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I Had to Make a Change to Get My Life in Order Again

I had no idea that I would one day be so depressed that I would often not show up to work and soon be fired. As a young person, I was happy-go-lucky and did not have a care in the world. But the older I got, the more life became so much more confusing to me. Someone I know recommended that I see a life coach in San Francisco that he had been seeing. He told me that it would change my life. I had no idea that such a person out there existed, but I was ready to try anything.

I had a pretty good job. A job that paid me well, and I really enjoyed it. I had worked hard to move up in the company. I wanted to be an executive, and that is what I aimed for. After working with the company for 7 years, I was promoted to district manager. Continue reading

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Professional Tech Recruiters Got Us out of a Personnel Bind

I needed an innovative and very savvy highly trained electronics expert to work in our development lab. I had a guy just up and leave for a startup who gave him a pair of rose-colored glasses. Well, they did not really do that, but it sure seems like they did due to how he viewed their offer. We are in the middle of developing a new product for our company, and we had a key person quit. I took a chance on him even though he did that to someone else. This time I hired tech recruiters to not only find me great talent, but to find someone who was stable and had the temperament we were looking for in an expert.

You could have a genius working for your company. It could be someone that has innovative ideas that are absolutely brilliant. Continue reading

Why Your Personal Trainer Will Not Change Your Life

Today, being a fitness instructor or personal trainer is not only about guiding workouts, but also about keeping your Instagram flowing (with perfectly edited snapshots of meals, tons of before and afters, and loads of “fitspo”). It seems like anyone who is involved in the fitness world is also heavily dedicated to their social media account. Although there are some trainers that share valuable material and positive messages on social media, the strong connection that has been forged between the fitness industry and social media has also caused many Americans to forget what exercise and fitness is really all about.

As a fitness instructor, I am concerned by how our jobs are portrayed on social media. Over-produced workout tutorials, super-polished before and after photos, and ever-present ads for expensive active wear have added a bunch of unnecessary glamor to working out. This has distracted many people from the main goal of being a fitness instructor: to promote an active lifestyle. It has also cultivated three major myths about fitness instructors:

Myth #1: We’ll help you lose weight.
Many fitness-focused social media accounts are bombarded by before and after pictures, which emphasize dramatic weight loss. This promotes an erroneous notion that fitness instructors are in the business of weight management, when truth is that fitness instructors are in the business of stress management. Exercise definitely helps people to live longer and happier lives by decreasing stress, improving mood, enhancing focus, and increasing overall stamina. But exercise is not likely to directly cause weight loss. In fact, one of the best ways to improve your metabolism is by doing exercises that help you build muscle…meaning you will actually GAIN weight from exercising. Fitness instructors do not directly help people lose weight. They give people the means to be more active. This has a plethora of other benefits, and may eventually come with the side effect of weight loss…but it might not. An article I saw published a few weeks ago (here) captures the essence of what a lot of social media is failing to reveal about the fitness industry:
By preventing cancers, improving blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar, bolstering sleep, attention, energy and mood, and doing so much more, exercise has indisputably proven itself to be the world’s best drug – better than any pharmaceutical product any physician could ever prescribe. Sadly though, exercise is not a weight loss drug, and so long as we continue to push exercise primarily in the name of preventing or treating adult or childhood obesity, we’ll also continue to short-change the public about the genuinely incredible health benefits of exercise…
— Yoni Freedhoff

Myth #2: We all have perfect bodies.
Recently, a gym member asked me if I feel “super pressured” to have a six-pack, thigh gap, and perfect perky butt. I think she was shocked to learn that my answer was no. Although there was certainly a point in my life when I began to think that being in shape wasn’t good enough if I didn’t look completely shaped, I soon took a step back and realized that being flawlessly toned does not do much for my health. Detaching fitness from Instagram for a moment revealed that my primary goal as fitness instructor should not be to inspire people to have a perfect body; it should be to inspire people to have a healthy body. The best way to achieve this goal is not by sharing pictures of my six-pack, but by being there, in their face, telling my students that they’re awesome…and then showing them through example how much vitality and energy exercise has given to me. Basically, I don’t know many people who would “kill” to have my body, but I do know many who wish they had my energy level. And that’s what I want my students to be motivated by. I want them to see my determination, positive attitude, and robust stamina…and make that their goal of working out.

