5 Daily Challenges to Mix Up Your Training Routine

pretty girl joggin in park

You love working out, but you get bored easily. You need some way to keep yourself motivated when exercising. Fortunately, exercising doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, it’s ridiculously easy to mix things up a bit when your working out so that you constantly make progress, have fun, and stay motivated. Here are five simple ideas.

Do Interval Rides

Also called Tabata-style training, the idea is simple. You take 20 seconds and give it your all. If you’re riding a bike, this means all-out peddling like your life depended on it. Then, you follow it up with 10 40 seconds of rest or slower-paced riding. Then, you go at it for another 20 seconds. Keep this up for about 4 minutes. You’ll be drained. But, you won’t be bored – guaranteed.

Do Sprints

Sprinting invigorates most people for one simple reason: it’s a shock to the system. When you sprint, or rather when you get ready to sprint, your body releases endorphins and adrenaline. When you’ve finished, your body ramps up the production of natural pain killers that are more powerful than morphine.

Do this several times a week and you’ll notice that your legs are noticeably stronger, your distance running improves, and your breathing improves. This is because you’re providing quick bouts of stress that are enough to get your body to adapt and change so that you’re more equipped to deal with faster and more rigorous sprinting. If you want to add to the challenge, after you’ve gotten really good at the 100 meter dash, try wearing a weighted vest.

Do Endurance Workouts

Endurance workouts will drain you completely, but they’re hardly boring. In fact, you won’t have time enough to think about anything, let alone be bored about your training. If you set up your endurance workouts to alternate between running and weightlifting, then you’ll keep your mind off of what it is you’re doing.

So, take weightlifting. An excellent endurance lift is the breathing squat. This is a single set of 20 repetitions of the basic barbell squat. Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it. It’s tough, both mentally and physically. Take a weight that you can comfortably squat 10 or 15 reps and squeeze it out to 20 reps. Each week, add 2 to 5 lbs of weight. At the end of 6 weeks, you’ll think you’re in hell, but your lung capacity will greatly improve, your quads, glutes, spinal erectors, abs, and hamstrings will all become insanely strong and tight. You can either join a gym or find discounted weightlifting equipment on www.SportPursuit.com. It’s well-worth the investment.

In-between squatting, do distance running. This will further improve your endurance and lung capacity.

Intense Workouts

Another way to stave off boredom is to do circuit training. This is when you set up a workstation of several machines and rotate between them, giving each workout a set amount of time. It’s a time-tested method of increasing both strength and aerobic capacity.

Recovery Workouts

Sometimes what you need are “light days.” Go for a walk on a long trail, lower your working set in the gym to 50 percent or even less of your max weight. Go easy. It’ll be a new routine, you won’t gain much strength, but you’ll have a lot of fun.

Nancy Rider has a knack for effective and engaging fitness. She enjoys working with clients and blogging about simple ways to push fitness to the next level.

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Fucoidan

Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, and after years of trial and error, experts finally know the reason why. It’s the fucoidan, the unassuming brown seaweed found all up and down the Japanese coast. The locals eat it raw, infuse it with their tea and even turn it into supplements for maximum convenience, and as a result, they live longer and have much better health than their neighboring countries.

Are you ready to enjoy the amazing benefits of fucoidan? Here are just five of its incredible effects.

1: Strengthened Immune System

The antiviral properties of fucoidan can stop illnesses before they take root in the body. If you’re tired of catching colds and warding off the flu every winter, just one capsule of fucoidan a day will boost your immune system to the point where sniffles are a thing of the past. The best way to beat a virus is to win the battle before it begins!

2: Faster Weight Loss

Fucoidan works as a wrecking ball to fatty enzymes in the body, breaking them down into negligible bits while also clearing the way for healthier and more vital blood cells. Not only will you drop the pounds faster than you would with diet and exercise alone, but you’ll have more energy, too!

3: Sharper Focus

Any kind of brown seaweed will improve your memory and mood, but only fucoidan will give your entire cognitive system an upgrade, increasing your attention span and allowing you to focus for longer periods of time. You can go ahead and empty your cupboards of coffee. You won’t need caffeine when you have fucoidan!

4: Tumor Resistance

Fucoidan has been clinically proven to stop tumor growth in small mammals. It works by inhibiting the hyperplasia, or cell reproduction, of dangerous and cancerous invaders in the body. Some reports even credit fucoidan for killing the unwelcome cells entirely!

5: Stronger Organs

You don’t have to jump on a treadmill to improve your respiratory and cardiovascular health. Fucoidan supports the oxidation of blood cells, which in turn pumps the “good stuff” directly into your organs, strengthening your heart and cleansing your liver of impurities and fibrosis-causing pollutants.

These are just five benefits you’ll enjoy from regular intakes of fucoidan. If you’re looking for improved cognition, better immune support and all the cancer-fighting advantages you’d expect from an all-natural remedy, purchase something like Umi No Shizuku today!

5 Bad Habits that are Stopping You from reaching your Fitness Goals

pretty woman doing pilates

Bad habits are something that everyone has, whether you bite your fingernails, indulge in a little too much partying, impulse shop or have been smoking since you were 16. When it comes to achieving a personal fitness goal, bad habits can really cramp your style. There are a number of different aspects that need to be considered when setting a fitness goal, from the kind of lifestyle you lead to the type of food you eat and what you actually want to achieve from improving your fitness levels. Below are just a few of the bad habits that you may want to think about before embarking on your fitness overhaul.

