Seven Stress-Relieving Exercises You Should Definitely Try

Did you know? That exercise is one way to relieve stress? When you do exercises, your body releases endorphins that take away stress and anxiety, making you happier and livelier throughout the day. So if ever you’re having a bad day, then go to the nearest gym in your town and pick from these seven stress-relieving exercises.

  1. Yoga
  2. Most people go for intense and extreme exercises for the sake of relieving stress. However, for those who want to opt for a calmer and easier way, yoga is your best bet. Yoga helps you calm your mind, enhances your breathing, and helps you find your way to serenity (the state of being calm). Not only it calms your mind, but it also helps in improving your flexibility and posture as well.

  3. HIIT
  4. And now, for those who go beyond the extreme, HIIT exercises is definitely the one for you. For those who don’t know, HIIT exercises consist of vigorous exercises with rests in between them. Since the exercises are shorter than average, they are high in intensity to compensate for its short duration. Once you attend HIIT classes, you will be too occupied on the training itself, making you forget all your stress and worries away.

  5. Boxing
  6. We tend to box our anger and anxieties inside so why not hit the gym and box it away? Boxing is a great way to reduce stress while getting some exercise at the same time. Not only that, but it also teaches you some new skills as well most especially about self-defense. Punching as hard as you can stimulate endorphins, which helps making you feel better in an instant. That’s why some people that are stressed or lonely do boxing and think that the punching bags are their problems, be it their ex, a people they don’t like, or a toxic friend, you name it.

  7. Tai Chi
  8. This is a gentle and meditative exercise that can really relieve stress out of your mind and body. It’s based on the concept of “qi”, which means the flow of energy, and works to balance both your physical and mental state. Doing this exercise will help you to be calm and peaceful afterward.

  9. Group Training
  10. Workouts are better with friends. So whatever exercise you’ve been doing such as HIIT, Zumba, or Aerobics, bring a friend with you and share the fun. Being surrounded by people and doing workouts together can brighten your mood and helps you to feel better.

  11. Desk Stretches
  12. There are times where you are too stressed out at work leaving you no time to hit the gym at all. But did you know? That your desk is the perfect tool for your much-needed exercise? Yes, they are! And here are some desk exercises that you can follow:
  13. Pec stretch – You can do this one either being seated or standing. To start, bring your arms behind your head. Clasp your fingers and bring your elbows back as far as you can and squeeze. Hold it for a few seconds and release tension afterward. Repeat as much as you can until you feel better.
  14. Seated Twist – Remain seated while your feet are placed on the ground. Twist your body from left to right while holding it for 5 seconds in each twist. Repeat if necessary.
  15. Toe Touch – Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stretch your hands upward as if you’re reaching for the ceiling. After doing so, fall forward to touch your toes. If you can’t, then it’s okay, just stretch it however far you can reach. When done, inhale, stand up, and swing your arms above again and repeat until you feel relaxed.

  16. Running
  17. Lastly, one of the easiest and best way to relieve stress is by running. That’s why a lot of people tend to go outside for a run whenever they feel down or stressed. So no matter indoors or outdoors (via treadmill), cast your stress away by running.

Reasons Behind Your Low Energy Levels While Hitting the Gym

There are times where we go to the gym and end up sleeping in the corner, or you just don’t feel yourself at all. This is completely normal if it happens occasionally. However, if it happens every time you go to the gym, then that is a serious problem that needs to be addressed of. Having constantly low energy levels at the gym can negatively affect your training. So what are the reasons behind this?

  1. Lack of Sleep
  2. Probably the most obvious and common culprit of this is not getting enough sleep. Not only it affects your gym session, but lack of sleep also greatly affects your other day-to-day activities too. Lack of sleep can also result in a slow recovery process after hitting the gym. Your body uses tons of energy while exercising and the muscles are overly used during this time. The only way to restore these is to rest. But with inadequate sleep, you are giving your body a hard time to heal itself.

  3. Not Eating Enough
  4. Food acts as fuel for our bodies. So to jumpstart your day, it’s important to eat as much foods as you can to give your body its much-needed boost up. Not eating enough is also a reason why you have low energy levels at the gym. Most people have that mindset where not eating combined with workouts will result in faster weight loss, which is not true after all. If that is the case, you won’t have the energy to hit the gym in the first place. Think of our bodies like a car while the foods act as fuel. Without fuel, the car can’t run and will splutter along the way as it runs out of steam. The same thing happens to your body if you don’t eat. Lack of food is equal to lack of nutrients which will lead to energy loss as time goes by. So before hitting the gym, eat something that can make you feel satiated and energized.