Myth #3: We’ll change your life.
In a lot of ways, social media portrays fitness instructors as figureheads, celebrities, and saviors. And that’s not what they should be. As a fitness instructor, I do not change people’s lives; I give them the space to challenge themselves, so that they can change their own lives. As I mentioned, the main goal of the fitness industry is to promote an active lifestyle. The best way for fitness instructors to achieve this goal is not to promote themselves, but to promote physical activity. Lives change ultimately because of fitness, not because of fitness instructors.

Social media has proven a powerful influence. And this is why overdone workout videos, weight loss photoshoots, and extra fancy active wear have successfully shifted our focus away from the most important goals of going to the gym. But it is not too late to change this.

Changing our ideas about fitness will not be about decreasing our use of social media, but about changing the type of influences that we interact with on social media. Let’s promote accounts that highlight the actual, direct benefits of participating in group fitness, which are way more valuable to our health than rapid weight loss. Let’s promote the trainers that don’t only use their extra toned bodies to attract clients. Let’s promote the trainers that acknowledge that it is YOU who changes your life through fitness, not them. Below are just a few of my favorite Instagram accounts that seem to have achieved this. Leave a comment below if you have any of your own favorites!:

@fitqueenirene
@blogilates
@nolatrees
@yoga_girl
@shauna_harrison
@xogingy — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: health-fitness

mom-kids

Schooling Your Children At Home

Homeschooling can be one of the most enjoyable and most rewarding choices that you make for your children. You can give your child a focused education and make sure that they are taking everything in. The following advice will show you how to begin.

One benefit of homeschooling is that you can create lessons that mesh with your child’s learning style. If your child enjoys hands-on experiences, cater the curriculum in a way that involves hands-on lessons. Your kids will benefit greatly from this strategy.

When preschoolers are part of your homeschool mix, make time for each one individually. Keep an area filled with crafts and toys for them. Enlist the older children to teach younger kids. They will both learn more, and the older child will feel confident and useful in their skills.

Be crafty when homeschooling. If you put the effort into it, you can make many yourself, although many homeschooling resources can be purchased. Flash cards are easy to make out of laminate sheets and index cards. Make it a family craft and you learn while having fun.

Not only do you need to create lesson plans, but you must also create a homeschooling budget. This will help you to allot resources efficiently, while reducing your expenses. This can be documented in a separate account for budgeting purposes. Make sure to allow some leeway in case unexpected expenses come up.

Just as vital as it is to get an academic education, learning life skills will help your child truly prepare for the future. It is thusly important to work both aspects into your lessons. Many children in public schools do not learn basic life skills like balancing a checkbook or cooking a well balanced meal. You can teach both at the same time. Building a birdhouse is a good way to learn about shapes and how to build structures.

Utilize unit methods of study so that your kids get the largest amount of information they can. With this technique, you will only focus on one subject. This will allow you to teach each subject on a deeper level. You can study classical concert music for a few weeks. After six weeks of study, take them to see a classical musician perform live. The will definitely not forget the lesson any time soon.

Take your children out on walks in nature. Nature walks have many potential options for learning. Collecting leaves is great for younger children. Have them identify different shapes and colors around them. They can go home to look up which species the tree was. Have a camera with you so the local habitat is not bothered.

Don’t get so immersed in homeschooling that you forget about other members of your family. Take extra time to spend with your partner so the romance isn’t lost. Show them they’re important to you by doing activities like going on dates or to the movies. Alternatively, spending quiet time together. If you spend quality time together each day it will keep your relationship healthy and happy.

Now that you see how to implement homeschooling, it’s time to use it with your children. Remember to get help and support when you need it, and implement the best practices, like the ones in this article, when homeschooling your children.

The Non-Runner's Guide To Running: 5 Tips For Getting Started

Congratulations on your decision to become a runner! There is no cheaper, no purer, and no more accessible form of exercise than this. Plus, it’s free. So let’s get you started.