The Wrong Type of Food

When you set out on a fitness health kick, the first thing people generally focus on is banishing bad foods from their diet. While this is great in theory, it can often be harder to kick your junk food habit than first anticipated. The first thing you need to do is become a little more knowledgeable about food and what types are actually good for you. With fancy labelling and catchy slogans, like “99% fat free”, it can be rather confusing to figure out what’s right for you. Everyone’s individual needs vary, so it is best to talk to a dietician or other health professional.

Smoking

If you currently smoke or are a reformed smoker, you’ll know that this is one nasty habit that is possibly the hardest to break. People can smoke for in excess of 10 or 20 years before they decide to ditch this bad habit to reach their fitness goals, making the addiction even stronger. Years ago, there was only the option of quitting cold turkey, but nowadays smokers can throw this habit aside by using quitting aids, such as gum, patches or even electronic cigarettes. For many smokers, the actual action and socialising aspect of smoking is what they miss, rather than their nicotine fix, and this is where ‘vaping’ comes into play. A number of companies, including BLACKHAWX, have released a range of nicotine and non-nicotine e-cigs, which are better for your overall health and the environment, assisting many reformed smokers into achieving their fitness goals.

Failure to Set Goals

Over the years, many studies have shown that people who set personal goals are more likely to achieve the task at hand. Whether you want to build a better career, focus on your fitness or get rid of clutter around the house, setting short term goals is an important step to reaching your final goal. When it comes to your personal fitness, health or wellbeing, it is of the utmost importance that you always set realistic goals for yourself. Comparing yourself to gym junkies or people who have been committed to maintaining a good fitness levels throughout the entirety of their lives can actually hinder your ability to achieve success. Set short term goals first, such as how many times you aim to exercise per week or which bad habit you are giving up first, in order to pave the road to reaching your own fitness goals.

Partying

We all know that partying is lots of fun and a great way to socialise with friends or meet new people, but it can also prohibit you from reaching your fitness goals. Binge drinking has horrific side effects to one’s health, particularly when combined with sleep deprivation, inhalation of second hand smoke and, of course, hangovers. If you’re serious about reaching your fitness goals, keep the outrageous partying to a minimum – you never know what other fun things you’ll find to do when you’re not hung over all weekend!

Procrastination

This is one major bad habit that is often overlooked when setting out to achieve any sort of goal, whether it is work, fitness or family orientated. Procrastination prevents you from achieving your goals and can actually send you in the complete wrong direction. Goal setting does help to prevent procrastination, but it is also important that you remember to constantly regain focus on what it is you first wished to achieve.

Always remember, setting goals is important for achieving your desired results. Becoming a fitter person doesn’t necessarily mean giving up the things you love, just replacing them for a healthier option. So next time you go to pick up a cigarette, try vaping instead or when you reach for that candy bar, replace it with a healthy bowl of fruit salad.

Bad eating habits can affect everyone – even avid runners

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Conventional wisdom says you can pretty much eat whatever you want if you’re an avid runner, as your body is burning off all of the excess calories. But is that really true? New research now suggests that avid runners need to pay attention to their diets as well when it comes to the potential for heart disease.

As a 10-mile-a-day runner, Dave McGillivray thought he could eat whatever he wanted without worrying about his heart. “I figured if the furnace was hot enough, it would burn everything,” said McGillivray, who is 59.

But a diagnosis six months ago of coronary artery disease shocked McGillivray, a finisher of 130 marathons and several Ironman-distance triathlons. Suddenly he regretted including a chocolate-chip-cookie recipe in his memoir about endurance athletics.

“My first reaction was, I was embarrassed,” he said.

As race director of the Boston Marathon, McGillivray is a high-profile exhibit in a growing medical case against the devil-may-care diets of many marathoners. Their high-mileage habit tends to lower their weight, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, leading them (and sometimes their doctors) to assume their cardiac health is robust regardless of diet.

“‘I will run it off’—that attitude clearly prevails among the marathoners themselves, almost sometimes to an arrogance,” said Paul Thompson, a veteran marathoner who is chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital.

A growing body of research shows the error of that thinking. A study published in the current edition of Missouri Medicine found that 50 men who had run at least one marathon a year for 25 years had higher levels of coronary-artery plaque than a control group of sedentary men. A British Medical Journal study published this year compared the carotid arteries of 42 Boston Marathon qualifiers with their much-less active spouses. “We hypothesized that the runners would have a more favourable atherosclerotic risk profile,” says the article. As it turned out, that hypothesis was wrong.

Many assumed that extreme-endurance sports could help prevent heart disease, but now the research suggests this extreme activity may actually cause problems.

We should be careful of course to jump to conclusions after several studies, but certainly this raises questions and challenges old assumptions.

It also brings us back to some common sense notions that moderation in diet and excercise can be the best combination. Pushing anything to the limit – whether its your diet or your activities, can lead to risks.

Spices and hot sauces can replace salt in your diet

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For many people, salt is a huge part of their diet, and cutting back can be very difficult. Unfortunatley, when battling heart issues or high blood pressure, cutting back on sodium intake is critical.

The firts step is identifying all the foods in your diet loaded with sodium. You might be shocked as to how many foods, particularly procressed foods and breads, are loaded with sodium. Things like soups are obvious culprits.

Then you need to consider how much salt you use with cooking. And this is one of the toughest adjustments for people, as salt makes food taste great.

But there are alternatives. This article has the excellent suggestion of using spices and hot sauces to augment the flavor of foods.

I’ve been using hot sauce for years. It works great with many dishes, and soup happens to be one of them. A bland lentil soup for example can taste incredibly good with some chili pepper sauce. Even with canned soup, you can buy the low sodium options and then splash in some hot sauce to make it taste better.

So educate yourself, but also be open to new flavors. You cna eat healthier but also make things more delicious.