated than milk among people suffering from milk intolerance. The bacteria break down the sugar and lactose found in milk. Hence there is a lesser chance for lactose intolerance to be seen. It is a better source of calcium for those who cannot consume milk.
Cooking uses – Chilled yogurt along with steamed rice is a great tasting meal in itself, add a hint of pickle on the side for a chatpata tang. Yogurt is also used in several ways in the kitchen. To thicken gravies, give them more body or add a little tang to them – yogurt is what comes to your aid. Even most marinades for meat and seafood dishes contain yogurt because it acts as a tenderizer for tough meat and even gets rid of some of the fishy smell from seafood.
Now that you know why you need to include this super food in your daily diet, we give you a few tips on how to set the perfect yogurt.
How to set good yogurt

If you want to set a good batch of curd, use good quality milk, preferably full cream milk. Undiluted and fresh milk will give you thick well set bowl of curd that will stay fresh longer.
Before it is curdled the milk should be boiled for five to six minutes and then bought down to lukewarm temperature.
Boil one litre of milk, approx. 5 cups for five to six minutes or till it is slightly reduced in quantity – till say 4 cups. Freshly curdled starter should then be added and mixed thoroughly to the milk. Generally one teaspoon of starter is sufficient for every half a litre of milk.
Transfer the mixture into an earthenware pot and to set in a warm place for around four hours in summer or when the temperature is high.
In winter or in places at higher altitudes you can wrap the pot in which you are setting the yogurt in muslin or a similar warm covering. Or simply set it in the oven or microwave when not in use.
Always remove a small quantity aside for setting the yogurt for the following day before you consume the rest.
Refrigerate once set.

During the scorching summer months, make sure you incorporate this super food in your daily diet. For recipes browse through sanjeevkapoor.com

Source: http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/

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Best Foods for Stronger and Better Nail and Hair Health

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Looking good is just as much as making sure that you take care of your body on the inside as well as on the outside. And this does not mean taking care of your skin solely, but also your hair and nails. A well-balanced and nutritious diet promotes good skin and better nail and hair health. So always keep in mind that getting that gorgeous looking hair can start at your very next meal.

Just like any other parts of the human body, the cells and all the necessary processes involved in the promotion of good hair and stronger nails depends largely on a person’s daily diet. Yes, any changes in your hair, be it good or bad, takes longer to be noticed compared to any changes in your skin. For example, if you’re frequently stressed out and eating very poorly, it will show in your skin as it will start to dry out, develop pimples or be sallow-looking only after a few days. But in cases of hair damage due to poor nutrition, it will still take a few months before you actually start noticing it.

When it comes to hair and nail growth, the nutrients you take in today can help strengthen or fortify the foundation of both. Since they are both made up of keratin, it is thought that the vitamins and nutrients that can strengthen one can also help the other.
Of course, there is more to this than the things that you eat. Hormonal imbalances, your stress levels, lack of sleep and poor physical activity levels and even smoking can also affect your hair and nail growth. If you’re prone to having these, then no amount of magic nutrient can help rectify that.

But all is not lost; you still have way more leverage than you think you have. If you can correct your diet and make sure that you consume foods that are helpful to your cause, then you’ll sure be on your way to having a stronger and better set of nails, as well as longer, more gorgeous hair.
What to Eat for Better Looking Hair and Nails?

1. Salmon.

Aside from being loaded with vitamin D and protein, both of which are essential to developing stronger hair, the omega3 fatty acids content of salmon are the true nutrients to beat. These fatty acids are needed for better hair growth and yet your body cannot produce those naturally. Studies have shown that hair and nails follicles are made up of these helpful fatty acids. Omega-3s are also found in the natural oils of your scalp that helps keep it hydrated and dandruff-free. If you’re no fan of salmon, then here are your alternatives: sardines, herring, trout, mackerel, pumpkin seeds as well as avocadoes and walnuts.

2. Walnuts.
When it comes to the very helpful Omega-3 fatty acid content, walnuts can thus come in contention. These wonder nuts are also packed with biotin and Vitamin E—nutrients that cloak your DNA cells from damage. Biotin can combat hair loss, so it’s a must that you stack up on this nutrient.