Despite seeming very simple, running can incorporate an amazing amount of variables – shoe firmness; heel strike patterns; stride length, cadence and speed; proper posture and biomechanics; different running surfaces; etc. As a new runner, you don’t have to worry about all that (yet). The 3 main variables you will want to play around with are going to be: 1) Time, 2) Distance, and 3) Intensity.

TIME: This will be the easiest way to measure your progress. It’s simple: the longer you are able to run, the better your endurance. Before you rush out the door targeting a 30-minute run, you must first build a foundation. Our bodies are amazing at adjusting to the pressures we put on them, but in order to elicit the physiological responses we want and need, we must stress our system carefully and slowly. When we run, the heart beats faster to supply our active muscles with more blood, our lungs work harder to take in oxygen, and our bones take on more force with every step. In order to tolerate the increased physiological demands resulting from exercise, we must be patient with our body. Prepare it as best you can by starting with short runs and gradually increasing the duration. Little by little, you will learn to play with your times – whether it’s your split time (how long it takes you to run 1 mile), your total workout time, or how long you can run before you feel like you need to stop. But when you’re starting out, accept the shorter workouts and know you can build up from there.

DISTANCE: We’ve all heard some running distances thrown out there: 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon… To start, focus more on time than distance. As you progress, running a certain distance can help motivate and inspire longer duration runs. Eventually, you will probably have a target distance. Perhaps you want to run a 5k? As you build that foundation of endurance, you can start to look at how far you are traveling over a certain amount of time. Having a target distance during a run could help you learn how to pace yourself and give you a chance to monitor your intensity – a slightly harder to measure variable.

INTENSITY: What is intensity? In physics, intensity equals power divided by area, with power being rate of work and area being an imagined surface that is perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation. (Did I lose you yet?) In simple terms, intensity is how much effort you are putting into the work you’re doing. You can run 10 minutes or 1 mile and it will feel completely different based on how intensely you are working. The easiest way to adjust intensity is to increase/decrease the rate of work – or, put simply, run faster or slower. There is a learning curve to adjusting intensity, but you will feel the difference between a higher and a lower intensity workout. Use time and distance to help understand your intensity.

Now, five tips:

1. Start low and slow.
By low, I mean don’t try and run three miles the first time you get out there. By slow, this is different for every person, but you want to be able to still have a conversation while you run. If you can’t, you’re probably running too fast.

2. Find a running buddy.
Not only can you test out that conversation factor mentioned above, but it will also make you accountable. Running can be a very private experience, or it can be a fun social activity. See what works best for you. If you prefer to run with a group, there are plenty of beginner runner groups in NYC. Why not get fit, and make some friends along the way?

3. Strengthen before you run, stretch after you run.
Two words: damage control. While there is currently some controversy surrounding the benefits of stretching, there is really no argument against strengthening before you begin running. Running will increase the demands you usually put on your musculoskeletal system. The best way to prevent injuries is to strengthen the muscles you’re going to be using most. These muscles are responsible for keeping your bones in optimal alignment to protect your joints. Focus on exercises that strengthen the hips, core, and legs — and if you begin to feel tightness, add some gentle stretching into your pre-post workouts.

4. Use an app.
There are many (free) apps out there. Ask your runner friends which ones they use, and give one a try. An app will help you get some baseline numbers for time, pace (splits), and distance. It will save your workouts so you can keep track of your progress.

5. Be patient.
It’s ok if running doesn’t feel blissful right away – you’ll get there. The first few runs might feel uncomfortable, exhausting, and even awkward. Hang in there. One day, you’ll be running and you’ll have that feeling every runner gets at some point when you are approaching the end of your target run time/distance and you think Hey, I feel pretty good…I could keep going! When you get there – and you will – I think it’s safe to say you’re officially a runner. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: health-fitness

3 Ways To Shape Up (For People Who Don't Have Time To Exercise)

Lack of time is a common reason for not exercising. But logging too many hours at the office or having too many balls in the air doesn’t excuse you from taking care of yourself. (Though I guess juggling could count as exercise, right?)

If you’re starved for time try these simple tips to help shape-up:

1. Eat better

Contrary to popular opinion, about 80 percent of being in shape is about what you put in your body. Not about how you move your body. So if fitness isn’t your thing, focus on food instead. You’ll get more bang for your buck anyhow, plus eating is something you have to do no matter how busy you are.

