Benefits of Yoga & Yoga for Beginners

Benefits of Yoga

There are many benefits of yoga, including:

  • Stress relief: The practice of yoga is well-demonstrated to reduce the physical effects of stress on the body. The body responds to stress through a fight-or-flight response, which is a combination of the sympathetic nervous system and hormonal pathways activating, releasing cortisol – the stress hormone – from the adrenal glands. Cortisol is often used to measure the stress response. Yoga practice has been demonstrated to reduce the levels of cortisol. Most yoga classes end with savasana, a relaxation pose, which further reduces the experience of stress.
  • Pain relief: Yoga can ease pain. Studies have shown that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.
  • Better breathing: Yoga includes breathing practices known as pranayama, which can be effective for reducing our stress response, improving lung function and encouraging relaxation. Many pranayamas emphasize slowing down and deepening the breath, which activates the body’s parasympathetic system, or relaxation response. By changing our pattern of breathing, we can significantly affect our body’s experience of and response to stress. This may be one of the most profound lessons we can learn from our yoga practice.
  • Flexibility: Yoga can improve flexibility and mobility and increase range of motion. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity.
  • Increased strength: Yoga asanas use every muscle in the body, increasing strength literally from head to toe. A regular yoga practice can also relieve muscular tension throughout the whole body.
  • Weight management: While most of the evidence for the effects of yoga on weight loss is anecdotal or experiential, yoga teachers, students and practitioners across the country find that yoga helps to support weight loss. Many teachers specialize in yoga programs to promote weight management and find that even gentle yoga practices help support weight loss. People do not have to practice the most vigorous forms of yoga to lose weight. Yoga encourages development of a positive self-image, as more attention is paid to nutrition and the body as a whole. A study from the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that regular yoga practice was associated with less age-related weight gain. The lifestyle study of 15,500 adults in their 50’s covered 10 years of participants’ weight history, physical activity, medical history and diet.
  • Improved circulation: Yoga helps to improve circulation by efficiently moving oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
  • Cardiovascular conditioning: Even a gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
  • Presence: Yoga connects us with the present moment. The more we practice, the more aware we become of our surroundings and the world around us. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.
  • Inner peace: The meditative effects of a consistent yoga practice help many cultivate inner peace and calm.

 

Breathe-and-Release

and a simple 20 minute yoga video for beginners –

 

source: https://www.yogaalliance.org/LearnAboutYoga/AboutYoga/Benefitsofyoga

“The Walking Dead” Workout – Kill calories watching the undead.

Are you a walking dead fan? or do Zombies make you want to run for the hills?

Either way you will find this walking dead work out will get you sweating and you will feel like you are right there running from the undead.

“The Walking Dead” will return this February. In honor of that we thought it might be fun to share with you this awesome way to kill calories and burn fat by doing this “The Walking Dead workout” by bloodsweatandcheers.com

thewalkingdeadworkout

Exercise Your Mind

Stay mentally sharp by hitting the gym! A new study conducted by researches at the Center for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas found that engaging in physical exercise on a regular basis helps healthy aging adults to improve their mental memory, brain health and physical fitness.

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Couch potatoes between the ages of 55 and 75 were randomized to either an exercise program or a control group. After just 12 weeks, those in the exercise group showed an increase in brain blood flow to the hippocampus, the key brain region affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It shows evidence that it’s never too late to make exercise a part of a healthy and smart lifestyle.

Source: Good Health Lifestyles

Running the Country and Educating about GMOs

Father and 15-year old son run 3,000 miles across the USA in support of a GMO free food supply.

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David Wilcox and his father, Brett, launched their run on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 11AM. From Huntington Beach Pier in California to New Jersey, they are the first father & teen son team to make the cross country run. But the mission wasn’t to just run cross country. They went running and educating about GMOs and the benefits of going GMO-free.

How flipping awesome is that?

On their blog they report:

January 18, 2014 – July 19, 2014
150 Running Days
183 Total Days or 6 months and 2 days

David ran in six pairs of shoes and his father, Brett in four pairs of shoes.

Over the six months they were on the road, they were on their feet for many more miles than the 2965 officially recorded.

You can find some pretty cool photos and all the stats on their blog.

What an amazing way to stand up, speak out and tell the people of the USA about making our country GMO FREE!

Thank you!!! Thank you!!!! Thank you David and Brett Wilcox what you accomplished is remarkable!