  5. Overtraining
  6. A mistake that’s probably done by beginners is overtraining. Overtraining is where you train too much at the gym to the point it becomes detrimental to your physical and mental state. The reason why some people train too much is because they think that the more you train hard, the fast you gain. What they didn’t know is that getting enough rest and recovery is important too. Here are some signs that you are overtraining:
  7. You’re having a hard time sleeping at night.
  8. Losing motivation to continue your gym journey.
  9. Your gym performance suddenly stops.
  10. Immunity levels begin to decrease.
  11. You’re constantly experiencing aching and being sore more often.
  12. If you feel the signs listed above, then it’s time to give your body its much-needed rest. Two days of rest should be enough to re-energize your body. And lastly, it’s important to include rest days to your gym schedule. You can set this to weekends or whatever suits you.

  13. Dehydration
  14. Losing water is equal to losing electrolytes. Electrolytes are important for your muscles during a workout. If you get dehydrated, you will start experiencing low energy levels at the gym. That’s why staying hydrated by drinking enough fluids must be on top of your priority list. It’s also advisable to bring a bottle of water too when hitting the gym. Signs of not drinking enough water can be seen on the color of your urine. If your urine color is yellow, then drink more water! Energy drinks are also a good choice too, as well as fruit-flavored water.

At the end of the day, what’s important is to look after your health. Lack of rest? Sleep early. Not eating enough? Eat more foods and be sure to opt for whole grains and not the unhealthy processed ones. Making few changes to your lifestyle can really amp your energy levels at the gym, making your training sessions more enjoyable and fun.

Live Healthier with These Seven Essential Diet Tips

Summer is here! And there’s nothing better than spending the best out of it at the beach. But when you suddenly look at yourself in the mirror, you felt a feeling of discouragement just by looking at your body. So you start to look for quick and easy diet tips to achieve that beach body you’ve wanted for. To tell you the truth, dieting isn’t an instant process. However, there are things that you can do to make dieting easier for yourself. Continue reading to find out!

  • Regularly Check Your Weight
  • Step on that scale for at least once a week to check your weight. This will help you to motivate yourself to go on a diet and do some exercises. Don’t be discouraged when you see your weight fluctuating as you check it from time to time. Let this be a stepping stone to maintain your shape and focus on it.

  • Avoid Consuming Saturated Fats
  • Fat is important to our body. Whoever says that fat is bad for you needs to do their research first. However, unhealthy fats do exist and they are named saturated fats. So if ever you want to use butter on that piece of bread, replace it with a more healthier polyunsaturated fats. Olive oil, cold water fish, avocado, tofu, and nuts all contain healthy fats that are essential for your body.

  • Hydrate Yourself
  • Drinking water before mealtime helps you to eat less. A study conducted by researchers shows that people who drink lots of water before mealtime tend to lose weight faster and easier. Water also keeps you hydrated and fueled up throughout the day.

  • Never Skip Meals
  • Skipping meals doesn’t help on losing weight. However, you can gain something from skipping meals, and it’s called “hunger”. So if you think of skipping meals, think of more calories that will lead to huge numbers on your scale. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s best not to skip it. In fact, people who eat breakfast tend to be leaner and fuller than those who start the day with a stomach looking like a barren wasteland.

  • Eat Slowly
  • If you want to lose weight easily, then try eating slowly. Chew your food for at least a minute and keep it at a slow but steady pace. This will give your brain some time to tell yourself that your stomach is full.

  • Meal Planning is a Must
  • It’s important to plan what to eat during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will help you see how your meals fit into your diet plan. Meal planning also helps you to stay away from fast foods and outside eateries too. Thus, saving yourself cash and from gaining too much calories.
  • Create a Food Diary
  • Jot down everything you eat every day. This will help you be aware of how much calories you’ve been taking. Creating a food diary also helps you to think twice if you want to have seconds on that deliciously looking dessert or maintain your diet plan.