3. Whey protein.
Protein is what produces keratin in the hair and nails. If you hair and nails become protein-deficient, it might go to into a “resting phase” which equates to hair loss and brittle nails. So for a simple fix, try adding a coop of whey into your morning smoothie. Another bonus: whey protein can also help control your appetite, making it a great option for people who are trying to shed off excess weight.

4. Lentils.
Yes, it is true what they say that great things come in small packages—something that aptly applies to lentils. These mighty legumes are packed with vital nutrients such as iron, zinc, protein and biotin.

5. Spinach
Spinach may not be everybody’s favourite veggies, but it helps to know that it contains a lot of things that can aid in the development of healthy hair and scalp. Its beta carotene, folate and Vitamin C content helps in keeping your hair follicles and nail beds healthy and strong.

6. Sweet Potatoes
These are effective sources of beta carotene which is being utilized by your body to produce Vitamin A. People who lack vitamin A in their bodies are prone to having itchy scalp and dandruff.

 

Source: http://romanticupdates.com/

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Vitamin Pill Cuts Skin Cancer Risk

 

People who took a single vitamin pill twice a day cut their risk of the two most common forms of skin cancer by nearly a quarter, Australian researchers reported Wednesday.

The vitamin is a form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide, and it’s sold in grocery and health food stores for just a few cents a pill. It doesn’t have some of the unpleasant side-effects of its close relative niacin and it’s considered safe to take.

The Australian researchers tested it on 386 people who had already been diagnosed with skin cancer – either squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma. These are extremely common and slow-growing cancers, much less serious than melanoma.

“This is the first clear evidence that we can reduce skin cancers using a simple vitamin.”

While they are easy to treat, it’s inconvenient and can leave scarring. Left untreated, squamous cell carcinoma, especially, can spread and can kill people.

The volunteers took either two 500 mg vitamin B3 pills a day for a year, or a placebo. After a year, those who took the B3 were 23 percent less likely to have another cancer diagnosed, the team reports in a written summary of their findings to be presented next month at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting.

“This is the first clear evidence that we can reduce skin cancers using a simple vitamin, together with sensible sun protection. We hope that these findings can be immediately translated into clinical practice,” said Diona Damian, a professor of dermatology at the Dermatology University of Sydney who led the study.

“However, people at high risk of skin cancer will still need regular check-ups with their doctor.”

It’s not clear how long the benefit might last.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 2.2 million Americans are diagnosed with basal and squamous cell skin cancers each year. Half of all Australians eventually are diagnosed with one or the other. But only about 2,000 people die from either cancer a year, mostly elderly people who have left the cancer untreated.

Try these tips for avoiding skin cancer

The pills also reduced the numbers of pre-cancerous lesions called actinic keratosis. These thick, scaly patches of skin were reduced by 20 percent among the volunteers who took nicotinamide after nine months of treatment.

Nicotinamide is chemically similar to niacin, and when people ingest niacin, the body converts it to nicotinamide. But it can cause unpleasant skin flushing, headaches and low blood pressure. Nicotinamide doesn’t.

“However, people at high risk of skin cancer will still need regular check-ups with their doctor.”

Symptoms of squamous cell skin cancer include persistent thick, rough or scaly patches on the skin that can look like warts and that can crust over or bleed. It can also also look like an elevated bump with a depressed center that may bleed.

These patches can also occur in the mouth or on the bottom of the foot.

Risks include ultraviolet rays from sun exposure and tanning beds, having light skin, being older, and having an immune system weakened by drug treatment or disease. Men are far more likely than women to develop squamous cell carcinoma.

Sun Science: There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Healthy Tan’

The researchers think nicotinamide works to prevent skin cancer in two ways, by helping repair DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light, and by protecting the immune system.

Many people have tried to show that vitamins might prevent various forms of cancer, but studies have shown they often do not. And some supplements, such as beta carotene, may actually fuel cancer.

Some exceptions: a study that showed a specific multivitamin reduced men’s risk of cancer. Another showed a certain form of vitamin C might enhance chemotherapy.

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/

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Cystic fibrosis drug offers hope to patients

CF therapy

A “groundbreaking” cystic fibrosis therapy could profoundly improve patients’ quality of life, say doctors.