Start by making small upgrades. There’s no need to totally overhaul your eating lifestyle or suddenly swear off anything that can’t be hunted or gathered. When you prepare your meals or eat out, focus on adding more whole foods into your diet, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Be mindful of your portions, too. You don’t need to bust out a scale and start weighing your food like Jenny Craig installed a spy-cam in your kitchen. Just consume reasonable quantities and give your body ample time to recognize it’s full before going back for seconds. Or if it works better for you, eat several smaller meals throughout the day. And whatever you do, resist the urge to skip meals because you don’t have time. That won’t help you shape up at all.

2. Change your mindset

A lot of people associate fitness with a sweaty run or grunt-filled weight-lifting session. But anything that gets your heart rate going counts as exercise.

Stop thinking of it as exercise. Instead, think of it as movement and do some sort of physical activity every day. If the thought of the StairMaster or Elliptical Trainer makes you get all pukey, try something different. Better yet, aerobic activity can include things you are already planning on doing, such as mowing the lawn, getting walked by the dog, wrestling your kids or cleaning the house. The ultimate key to staying fit and healthy is to find movement that you enjoy, and then do it consistently.
Be sure to bring the fun, too! Incorporate movement that’s more recreational and makes you forget you’re working out–like dancing, geocaching with the kids, or playing a game of flag football. Other fun ideas that will make you forget you’re trying to be fit include biking, belly dancing, boxing, roller skating, ice skating, golfing, paddle boarding, rock climbing, snowboarding, surfing, swimming and beating the pants off of your partner in a Wii sports game.

3. Make time work for you

There’s a common misconception that you need to sweat buckets for at least 30 consecutive minutes to get any health benefit. But the truth is, as long as it adds up to half an hour or more of moderate activity a day, that’s what counts.

Chunk your time. If you don’t have a solid block of 30 minutes, try breaking your activity up into 10-minute chunks at different times during the day, such as morning, afternoon and evening.

Kill two birds. The next time you have a meeting, instead of heading to your favorite coffeeshop again, hit the local walking trail or go on a hike for a change of pace. Or try combining exercise with a sedentary activity so you can be more efficient. Hop on the treadmill while catching up on your favorite sitcom or while chatting up your old college bestie.

Keep it convenient. Going to the gym is great for some people. But unless you happen to have a gym at your office, getting there and back eats up precious time that could be used for other activities, and this often becomes an excuse not to exercise at all. Try using “at home” workout equipment like stairs, stationary equipment, a jump rope or a fitness video.

Work out in quick bursts. Interval training allows you to burn more calories in less time and improve your aerobic capacity. Just a couple of 30-minute sessions per week can supercharge your endurance and fitness. Or try a Tabata workout–each one is only 4 minutes, but it’s liable to feel a lot longer!

See, there’s really no excuse. If you know how to use your time wisely you can shape-up no matter how busy you are. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: health-fitness

Your First 50-Mile Ultramarathon: Race Day Tips

Anxious and Nervous

You have trained for your first 50-mile ultramarathon. You have been visualizing your run. But you might be a bit anxious and nervous. Doubt is creeping into your psyche. You even had a nightmare that you missed the start of the race. This is perfectly natural. To ease your anxieties, calm your nerves, diminish any doubt, and get you pumped, consider the following tips and what to expect. They are based on my eleven years of ultrarunning and finishing 13 ultras, including seven 50-mile ultras.

What to Pack

The night before you travel to the race site, make a list of everything you need to bring. Pin together what you will wear on race day. Pack two or three pairs of running shoes and at least four pairs of socks in case the race becomes wet and muddy. Pack a rain jacket, especially if the forecast calls for rain. Pack a hydration bottle/belt/backpack, and a cap to protect you from the rain and the sun. I pack a second set of clothes. I like to change my sweaty running clothes after the first 25 miles.

Pack a small transparent storage container to help you and your crew easily locate the following essentials: petroleum jelly, body glide, zinc oxide, toenail clippers, tweezers, scissors, ibuprofen, Neosporin, Tiger Balm, bandages, athletic tape, athletic bandages, wipes, tissues, sunscreen, headlamp, flashlight, sunglasses, bug spray, lip balm, Benadryl, vitamins, and duct tape.

©Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

I also tuck in my running waist pack scripture passages, runner’s prayers, including the Ultrarunner’s Prayer, inspirational quotes from ultrarunners, and a copy of the course and aid stations. Don’t forget your smartphone. Use your smartphone to capture nature’s beauty during your 50-mile journey. Although the aid stations are stocked, pack a big cooler with water, sport drinks, soft drinks, fruit, and food that you want your crew to feed you through out the 12 – 13 hour race day.

What to Expect The Night Before The Race

1. What to Eat – Some races offer a pasta dinner the night before for a fee. I usually have sausage pizza, a salad, and ice cream at a local restaurant. I also bring homemade food to heat in the hotel’s microwave. Eat what you are accustomed to eating and what works for you.

2. Lay Out Your Running Clothes – Shorts, running tights, skort, top/tank, sport bra, underwear, socks, running shoes, jacket, rain gear, etc.

3. Set Your Alarm – Everyone staying with you should set his/her cellphone alarm. Sometimes this might not always work. The morning before one ultra, my husband, teenage children, and I overslept even after we all heard the alarms go off. We sped to the start in our mini-van and got pulled over by a cop. We made it 15 minutes before the start.

4. You Might Not Sleep – I can never sleep the night before an ultra. I toss and turn. I worry the alarm won’t go off and that I will oversleep.

5. Listen to Music – The night before my first ultra, I couldn’t sleep. I listened to music on my iPod and sang along aloud. My husband and teenage children patiently suffered and got no sleep either. Singing didn’t help me sleep but it helped to calm my nerves and to visualize my race.

What to Expect The Morning of The Race

1. Prepare Your Body – Clip your toenails. Smear generous amounts of petroleum jelly, body glide, and zinc oxide around your toes, feet, nipples (guys), below your sport bra (gals), and through out parts of your body that will chafe. Rub Tiger Balm on your hips, knees, and across the soles of your feet. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

2. Dress – Strap on your running watch or other gadget. Dress appropriately for race day weather. If you’re running on a cold day, dress in layers.

3. Consume Calories – Eat a bagel, banana, or what you normally consume before your training runs.

4. Butterflies and Diarrhea – It’s an exciting day and you’re a tad nervous. Experiencing butterflies and diarrhea is not uncommon at the start of any race. Make use of the porta potty at the race site.

5. Pack Your Car – Don’t forget your bib number, timing chip, extra running gear, cooler, and the container with the essentials.

During The Run

1. Start Slow – An ultra is an endurance run, not a sprint! Slow and steady finishes the race.

2. Bask in Nature’s Beauty – Enjoy the sunrise, the sunset, and the bright rainbow that adorns the sky after a rainfall.

3. Hydrate – Always have a full bottle and replenish calories at the aid stations.

4. Eat and Run – Take small bites and keep moving your feet.

5. Take Care of Blisters – Have your crew drain them. Use a toenail clipper to pop and drain blisters. Apply Neosporin to the area and bandage with duct tape.

6. You Might Take a Tumble – If you trip over a tree root, a rock, or slip on a switchback or in a creek, dust yourself off and carry on! Scissors, gauze pads, athletic tape, and athletic bandages will come in handy if you take a tumble, twist your ankle, and scrape and bruise your knees, elbows, hands, and head.

7. Carry Wipes and Tissues – Depending on the course, there will be moments when the woods are your only porta potty. Be neat. Be mindful of poison ivy.

8. Thank The Aid Station Volunteers, Race Directors, Crew and Pacers – “Thank you for all you do!”

9. Give Thanks for Each Mile Conquered – “Thank you God! Only 49 more to go!”

You Are A Rare Breed

Earth is home to over 7 billion people. According to the Ultra Marathon Statistics website, a little over 716, 000 of them are ultrarunners representing 170 nations. On the day you run your first 50-mile ultra, you will join this rare breed. May you run many more!

“Run with endurance….” – Hebrews 12:1 — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: health-fitness

The Hardest Muscles To Build And How To See Results

The hardest muscles to isolate and build mass.

Everyone has that specific set of muscles that infuriates them. That one spot where no matter how hard you train — no matter how hard you push yourself, you just don’t see the results you want.