The run is over but you can still donate to their efforts and support this cause and the ones fighting for it.

The Importance of Stretching

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Do you stretch before exercising? If so you might be surprised to hear that a lot of people don’t and some have no idea how important it is for us to stretch before exercising and even after. If you do then good for you, you’re doing something right! 🙂

Stretching is important because it helps one get flexible and stay that way. It helps with assisting in correct posture, it increases blood and nutrient supply to your muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness and very importantly it can help with decreasing possible injury by preparing muscles for work before physical activities.

Not just the bones…Classes like yoga or pilates offer you a chance to spend an hour releasing tension physically and mentally too.

More?

Some Basic Stretching Tips

Yoga The 10 Best Poses for Men

 

Run and Ponder or Ponder and Run

When you run it’s the best time to ponder. Running has it’s many benefits and thinking is one of them.

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Some things runners ponder:

 

  • I love running, When I’m done.

  • Today’s forecast? I don’t care.

  • I run slower than Internet Explorer on 90’s dial up. But I run!

  • Keep Going, Keep Going.

  • Did I lock the front door?

  • Mexican? Sushi? Salad? ‘m hungry.

  • It never gets easier but you get stronger.

  • I really need to get a running buddy.

  • Going over the last text message, phone call or email you just had.

  • Thinking and remembering all the things you forgot to do or don’t want to forget to do and forget anyway. LOL!

  • Thank God for sports bras!

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This was not to be taken seriously just thought it would be fun to get a laugh out of what crosses ones mind when they are running. Enough…now it’s time to Run and Ponder or Ponder and run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tighten Your Belly With 5 Easy Exercises

I’m sure we all wish that we could shed a few pounds, especially around the midsection.  With the warmer weather here it seems to be more of a priority.  Of course we all wand to look good in a bathing suit but the are other, health conscience reasons, you should want to lose that spare tire around your midsections.

Why is belly fat so bad? The fat that surrounds your midsection is easily broken down and absorbed into the blood, traveling to the liver where it increases the production of triglycerides and so-called “bad” cholesterol, both of which have been implicated in an array of diseases and medical conditions. It also works to upset the balance between blood sugar and insulin, which can result in diabetes and metabolic problems.

But nevertheless, we want to get rid of it and have that tight body when we look in the mirror.  So lets take a look at some exercises that we can accomplish at home.

Rolling crunches

Begin by lying flat on the floor with your lower back pressed against the floor for support. With your hands behind your head, begin as though you’re performing a sit-up, rolling your shoulders upward and forward and gently lifting your legs, bending them and rocking them toward your chest. If you can’t lift your head far, or at all, that’s OK; start with just the roll until you build up your strength. Repeat 10 times.bf2

Lunge twist

Combine the power of a forward lunge with the waist-whittling motion of the torso twist: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, lunge forward with your right leg and gently rotate your upper body to the right. Move back to starting position and repeat with the left leg, performing 8 to 10 reps on each side.

Squat jump

Stand as in the lunge twist and squat down as though you’re sitting in a chair. Now jump straight up, raising both arms straight over your head. Land in the squat position and repeat 12 times.

Alternate hop

Standing as for the lunge twist, put your hands on your hips. Now step forward using your left leg while raising your right leg up to a 90-degree angle. The effect is as if you’re getting ready to take a giant step with the right leg. Now jump straight up on your left foot, landing with both feet together. Do eight for each leg.

Side leg kicks

Tone the obliques,the side muscles responsible for your love handles

With this exercise: Lie on your right side with your legs together and straight. Prop your upper body on your elbow, placing your lower arm on the floor in front of you to help you balance. Place your left hand lightly on the floor in front of you. Now, keeping your toes flexed, raise your left leg a few inches and slowly swing it forward as far as you can while counting to two, then swing it back as far as you can while counting to two. Return to the start position but keep your left leg raised, don’t rest it in between reps. Repeat six times and then switch legs.

 

 

Sources to this article:

Welcome To Holistic Healing News!

http://www.nia.nih.gov

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Nutritional Supplements For The Outdoor Athletes

Lets take a look at some products that have been specialized for the outdoorsman. This includes all you hunters, fishers, and back country guys. I know that a lot of products out there are geared to the guys that live in the gym and looking for that shredded lean muscle gym body. But what about that real man’s man that wants to hit the trails and get out there in the great wilderness? Why is it so hard to find a product for that outdoor athlete? Well here you go folks, lets take a look at a product that is tailor made for you.