Patients often die before their 40s as mucus clogs and damages their lungs and leaves them prone to infection.

A major trial on 1,108 patients, in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed a combination of drugs could bypass the genetic errors that cause the disease and may increase life expectancy.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust said it could “improve the lives of many”.

One in every 2,500 babies in the UK has cystic fibrosis.

Errors in sufferers’ DNA – inherited from their parents – damage the microscopic machinery that controls salt and water levels in the linings of the lungs.

The result is a thick mucus that inexorably damages the lungs.

Antibiotics help prevent infection and drugs can loosen the mucus, but nothing deals with the fundamental problem for most patients.

X-ray

The combination of drugs – lumacaftor and ivacaftor – were designed to repair that microscopic machinery.

The trial showed that those patients given the cocktail for 24 weeks had better lung function.

Cystic fibrosis also affects the mucus lining in the gut so the doctors were pleased to see the patients also gained weight in the trial.

‘Fundamental treatment’

Prof Stuart Elborn, who led the European part of the trial from Queen’s University Belfast, told the BBC News website: “This is very exciting and it really demonstrates that we can correct the basic defects in cystic fibrosis.

“This is likely to become a fundamental treatment for cystic fibrosis.

“Starting in children may prevent the disease process developing if we correct the basic defect early in life.

“Will this improve survival for people with cystic fibrosis? We would anticipate it would have a really good chance of doing that, but we don’t know for sure yet.”

There are however, many types of error in the DNA that can culminate in cystic fibrosis.

This treatment combination should work on around half of patients, while one of the drugs on its own corrects a small proportion of errors.

New treatments are still required for the remaining patients.

‘Groundbreaking’

Susanna McColley, professor of paediatrics at Northwestern University, said these were “groundbreaking findings” that showed the future of treating cystic fibrosis.

She told the BBC: “For subjects I’ve cared for, they felt better in ways that are not necessarily measurable.

“One young woman said, and this is a direct quote, her CF ‘is not a problem’.”

Janet Allen, the director of research at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust charity, said: “These results open up a new front in the fight against cystic fibrosis and this combination therapy looks set to be an important additional treatment option that could improve the lives of many.

“As this leading edge of science continues to be explored and better understood, we are hopeful that a future of personalised medicines is increasingly within reach.”

The therapy is being examined by regulators around the world.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/

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Sex Ed Works Better When It Addresses Power In Relationships

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iStockphoto

At schools that offer comprehensive sex education, students tend to get the biology and the basics — they’ll learn about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, how to put a condom on a banana and the like.

But some public health researchers and educators are saying that’s not enough. They’re making the case that sex ed should include discussion about relationships, gender and power dynamics.

“The idea here is that sex is a relationship issue — you don’t get HIV by just sitting there by yourself, nor do you get chlamydia or gonorrhea, nor do you get pregnant,” says Ralph DiClemente, a professor of public health at Emory University.

Knowing how to communicate and negotiate with sexual partners, and knowing how to distinguish between healthy and abusive sexual relationships, is as important as knowing how to put on a condom, DiClemente says.

So, over the past decade, researchers have developed “empowerment based” sex ed programs that address the social and biological aspects of puberty and sex.

The programs often start out with broad discussions about gender norms and gender inequality.

For example, SISTA — a sex ed program that DiClemente helped develop for young African-American women — starts off by having students discuss the perks and challenges of being young women.

And then, in addition to learning about contraceptives, they talk about how to discuss safe sex with partners.

“They play out, for example, how do they negotiate with their sex partner, particularly if they’re in a disempowered relationship,” DiClemente says. “And maybe their boyfriend doesn’t want to use a condom and is threatening to leave, to hurt her.”

The goal is to help young women feel empowered to ask for what they want from their sexual partners. “And to feel good about themselves, so if they decide they want to be assertive with their partner, they can do that,” DiClemente says.

Similar programs geared toward young men emphasize the importance of empathy and kindness toward women, and explore what it means to be a good man. And some programs, geared toward mixed groups of men and women, include lessons about harassment, as well as respect toward people with different sexual identities.