Knowing the Right Amount of Calories for Seniors

Having the right amount of calories vary each person. But the most important thing is, if you want to lose weight, then watching your calorie intake is a must. That said, you must set how much calories you have to consume each day.

It’s a bit different for seniors, however. According to a study by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans back in 2015, people who are 60 and above should adjust their calorie intake depending on their daily activities.

  • For the inactive: These people are the ones that do little to no exercise at all. At least 1,600 calories per day is needed for this kind of lifestyle.
  • For the moderately active: These are the ones that are at least doing walks that range from 1.5 to 3 miles per day. Around 1,800 calories are needed for this one.
  • For the active: If you’re a person that walks more than 3 miles a day at a rate of 3 to 4 miles per hour, paired with workouts for 3 days a week, then a total of 2,000 calories is a must.

As you can see from the list above, more calories are intended for younger people and less for the older ones. This is because inactivity can slow your metabolism down, which is why fewer calories are only needed.

Some adults also lose muscle mass as they age, which is why fewer amounts of calories are required since there’s no more muscle to fuel up. If you’re an adult that can still do some physical activity, then strength training is one way to build up muscle mass again if you want to gain more calories.

Healthy Diet Tips to Keep in Mind

Workout and diet is a perfect match. You cannot lose weight easily with just diet or workout alone. These two needs to be combined in order to achieve that leaner and sexier body we wanted for. If only we could eat everything we want without worrying about weight gain, but sadly, all of that is just fantasy. Without proper nutrition, your workout is just nothing. That’s why it is important to pay extra attention to your diet. Continue reading down below as we break down how diet works and learn some easy diet tricks.

Calories: How Do They Work?

  • Before we begin, let’s see how calories work on our bodies. When we hear the word “calories”, people tend to overreact and will do anything just to get it out of their bodies. But in reality, it’s not like that.

Working Out How Much Calories Our Body Needs

  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE for short is the total number of calories your body burns to function and do some daily activities. Not only physical activities but also things like sleeping and eating are included too.

The Difference Between TDEE and BMR

  • There’s a fine line between TDEE and BMR that’s why people tend to mix both of these together. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of calories your body needs to stay alive. It doesn’t include activities that are present in TDEE. So if you want to count your calories, then focus on TDEE. Various TDEE calculators are available online. Although some of them may not show accurate results, it’s a good starting point if you want to lose weight.

What’s Next?

  • Assuming that you now know how much TDEE you have, it’s time to focus on these three key points for weight loss:
  • Losing weight
  • Gaining weight
  • Or maintaining your current weight
  • For losing weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your TDEE. For gaining weight, you need to eat more calories more than your body needs. Lastly, for maintaining weight, all you need to do is to eat the same amount of calories that your body uses to function.
  • Keep in mind that it also comes with some disadvantages too. Take fewer calories for instance, the fewer you consume, your muscle buildup will slow down as well. The same thing goes for consuming too much calories. The more you eat, the more fat you get instead of muscle.

Prioritize Health

  • At the end of the day, you should definitely prioritize your health. That means you must get proper nutrition and pick the right foods to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Three Diet Tips for a Healthier You

  1. The trinity of macronutrients – The three macronutrients consists of fat, protein, and carbs. And each one of them is important to your diet.
  2. Protein – Protein helps on muscle buildup. This is crucial for those who train hard to gain muscle.
  3. Carbohydrates – Carbs are converted into glucose and they are the one responsible for giving your body the energy it needs. Two different types of carbs are: Complex carbs and Simple carbs. The former is found in beans, starchy veggies, and whole grain foods which helps in keeping you fuller for longer. The latter, on the other hand, are found in chocolates, cereal, pasta, white bread, and candy.
  4. Fat – Fat is your best friend because it helps on absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat, provides energy, and it also acts as a protective shield for your organs. There are two types of fat: The healthy and unhealthy one. Healthy fats can be found in avocado, olive oil, seeds, and nuts. Bad fats, on the other hand, are found in saturated and trans fat such as junk foods.

  5. Consume more whole foods – Avoid eating too much processed foods and start consuming more whole foods instead like fruits and veggies. Both are rich in vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Not only that, but they can also make your plate colorful as well.

