Friday, May 19, 2017

Powerful Pushup Position #1

I recently read a short article in Shape magazine explaining pushup form that was quite helpful to me. I want to share it with all of you.

Does it matter where my elbows point during pushups?

You basically have three options for where to send your elbows during a standard pushup: wide, tight to your ribs or about 45 degrees back.

"Bowing your arms out wide may cause you to hike up your shoulders, which fires up the trapezoid muscles and can limit your mobility." says Kelvin Gary, trainer at Body Space Fitness. This puts a lot of stress on your shoulders and neck, and it puts you at risk for injury.

When you bend your arms straight back so that your elbows are tight to your sides, your triceps and anterior shoulders take on almost all the work - fine, but you're asking some of your smallest muscles to move your entire body up and down "You'll lose stamina, your form will go out the window, and ultimately you'll likely shortchange results." says Gary.

Direct your elbows about halfway between your shoulders and torso to let your chest muscles kick in. Gary says, "This locks everything into place. The more muscles that contribute to your pushup the more reps you'll be able to do with better form, getting you stronger."

Power out those pushups during your next workout with the mind engaged
 and the body working as a unit.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Willpower

We all wish we had more will power, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. The good news is you can train your brain to get better at controlling your behavior. Here are a few tips from The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal.

Pause and Plan
The fight-or-flight instinct destroys our willpower because it triggers impulsive reactions. Choose the "pause and plan" response. "Your brain needs to bring the body on board to put the brakes on your impulses." Pause and Plan slows down your heart rate and blood pressure stays normal. You take a deep breath and relax your muscles a little. Here's how to do it:

Take a Deep Breath
Slowing down your breathing boosts your sense of self-control and allows you to respond more effectively to difficult situations. Deep breath shifts the brain and body from a state of stress to self-control mode, capable of handling cravings and challenges. Aim to make your exhale longer than your inhale.

Daily meditation can increase neural connections to help you to stay focused, ignore distractions and control impulses. Incredibly, increased blood flow can reshape your brain quickly resulting in increased self-awareness and improved self-control.

Get Moving
Exercise can increase your willpower. Brains of new exercisers show increases in both gray matter - brain cells - and white matter, the insulation on brain cells that helps them communicate effectively. Exercise to feel energized and in control throughout the day. 

Use these three effective strategies; slow breathing, meditation and exercise; to keep will power saboteurs like depression, anxiety and chronic pain at bay. Reap the rewards of improved health and happiness.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, May 5, 2017

Magnesium for Health

Magnesium is important to maintain good health. It is a catalyst in many processes throughout the body. Yet hardly anyone gets enough. Ty Vincent, an integrative physician, says, "(Magnesium) is in lots of different foods, but because the soil they're grown in is often nutritionally depleted, it's difficult to consume an adequate amount." He suggests supplementing with 600 mg per day and notes that there are certain circumstances where 1000 mg may be beneficial. Magnesium regulates your blood pressure and helps to maintain strong bones. You might choose to supplement if...

You lead an active lifestyle
Magnesium is important for muscle functioning.  When you workout a lot, your reserves are used up quickly.

Your morning coffee extends to the afternoon
Drinking lots of coffee (or other diuretics) causes your kidneys to excrete large amounts of magnesium into your urine.

You suffer from frequent back pain, tension headaches or migraines
The mineral relieves muscles spasms, including those in your back and head.

You have chronic sleep problems
In addition to unkinking muscles, magnesium helps your body produce the sleep hormone melatonin.

You're often constipated
Magnesium helps by pulling water into your colon and improving muscle function. Look for magnesium glycinate which is easiest on the stomach.

Dr. Vincent recommends pairing the supplement with 50 to 100mg of vitamin B6, as these nutrients often work in tandem. Check with your doctor to see if magnesium supplements are right for you.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food