Don’t underestimate water

When I was a freshman in college I had a roommate named Jim who used to carry around a one-gallon jug of water everyday. He used to carry it to class, the gym, hell; he even carried it on dates.

At first, I questioned why he toted around a jug of water everyday instead of just refilling a smaller Aquafina bottle like normal people do. Jim said, “Because I would have to refill one of those damn bottles a thousand times a day with the amount of water I drink.” He still drinks at least one and a half to two gallons of water a day. Never one to allow my pride to get in the way, I too started to carry a jug of water around every day and the benefits were amazing.

Lets look at the facts about water:

– It regulates body temperature
– It carries nutrients to cells and tissues throughout the body
– It improves digestion
– It removes wastes and toxins from the body

Another benefit of water that I can speak from experience on is something most teenagers can relate too. After suffering from normal teen acne problems in high school, I began drinking hoards of water my freshmen year in college and it completely cleared my face up and prevented future breakouts. The reason for this is because drinking enough water keeps the skin hydrated and therefore less prone to skin breakouts.

So while you don’t need to carry around a jug all the time like my ex-roommate and great friend Jim did, just make sure you’re drinking enough water daily. Obviously the benefits are worth it.


Work a desk job? Your shoulders and chest could be suffering

Being a writer, the majority of my day is spent sitting at a desk and starring at a computer all day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – I love my job. The only problem is sitting at a desk all day is apparently limiting my gains in the gym, and now I am complaining.

I stumbled onto this article at about posture in reference to your shoulders and chest. Human instincts tell us to slouch forward while typing or reading at a computer and with that, our heads also come forward, putting more weight on our neck, upper back and shoulders. Our chest is also affected:

If your shoulders are slumped forward for long periods of time, your chest muscles become shortened. That is, since these muscles attach to your upper arms, the distance they need to extend when you slouch is less than when your shoulders are drawn back. Over time, the chest muscles adapt to this position as their natural length, pulling your shoulders forward. As a result, many of the shoulder’s stabilizers are overstretched, which makes them weaker.

Now why the hell are we going to log so much time on the bench press if we’re just going to waste that effort the next six or so hours sitting behind a desk? The article recommends doing “10 standing shoulder retractions every hour when working at a computer.” Stand and pull your shoulder blades together – while also keeping your head and shoulders above your pelvis – for 3 seconds. This movement forces your chest muscles to extend, which prevents them from becoming permanently shortened.

The article also gets into ways to strengthen the muscles around our shoulders (i.e. rear delts, rotator-cuff, scapular), which we tend to ignore because we don’t see them when we look for gains in the mirror. Doing some of these recommended exercises will in turn grow the muscles will can check out in the mirror, as well as keep our posture straight so that doesn’t effect our workout gains. Plus, as a general rule of thumb, you should always be working out the surrounding muscles in every group, not just your shoulders.


Shake it up

Whether its work, school or children, outside factors can get in the way of healthy eating. You hear that six meals a day is the optimal for a healthy body, but as the hours in a day tick by, sometimes you might feel it’s impossible to even sit down and eat three times a day. With that said, a blender can be just as valuable in your kitchen as the burners on your stove.

Don’t underestimate the power shakes and smoothies can have on your diet. For one, they’re obviously quicker to make than cooking an entire meal. Saving time is usually what most people strive for and blending up a smoothie can take less than three minutes. Another benefit of shakes and smoothies is the amount of power-packed food you can put in them. Healthy diary products such as milk and yogurt, protein powders, peanut butter, and healthy carbs like fruit and oatmeal are all items you can whip up into not only a tasty meal, but a healthy and quick one too. Finally, shakes and smoothies fill up your stomach so you feel full longer and have the energy to stave off hunger until your next meal.

Here’s a recipe for a healthy smoothie packed with good carbs and protein. Feel free to change the serving sizes as you wish:

– Blend three ice cubes
– 1 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries
– 1 Cup oatmeal (you don’t have to cook it)
– 1 Container of yogurt (get a yogurt low in sugar)
– 1 Cup milk
– Blend on high until all the ingredients are mixed

Feel free to add a scoop of whey protein to insure you’re getting enough daily protein for those working out.


Bacteria as a supplement?

Exterminating bacteria, are we overdoing it?? Many scientists think so, with antibacterial this and antibacterial that.? Scientists are especially concerned about eliminating bacteria inside of our bodies.
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? In fact, tens of millions of people suffer from “dysbiosis”, a pathological change in intestinal flora, and don’t even know it. You may be one of them.
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? In the June 2004 Alternative Medicine Review, researchers report that intestinal dybiosis is related to a number of factors associated with modern western living.? These factors include; diet, antibiotics, and stress.
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? In his special report ”Probiotics: The Answer to Many Mystery Illnesses,” NewsMax’s Dr. Russell Blaylock writes, “Whether you realize it or not, your body needs bacteria, especially good types. The good types of bacteria are called ‘probiotics’ and they include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, E. coli, and Acidophilus. They perform a vital function — they fight the bad bacteria like pathogenic (harmful) E. coli species and other killer germs.”
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, a former member of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine policy, told Wired magazine, “Probiotics have resulted in complete elimination of eczema in 80 percent of the people we’ve treated.”
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Dr. Pizzorno, who has also used probiotics to treat irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes, said, “It’s unusual for me to see a patient with a chronic disease that doesn’t respond to probiotics.”
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? According to NYU Medical Center microbiologist Dr. Martin Blaser, “The microbes that live in the human body are quite ancient. They’ve been selected (through evolution) because they help us.” Dr. Blaser is among many scientists who believe modern sanitary practices which promote the overuse of everything from mouthwashes to bathroom cleansers have upset the ancient balance.
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Exposure early in life to microbes, scientists believe, causes mild inflammation that helps the body calibrate its responses to germs and contaminants later on. Some researchers say that unless people are exposed as infants, they can end up with poorly balanced immune systems.
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Dr. Pizzorno recommends getting probiotics from doctors and medical specialists. He said that consumer probiotics may or may not contain proper strains of bacteria, and that the bacteria in consumer products are often dead.
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Dr. Blaylock agrees. He writes, “A wide variety of organisms are sold as probiotics, but studies have shown that not all are effective. Some are very sensitive to stomach acid and are killed before they reach the colon, while others are acid resistant.”
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Dr. Blaylock goes on to describe all the benefits of probiotics, and details how and when to take them. To get Dr. Blaylock’s special report, ”Probiotics: The Answer to Many Mystery Illnesses,” Go Here.

Newsmax Health Alert


Decoding food labels

A sad fact in the food industry is how companies are getting away with using complicated terms and numbers on labels. These companies are basically confusing or misleading the public by highlighting words like, “low fat!” or “less sugar!” when the truth of the matter is these food products are still hiding dirty little secrets.

Besides cutting out sugary sweets, sodas and fast food, we must go a step further in our quest for a healthy body and start learning how to read labels. Nearly two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight, meaning we’re choosing to eat unhealthy meals, or are being fooled by what is being called “healthy” food.

Check out Men’s Heath Nutrition Label Decoder. It’s an interactive tool to help you learn how to read a label and how to differ between insoluble and soluble fibers, fructose, glucose and lactose sugars, and why not all fats are bad for you.


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