But if you ask around the gym you’d probably find that there are some muscles most people agree to have a problem with. Those universal complaints that most bodybuilders have even after years of hitting the gym.

As always, we are happy to help by breaking down these tricky muscles and hopefully providing you with a better way to deal with them — leading you on a more pleasant path towards maximizing your over all muscle gain.

First thing’s first though, there is something to be said about genetics. As in, some people just have a harder time with certain muscles because of the DNA coursing through their body. It can’t be helped and sometimes that just means you have to work harder than the person next to you.

Also, proper form is key for all of these muscle groups. It’s key for any workout really – but part of what makes these specific ones so hard is because most people do not use correct form. So keep that in mind as you move forward with isolating these muscles. Whatever you are doing, you always want your spine to be properly aligned and make sure that you perform the full range of motion for the muscles you are working out.

CALVES

These are big ones. Calves are often either the most complained about muscle to build mass or the most overlooked. Either way they often pose more of a problem compared to other muscle sets. And there’s an actually a reason behind why they are so challenging. The anatomical configuration of the calf muscles resists the act of hypertrophy. Aka — by nature they literally resist muscle synthesis.

What is often the problem is that most people treat calves as an extra at the end of a workout – but because the calves are so much harder to develop they actually need to be focused on intensely. They key is to not make your calves an afterthought.

Here’s a breakdown on the three major muscles that make up the calves:

1. The gastrocnemius muscle (this is what gives the calf its curved shape).
2. The soleus (the long flat muscle underneath).
3. The Tibialis Anterior (this is the large frontal muscle).

That third one, the Tibialis Anterior might have surprised you. That’s because it is often overlooked when it comes to building those calves – which in turn makes the calves such a challenge for most people.

You must create a well structured workout routine that focuses on all three of these muscles in order to actually see growth. If you can focus on those then you will start to see some changes coming your way.

Here are a few examples of exercises you can do to pinpoint those calf muscles.

1. Barbell Seated Calf Raises
2. Reverse Calf Raises (These will hit those oft overlooked Tibialis Anteriors!)
3. Standing Barbell Calf Raises

LATS

The Latissimus Dorsi is another muscle that can be a real stinger in your workout routine if you don’t know the best ways to isolate and use correct technique. The main problem is that it is almost impossible to truly isolate the lats. What’s most important is to cut back on the amount of weight in order to perform the reps at a full range of motion (remember?). This will build the foundation for your lats leading to building actual mass in that area.

Surprisingly chin ups and pull ups are very effective in building your lats. Often experienced bodybuilders will be able to perform these with such ease that they use a dip belt with extra weight to push themselves even further. Elbow position is one of the most important aspects behind this. If your elbows are out wide you’ll trigger your upper lats. If your elbows are in tight you’ll be hitting up those lower muscles. Keep this in mind when performing your workout routine.

Also make sure to keep your hands facing away or down in order to maximize the amount of lat involvement.

Here are a few other suggestions to help build those back muscles.

1. Straight-Arm Pulldown
2. Close-grip front lat pull downs
3. Kneeling high pully rows
4. One-arm standing cable rows

There you have it. Everyone may be different — but hopefully you now have a better understanding on how to handle two of the more challenging muscles over all. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: health-fitness

10 Beliefs That Keep You Stuck When You Want To Eat Healthier

Maybe you’ll say these are excuses.

I prefer to call them beliefs. Because excuses can easily become more ingrained beliefs, and a belief can keep you stuck forever.

1. I don’t have time to eat healthy.

Even when you make the decision that eating healthy is your priority, you probably still have a job, kids, household work, social life, and 8 hours of sleep to squeeze into a 24-hour day.

However, the belief itself is what keeps you stuck, not the lack of time. When you switch your belief to “I can perfectly make at least a few hours time to shop for food and prep meals every week”, things can start changing for the better.

2. Nutrition is too complicated.

Lots of people make nutrition a lot more complicated than it really is. While I personally do need a degree and high-level nutrition knowledge to be able to serve my clients and help them solve their health and weight loss puzzle, you don’t.

Trust your common sense: it’s probably telling you to reduce sugar and coffee, drink more water, and eat more fresh produce. Here’s where to start: make your next drink or your next meal a healthier one.