  6. Drink more water – Don’t underestimate the power of water. Water keeps us hydrated as we tend to lose water by doing everyday activities. The recommended daily water consumption is eight times a day, and this is already enough to keep you hydrated. To check if you’re regularly drinking water, look at the color of your urine. If it’s clear, then congratulations! If it’s yellowish, or completely yellow, then grab that bottle of water and drink up! You should avoid drinking too much sugar too which is found mostly in soft drinks or powdered juices. If you think that water is too plain and boring, add some fruit to create a different taste into it.

Four Recovery Tips for Every Workout

Recovery is a must no matter what workout plan you are following. Not recovering after doing so is a recipe for disaster that will result in overtraining, which then leads to injuries if not prevented. With a lot of workouts out there, there are four key recovery tips that suit each one of them. Let’s take a look at them down below.

  • Recovering from Cardio
  • Moderate or intense cardio, you lose a ton of sweat no matter what. That’s why keeping yourself hydrated is important to replace fluids that you lost while doing cardio exercises. For people that are doing moderate cardio only, it’s best not to opt for sports drinks that are made for athletes. These drinks contain lots of sugar that are completely unnecessary for moderate cardio workouts.

  • Recovering from HIIT Training
  • High Intense Interval Training or HIIT for short, is a workout that consists of short bursts but extreme exercises with little breaks in between. This workout is targeted for those people that can withstand extreme exercises, not those who can only do moderate ones. HIIT boosts your EPOC system. EPOC refers to the amount of oxygen it takes to restore your body back to its normal state.
  •  It’s important to eat meals that are full of carbs and protein, not to mention, drinking lots of water as well. Fueling your body with these nutrients enables your muscles to grow and to restore glycogen that is used by doing HIIT workouts.
  • Since HIIT is a workout that overuses your body a lot, a full day of recovery is a must. Keep in mind that HIIT must not be done every day or you’ll risk yourself of overtraining. If you feel like you need more than two days of rest, then do it.

  • Recovering from Running
  • Runners probably know by now that water or electrolytes are a must to restore body fluids. What they didn’t know that chocolate milk is also a great alternative as a post-running drink/snack. Not only they are packed with nutrients, but it’s also delicious too.
  • At least one or two rest days a week of rest is crucial for runners. Keep in mind that running overuses your joints, so it’s important to give them a break for a while.
  • If you don’t feel like resting, do some low-impact activities such as walking and swimming. The latter is your best bet if you want to take the stress out of your joints while getting that much-needed exercise at the same time.

  • Recovering from Strength Training
  • Since strength training involves working out your muscles, it’s important to consume lots of protein and carbs every after a strength workout. Eating these nutrients is one way to refuel your muscles as well as making them grow as well.
  • Recovery times and rest days will depend on your workout schedule. If you do strength training on different muscles for different days, then a single rest day is enough. However, if you train a muscle group in a row, then rest days in between workouts is the best for that.

Verdict

  • The most important thing you should do is to listen to your body. If you feel that something’s not right, then don’t hesitate to take a break. Don’t fall for that mindset where taking breaks will slow down your progress. And one last thing, make sure to do warm ups before working out. Doing so will help speed up muscle recovery process.

Four Essential Tips to Cut Down Sugar Effectively

With lots of “challenges” out there in social media, why not try the “live healthy challenge” and let’s see how you can cope up? Joking aside, losing weight is not as simple as pie. In fact, it’s a slow but steady process that will take weeks, or even months, before it yields results.

One way to lose weight is by cutting down sugar intake. People who like to chug on sugar too much are at risk of getting serious health issues such as diabetes and heart diseases. If you ever feel a burning sensation at your joints that results in painful swelling that leads to stiffness, that’s because of excess sugar such as fructose and sucrose.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is prominent on women that are consuming too much sugar. As well as hypertension, various heart diseases, and diabetes as well. If you think that you’re on the verge of getting these diseases, then here are four tips for you to follow.

  • Limit your sugar intake: Of course, who doesn’t want to take a sip of that ice-cold soda, right? Well, it’s time to stop now. If you can’t do it, then limit yourself on consuming one. This also applies to energy drinks and fruit juices too that contain high amounts of sugar. Want to go healthy? Opt for skim milk or black teas instead. Or better yet, water.

  • Syrup needs to go too: A tablespoon of syrup contains at least 50 calories. If morning pancakes are your thing, then opt for healthier choices such as fresh fruit or pure fruit purees instead.