Elementary school students in the Los Angles Unified School District learn about gender norms and human rights even before they learn about sex. Through a program called iMatter, fifth- and sixth-graders learn about puberty alongside lessons on body image and harassment. “They also learn about gender norms, and try to break down these barriers between pink and blue,” says Tim Kordic, who helps coordinate the program at LA Unified.

The approach seems to work. A recent study published in International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health reviewed evaluations of 22 sex-education programs for adolescents and young adults, comparing how effective they were in reducing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

It found that while 17 percent of the traditional sex education programs lowered rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, 80 percent of the programs that address gender and power lowered rates. All told, programs that addressed gender or power were five times as likely to be effective as those that did not.

The results aren’t all that surprising, says Nicole Haberland, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Population Council, a nonprofit research organization focused on sexual health.

“In the past, study after study has found that young people who adhere to harmful gender norms have worse sexual and reproductive health outcomes,” she says.

Young men are bombarded with messages that trivialize violence against women or pressure men to be tough, Haberland says. “And in the media, women are told they shouldn’t be sexual, but they should look sexy.”

By helping young people sort through these ideas and understand what healthy relationships look like, sex education programs can help them make better decisions about sex and relationships, she says.

Source: http://www.npr.org/

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Happy News! Masturbation Actually Has Health Benefits

photo credit: Masturbation a natural and normal part of healthy sexual development. Eileen McFall

Conduct an Internet search for “masturbation,” and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of slang phrases for the act.

This proliferation of slang phrases suggests people want to talk about masturbation, but are uncomfortable about doing so directly. Using comedic terms provides a more socially acceptable way to express themselves.

So before we talk any more about it, let’s normalise it a bit. Masturbation, or touching one’s own genitals for pleasure, is something that babies do from the time they are in the womb. It’s a natural and normal part of healthy sexual development.

According to a nationally representative US sample, 94% of men admit to masturbating, as do 85% of women. But societal perspectives of masturbation still vary greatly, and there’s even some stigma around engaging in the act.

Related to this stigma are the many myths about masturbation, myths so ridiculous it’s a wonder anyone believes them.

They include: masturbation causes blindness and insanity; masturbation can make sexual organs fall off; and masturbation causes infertility.

In actual fact, masturbation has many health benefits.

Good For You

For women, masturbation can help prevent cervical infections and urinary tract infections through the process of “tenting,” or the opening of the cervix that occurs as part of the arousal process.

Tenting stretches the cervix, and thus the cervical mucous. This enables fluid circulation, allowing cervical fluids full of bacteria to be flushed out.

Masturbation can lower risk of type-2 diabetes (though this association may also be explained by greater overall health), reduce insomnia through hormonal and tension release, and increase pelvic floor strength through the contractions that happen during orgasm.

For men, masturbation helps reduce risk of prostate cancer, probably by giving the prostate a chance to flush out potential cancer-causing agents.

Masturbation also improves immune functioning by increasing cortisol levels, which can regulate immune functioning in small doses. It also reduces depression by increasing the amount of endorphins in the bloodstream.

Masturbation can also indirectly prevent infertility by protecting people from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can lead to infertility – you can’t give yourself one of these infections!

There is one final benefit to masturbation: it’s the most convenient method for maximising orgasms.

And there are plenty of additional benefits from orgasms generally, including reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, increased self-esteem, and reduced pain.

Good For Your Partner Too

From a sexual health point of view, masturbation is one of the safest sexual behaviours. There’s no risk of pregnancy or transmission of sexually transmitted infections; there’s no risk of disappointing a partner or of performance anxiety; and there’s no emotional baggage.

And, only an arm’s length away, is mutual masturbation. Mutual masturbation (two partners who are pleasuring themselves in the company of the other) is a great (and safe) activity to incorporate into other partnered sexual activities.

It can be especially good to begin to learn more about what your partner likes and to demonstrate to your partner what you like. Open communication with a partner will improve your sex life and relationship, but is also important for modelling communication skills for younger generations.

Talking about masturbation also has benefits. Promoting sex-positive views in our own homes and in society, including around masturbation, allows us to teach young people healthy behaviours and attitudes without stigma and shame.

Parents and guardians who feel embarrassed or need extra guidance to do this should seek out sex-positive sources of information, like ones from respected universities.