3. Cooking is a chore.

Sure, if you believe that cooking is a chore, it can be hard to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle. Maybe we could turn this belief on its head and think differently.

Cooking healthy meals is an act of care and love; love of yourself and of the people you cook for. It’s a wonderful gift to you and your family. And when you decide that self-care and love are strong values in your life, you’ll start to enjoy cooking and you’ll probably also find more time for it (see #1).

4. I am addicted to sugar.

This belief can keep you stuck forever in unhealthy eating patterns. Many people who eat lots of foods high in sugar believe they are addicted to sugar and they can’t do anything about it. While sugar addiction has been shown by studies to be a reality, it has also been shown that we can train our brain to prefer healthy food.

Start to envision that this sugar addiction can be reversed, and start to add to your diet a fair amount of the vegetables you like, every single day. You will probably gradually become “addicted” to these servings of vegetables, and you’ll have a much easier time getting off sugary foods and drinks.

5. Eating healthy is too expensive.

This is an inherently subjective topic depending on revenue, country, city, and more. Now, if this is one of your beliefs, let’s consider this research from Harvard School of Public Health, which found “the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets” (that’s $45 a month for one person).

If your own diet is not the least healthy at all and your aim is not to have the healthiest diet, either, that could mean a difference of much less than that. Maybe eating healthy is not that much more expensive for you, after all.

6. Eating healthy is too hard.

Once you’ve got the habit of eating healthy, it’s easy. What can be hard is to catch the habit, especially when you’ve been eating processed foods for a long time, or you’re used to hitting the drive-through after a long day of work.

To make eating healthy a habit, you need to get started, and to do so, you may need to first eliminate other beliefs that get in your way (#1 above for example).

7. No one supports me.

People around you may love their fast food meals or fizzy drinks, they may have no interest whatsoever in improving their health or their weight, and they may even sabotage you just because you’re triggering their own stuff. But all this is about them, not about you.

You can’t wait for others to be supportive and drive the change that you want to see in yourself. If you’d love some support, try to find a group, a friend, or someone who’s done it already. But don’t let this belief that no one supports you prevent you from eating healthier.

8. I can’t be consistent with a healthy diet.

You may have this belief if you think you won’t have the willpower to stick to a healthy eating plan and you also want to be perfect and eat healthy 100% of the time.

Here’s the truth: even with the strongest willpower in the world, you won’t eat healthy every single time, simply because life happens. But you can perfectly be consistent with a healthy eating plan once you give up the idea of being perfect.

9. I love my high-calorie comfort foods too much.

You may experience this as true; and that’s ok. You can perfectly like comfort foods. This doesn’t have to prevent you from getting started to eat healthier meals. Your attachment to these foods is often synonymous with a need for comfort in your life.

While you keep some of these foods on the menu and start eating healthier at the same time, ask yourself how you could get more of these feelings of comfort in your life. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that you don’t love those foods that much after all.

10. I don’t like to exercise.

Many people don’t eat a healthy diet just because they think this won’t help them if they don’t also go to the gym at the same time. And the fact they don’t like to exercise stops them in their tracks.

I’m here to tell you: even if you don’t like or you don’t have time to exercise, you can perfectly start adopting a healthier diet today.

Anne Ricci is dedicated to helping women eat more real food and solve their health and weight loss puzzle. You can join her tribe and get personalized tips at AnnesHealthyKitchen’s Community. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: health-fitness

The Only Arm Workout You Need This Summer

By Jordan Shakeshaft for Life by Daily Burn

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

We all have that friend. The one with the Michelle Obama arms that photograph well from every angle. And if you’ve ever met NYC-based trainer Dara Theodore, she is that friend. Lucky for us, the Daily Burn 365 trainer and walking gun show (lovingly referred to as “Armageddon”) is spilling a few of her best-kept strength secrets. Scroll down to also snag the 15-minute arm workout she swears by — no equipment necessary.