  • Add cinnamon: When one door closes, another one opens. And here comes cinnamon to save the day. Cinnamon is a good antioxidant that helps your body to process blood glucose. The best part is, you can mix them in almost anything. Be it your tea, hot chocolate, and even coffee. Who needs artificial sugar-filled creamers when there is cinnamon?

  • Create your own pasta sauce: All pasta sauces that are available in the market are high in sugar. So why not create one on your own. It’s an easy way to can cut down your sugar intake without spending too much.

And that’s all of it! Making little sacrifices to your eating habits can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to give up or consume minimal portions of your favorite sugary treats. The important thing is you choose to go to the right path of living a healthier life. Your body will definitely thank you later!

Foods to Eat Before and After Working Out

The foods you eat create a difference in your gym performance. The reason behind this is that different foods have an impact on your efforts in each training session. Below, we’re going to tackle on what foods to eat pre-workout and post-workout.

Pre-Workout

  • People that are on intermittent fasting like to exercise with an empty stomach. They often do this early in the morning before breakfast. It can be weird just thinking about it, wondering where they get their energy from while having an empty stomach. That’s why eating before working out is a must to fuel your body for those intense workout sessions.
  • Less Fat – There’s no denying healthy fat is good for you. However, eating them before working out is definitely not the best time to consume them. Fats are slow to digest, and instead of giving you energy, it’ll only make you feel sluggish throughout your session.
  • More Protein – If you want to build muscle, then consuming lots of protein should be your priority. Not only it helps on muscle growth, but it also aids on muscle recovery and growth too. So grab your diet list and put protein on the top.
  • Don’t Forget About Carbs – When consuming carbs, pay attention to what type of carbs you should eat. Some carbs are best eaten depending on your eating plan. Complex carbs are great if you’re doing longer hours of intense workouts. However, if you’re doing moderate exercises at shorter hours, then simple carbs are your best bet.

Foods to Eat 2-3 Hours Pre-Workout

  • Lean meat paired with veggies and brown rice is ideal during these hours. It’s a dish with a great balance of veggies, protein, and complex carbs. So basically, you get the nutrients of the trio in just a single dish. Complex carbs tend to release energy to your body slowly, so by the time you train; your body is now jam-packed with energy.

Foods to Eat 1-2 Hours Pre-Workout

  • Protein shake with fruits and veggies – This is the hour where protein shakes are best consumed. Bring your protein shake to the next level by adding fruits and veggies.
  • A bowl of oats – Get your healthy dose of carbs with a bowl of oats mixed in protein powder. You can also add honey to make it a bit sweeter. This meal can make you feel satiated and fueled throughout your gym session.

Foods to Eat 30 minutes to 1-hour Pre-Workout

  • Rice cakes with peanut butter – A delicious treat that contains just the right balance of carbs and protein.
  • Banana – Gym goers favorite fruit snack every pre-workout is definitely this one. It’s convenient and easy to grab and eat. It’s rich in potassium and natural sugars that are essential for your body.
  • Water – Keeping yourself hydrated is very important pre-workout. We lose water through sweating each time we work out, that’s why it’s important to drink up before exercising to store water inside our bodies.

Post-Workout

  • Eating after workout helps restore depleted glycogen that is used during exercise. Eating also helps on muscle recovery too. Remember, choosing the right kinds of food is also important, and protein and complex carbs should always be on the list. Carbs for glycogen restoration, and protein for muscle recovery and buildup.

Meals to Eat Post-Workout

  • Greek yogurt, berries, and granola – Greek yogurt contains more protein compared to regular yogurt. Berries are rich in micronutrients which helps on muscle recovery, while granola gives you the carbs you need.
  • Pita bread and hummus – This two is a perfect match if you want that carb and protein combination. It’s also a great alternative for those who are on a meat-free diet.
  • Protein shake – It’s actually not necessary to drink protein shakes after workouts, but some people do it to quickly gain protein after each gym session.
  • Protein, veggies, and rice – Still confused about what to eat post-workout? Then look no further with this dish. Mentioned earlier in the pre-workout section, this meal also works great for post-workout too.

One last thing

  • No matter what kinds of food you put into your body, the most important part of your diet is to keep yourself hydrated at all times. So don’t forget to bring a bottle of water with you every time you work out.