Wilderness Athlete was founded and designed by Mark Paulsen. Mark, who is a former college athlete, NFL player for the Cleveland Browns, holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, and avid hunter/outdoorsman, saw the need for a product that would not only enhance the performance of these special athletes but give them a product that would enhance their physical health.

With one simple question “Why hasn’t the science of mainstream sports nutrition been applied to the specific needs of the outdoor athlete? After all, there are no locker rooms or timeouts in the back-country.” Mark Paulsen began to seek out the experts in nutrition that he had been associated with through collegiate and professional sports. Which in turn, led him to to create Wilderness Athlete, a nutritional supplement to enhance the experience for the 75% of the population that participates in outdoor activities yearly.

Lets take a look at some of the gluten free products that Wilderness Athlete offers:

These products can be broken down into 4 different categories which include

Hydration and Energy Drinks

Includes the latest generation in sports drink mixes that incorporate the enhanced science of re-hydrating and refueling your muscles. A formula that is designed to feed the energy mechanisms in your body to boost your mental clarity and physical output.

*Gluten Free

Fitness and Weight Loss

Looking to shed a few pounds? Meet your workout or weight loss goals with solutions from Wilderness Athlete. Meal Replacement and Protein Plus Shakes help you stay full and energized. Lean Life helps to boost your weight loss goals, and Ultimate Pre-Workout gives your body the extra power it needs to workout longer and harder to reach your physical peak.

*Gluten Free

Wellness

Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Stock up with an arsenal of daily Wilderness Athlete vitamins and supplements to keep your system running strong. Which include Green Fusion, Joint Advantage, Omega-3 Fish Oil, and High Performance Multi-Vitamin.

*Gluten Free

Altitude Solutions

Being in altitudes of 8,000 feet and above can cause headache, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, sleep disturbances, rapid heartbeat, loss of consciousness, death. Now you can stay strong in the high country with altitude sickness solutions from Wilderness Athlete.

*Gluten Free

One exercise to get a full body workout

In order to get a true full body workout you need to push your core muscles and cardiovascular system it highest point. There is a single exercise movement that will do just that with no exercise equipment needed… The burpee. There are many variants to this specific exercise and we will be talking about one of them today.

The burpee variant that we will be taking a look at is the 8 count burpee with a jumping jack on the ground. The steps will include the following:

1. Squat with your hands on the ground
2. Kick your feet back
3. Kick your feet out to form a Y shape
4. Bring your feet back together
5. Down into a push-up
6. Up part of the push-up
7. Bring your feet back under you
8. Jump in the air

I will have to warn you, this exercise is not for the faint hearted and will require a basic athletic skill level. But if you are looking for a exercise that will push you to your limit and give you a challenge of progressing further into your fitness journey, the burpee could be your exercise of choice.

How to gain muscle mass the natural way

Let’s talk about how to gain that muscle mass you have been looking for without taking the dangerous drugs and supplements that will effect your health. I mean, that is why we exercise to begin with right? To feel good and be able to enjoy life to the fullest… And of course to have that killer beach body too hahaha.

A good rule of thumb is that if you are trying to gain lean and healthy muscle mass you need to be eating 1-1.5x your body weight in grams. So for example if you weigh 150lbs you need to be eating 150-225g of protein per day. Now this doesn’t have to all come from throwing a big slab of beef on your plate for every meal. You can also use nuts, beans, soy, fish, etc. as a source of protein. Also, spread these meals out. Try to break it down to where you are eating 5-6 times daily. This will increase your metabolism and guarantee that your muscles always have fuel to burn throughout the day.

Include carbohydrates in your diet. It will be impossible to have the energy that you will need to effectively complete and push your workouts needed to get the size desired if you do not have a good source of carbohydrates to burn.

If you are targeting size in your workouts then you you need to limit your cardio. Cardio is also a very effective way to build muscle but for extended periods of time could also hinder this effect. I would suggest a couple days a week of light jogging, keeping it around 30 mins. You can also try doing sprints, this will get those fast twitch muscles working in intervals of sprinting and light jogging.

Keep your workouts under an hour. A lot of times we believe that the longer your in the gym the better shape your going get in. This is not always the case. It would be more effective have an intense workout with less resting time in between the dragging your workouts for hours. You will be sure to build muscle mass more effectively and burn fat as a result of your high intense exercises. Quality over quantity.