 

Source: http://www.iflscience.com/

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5 Tips to Make Weight-Lifting Easier

5 Tips to Make Weight-Lifting Easier

Lighting weights can be a great way to get fit and build muscle mass, but it’s easy to get lost along the way. If you’re new to strength training, it can be hard to know which exercises to do, when and how to do them, and how to keep yourself motivated. To help you out, we’ve collected our five best tips to make strength training way easier.

1. Simple is Always Better

When you first start out in the weight room, it is not uncommon to be overwhelmed by all the choices you have and the advice you will receive. You don’t have to do everything perfect the first time, and your lifting routine doesn’t have to be the Mona Lisa of all workouts. Start with basic standby exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses and shoulder presses. Learn how to do each exercise, pick a weight, number of sets and reps, and do them. As you progress and learn more about weights and their effect on your body, you will be able to vary your routine and make it more complex. For now, just keep it simple.

2. Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard

Know your limits. Figure out how much your maximum lift is for each exercise, and then lift less than that. There’s no point in straining with a weight you can barely lift, because your form will be off and you’ll do more damage to your body than anything else. In the same way, don’t do more sets than you can handle. Three or four sets of each lift should be plenty. If you do more, you might start to get sloppy with your technique. Be patient and you will achieve your goals sooner than you think.

3. Always Know Your Plan

Coming up with a schedule both short term and long term will help you set goals and stick to them. Having particular days and times set up to go to the gym and workout will motivate you to stay focused on your fitness, and you’ll be less likely to miss days. Skipping or forgetting about even one workout in your schedule can set you back, so make sure you have a good way of reminding yourself. You can set reminders in your phone’s calendar, or ask a friend or family member to text you reminders on your workout days.

4. Record Everything in a Journal

Ideally, you should be increasing the weight that you lift each week. Write down the lifts you did, how much you lifted, and how many reps you did after every workout. This way it will be much easier to remember where you are, and you can track your progress as you go. You’ll be able to see how far you’ve come, and achieve the goals you set for yourself. Journaling only takes a few minutes, and it’s worth it to help yourself stay focused.

5. Don’t Forget to Eat

One of the most important things you can do to maximize the effect of weight lifting is to eat something after your workout. Of course, you want to make sure that what you’re eating has the nutrients you need to stay healthy and grow muscle mass. Eat something that has lots of carbohydrates and protein. There are many options for post-workout snacks, but you could always go with the classics, like a protein shake or a bottle of chocolate milk.

Working out doesn’t have to be a chore. With the right mindset and a dedication to improving yourself, you can lift weights and have fun. As you go on your strength training journey, there will be many people trying to give you advice about how to work out correctly. Just remember, while there are many philosophies on weight lifting, the one that works for you might not be the same as the one that works for someone else. Experiment, be safe, and have a good time.

Sources:

http://www.mensfitness.com/
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/
http://www.fitnessrepublic.com/

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Best Foods To Eat While Pregnant

Twelve superstar foods that should headline in your diet.

 

the best foods to eat during pregnancy

Even if you’re already packing an alphabet’s worth of vitamins and a mother lode of minerals into your daily meals, you might still worry that you’re not taking in enough of the nutritional right stuff — especially if your appetite hasn’t quite gotten up to speed yet, thanks to early pregnancy queasies. Enter, stage left, the “nutritional superstars” — a few familiar faces and a couple of up-and-comers that bring down the house with their performances in the dietary arena.

At 11 weeks pregnant, these twelve pregnancy power foods pack an amazing amount of nutrients into just a few bites, making them especially effective when efficiency is a priority (as when you’re too sick to eat much, when you’re gaining weight too fast, or when you’re not gaining quickly enough). Put all of the following “it” foods on your A list:

  1. Avocados: Loaded with folic acid (vital to forming your baby’s brain and nervous system), potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 (which not only helps baby’s tissue and brain growth, but may also help with your morning sickness), avocados are a delicious way to get your vitamins. Spread some ripe avocado on your whole grain roll as a healthy substitute for mayo. Keep in mind that avocados are high in fat (though the very good kind) and calories, so heap them on your plate only if you’re having trouble gaining weight.
  2. Broccoli: America’s favorite cruciferous vegetable, packed with plenty of vitamins A and C, with a calcium bonus (better to build those baby bones with), as well as baby-friendly folic acid. Toss into pasta or casseroles, stir-fry with seafood or chicken, serve steamed (with or without a vinaigrette), or dunk in dip.
  3. Carrots: What’s up, Doc? Here’s what: Carrots are tops when it comes to vitamin A, so important for the development of your baby’s bones, teeth, and eyes. They’re perfect for munching on the go, but they also shred neatly into almost anything (from salads to meatloaf to cakes to muffins). Carrots are also a good source of vitamins B6 and C, and fiber to keep things movin’.
  4. DHA eggs: The old egg is still a good egg, delivering a low-calorie, high-protein punch in a tasty little bundle. But here’s news: Science now lets us scramble, fry, or boil better eggs, naturally loaded with DHA, one type of omega-3 fatty acid (the “good fat”) that is a primary component of the brain and retina, and is essential for brain development and eye formation in the fetus. Plus, they taste just like the eggs you’ve always loved.
  5. Edamame: These green pods are actually cooked soybeans — and they taste so much better than they sound. Packed with protein, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A and B, edamame can be scooped up by the handful as a snack (salt them lightly, and you’ll never miss the chips), or tossed into just about anything you’re cooking, from soups, to pasta, to casseroles, to succotash, to stir-fry. They also make a gas-free stand-in for beans. So don’t forget the edamame, Mommy.
  6. Lentils: Branch into beans for folic acid and protein, vitamin B6, and iron. Lentils are the most intestine (and spouse) friendly legume and readily absorb a variety of flavors from other foods and seasonings.
  7. Mangoes: Sweet revenge for any vegetable avoider, mangoes contain more vitamins A and C bite for delicious bite than a salad. This tropical favorite, also packed with potassium, is especially versatile, a perfect complement to sweet and savory dishes. Blend it into smoothies or soups, chop it up in salsas or relishes, simply scoop and enjoy.
  8. Nuts: Nuts are chock-full of important minerals (copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, and even calcium) and vitamin E. And even though they’re high in fat, it’s mainly the good-for-you kind. So in a nutshell, go nuts with nuts (in moderation if you’re gaining quickly, liberally if you’re gaining slowly) and toss them into salads, pasta, meat, or fish dishes, and baked goods.
  9. Oatmeal: Here’s good reason to feel your oats (and eat them often). They’re full of fiber, the B vitamins, and iron and a host of other minerals. Fill your breakfast bowl with them, but don’t stop there. You can add oats — and all their nutritional super powers — to pancakes, muffins, cakes, cookies, even meatloaf.
  10. Red pepper: A super-source of vitamins A and C, with plenty of B6 in the bargain, a red pepper is one of nature’s sweetest ways to eat your vegetables. Enjoy their sweet crunch as a crudité, with or without dip (they make the perfect take-along snack). Chop them into salsa, slice them into stir-fries and pasta dishes, or roast or grill them (with a little olive oil, garlic, and lemon) and serve them up in sandwiches, salads, or antipastos.
  11. Spinach: Rich in folic acid, iron (which you need for all those blood cells, Baby!), vitamin A, and calcium, spinach now comes completely ready to eat in prewashed bags (free of sand). Eat it raw, in a salad (especially one with almonds and mandarin oranges), or as a wilted bed for fish or chicken, or layered in lasagna.
  12. Yogurt: Cup for cup, yummy yogurt contains as much calcium as milk — but it’s packed with protein and folic acid too. Blend it with fruit into satisfying smoothies, layer with granola in a breakfast parfait, use it as a low-calorie substitute for sour cream or mayo in sandwich fillings, dips, and salad dressings, or simply spoon it out of the carton (no matter where you’re headed today, a container of yogurt’s always easy to find). And here’s another reason to find culture: The active cultures in yogurt (also known as good bacteria) can prevent stomach upset, as well as yeast infections.

Of course, this A list is just a short list. There are plenty of other nutritional overachievers to choose from, including whole grains of all kinds, seeds (especially omega-3-rich flax), yams and winter squash, apricots, kiwi (one small kiwi contains as much vitamin C as an orange, plus it’s unparalleled for its laxative effects), papaya — and much more.

See more tips for eating well while pregnant.

 

Source: http://www.whattoexpect.com

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