Daily Burn: THIS Is How to Do the Perfect Push-Up

The Better Way to Work Your Arms

If your upper body routine currently consists of curls on curls on curls, Theodore suggests rethinking your plan. “Bicep curls are fine as a single-joint exercise, but let’s face it — we’re all busy. I like to spend my time doing multi-joint, compound exercises so I get more accomplished in less time.” That’s why Theodore opts for full-body workouts whenever she can. “When performing push-ups or renegade rows properly, your whole body should be working from arms down to legs. Yes, the focus is on upper body. But if you properly engage your legs, glutes and core, they will get a workout as well!”

And the results speak for themselves: More definition, greater strength and, if you keep at it, a higher percentage of lean muscle mass (hello, increased calorie burn!). “Maintaining a strong upper body not only makes the necessary activities easier, but it also ensures we are doing them properly (i.e. using the right muscles) so we don’t injure ourselves,” Theodore says. And let’s not forget: “At any age, we need strong muscles to support our bones,” she adds. “Its never too early to start strength training.”

Daily Burn: 19 Reasons to Work Out (Beyond the Perfect Body)

Yet, the 44-year-old mom wasn’t always flaunting her killer arms. “As a younger woman, I had a hard time embracing my muscular physique. In my 20s, the waif-like look was in style, and I have to admit I was a bit insecure and didn’t consider my look ‘feminine’ enough,” Theodore recalls. “Thank goodness I got older and grew up a little, and got over that nonsense! Today, I’m really proud of my muscles and work hard to make sure they work really well,” she says. “I have so much admiration for strong women, women who can lift heavy weights and support the weight of their own bodies — both are equally strong in my opinion!” Amen.

Dara’s 15-Minute Arm Workout

Don’t be fooled — this bodyweight workout packs a serious punch, especially since the exercises are performed as a circuit, with little to no rest between moves. To make sure your form is on point, Theodore recommends taking a video of yourself doing the move. “It’s a great opportunity for self-critique and progress.”

Ready? We thought so. Complete moves 1 through 5 (pictured below) in quick succession. Rest 60 seconds at the end of the circuit and repeat for three rounds.

Daily Burn: 5 Crazy-Effective Crunch Variations

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

1. Narrow Grip Push-Up (10 reps)
Also known as the tricep push-up (see complete push-up tutorial here), this move targets the triceps, shoulders, chest and core. Not bad for one badass bodyweight move! “Think of the body as a moving plank with the glutes, quads and core super engaged,” Theodore says. Also be sure to draw the shoulder blades down the back and keep elbows close to body. Need to modify? Add some incline, placing the hands on a box or bench.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

2. Renegade Row (10 reps)
Channel your inner GI Joe or Jane for this complex movement. Holding a high plank, keep the shoulders in line with one another and allow elbow to graze the rib cage as it moves toward the ceiling. Pro tip: “Try to keep hips from rocking by separating the feet and keeping glutes and quads engaged,” Theodore advises. Once you’ve got that down, you can add dumbbells for extra resistance.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

3. Prone Y and T (10 reps)
If you have a tendency to neglect your backside, this move has you covered. The secret: “Keep glutes engaged and hip bones and feet on the ground,” Theodore says. “Think of lifting from the arms more than from the chest but do engage the upper back, and keep a nice long neutral neck.” Though you can progress to very light weights, don’t be surprised if you’re feeling this move using bodyweight-only after just a few reps.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

4. Side Lying Tricep Press (10 reps)
We give you permission to skip the scary dip machine. This side-lying push-up will tone the triceps, biceps and obliques in just one equipment-free move. Be sure to press firmly into the floor, firing the triceps and core on your way up. Timing your breathing with help, too. Exhale as you press your body off the floor, and inhale as you return to the start position.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

5. Half Get-Up (10 reps)
If this move doesn’t make you feel strong, we don’t know what will. Holding a book, a dumbbell or nothing at all (recommended for beginners), the half Turkish get-up works everything from your shoulders, arms, hips, back and core. To get the most out of the move, “Make sure to drive through the heel of the bent leg as opposed to coming to toes, and keep an eye on the extended hand or weight to maintain proper shoulder position,” Theodore says.

Want a new, no-equipment workout every day? Head to DailyBurn.com/365 to join — free for 30 days.

More from Life by Daily Burn:

5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

15 Tricks to Actually Stick to Your Workout

5 Signs It’s Time to Take a Rest Day — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: health-fitness