Is the Middle of the Day the Best Time to Exercise?

There’s a lot of speculation as to the optimum time of day to reap the most benefits from exercise. A recent study, however, shows that our muscles may respond best in the middle of the day.

Get Your Groove On

No matter what any study reports, exercise will be beneficial any time of day. As long as you show up and do the work, your body will love you for it. This information from this particular research will help those wanting to reap maximum benefits from a workout—whether you’re someone who hits the gym four times a week or if you’re a seasoned athlete.

Circle, Canadian, Cartha…What?

Researchers at Northwestern University discovered that cell metabolism is regulated by a person’s circadian rhythm. Your circadian schedule is basically your 24-hour inner clock. It informs your body when it is awake time or sleep time (and vice versa.)

It turns out that muscle tissue also responds to this inner clock. Energy efficiency, then, peaks for each individual (human) during the day. As part of the research, they studied nocturnal animals and their muscle responses. For them, logically, their finest hours of energy efficiency were in the middle of the night.

Breathing, Awake Muscles

As we carry on throughout our day, our energy levels will be more efficient than in the evening, for example. That’s not to say that you can’t workout at night. You can. And even then, your body’s metabolism will remain faster for hours afterwards. It’s just that burning energy and oxygenizing muscle cells won’t be at their peak.

It appears that muscle cells can utilize energy best (in humans) in the daytime. Exactly what time will vary according to each person’s personal circadian rhythm.

Muscle Performance

It’s true that if you workout in the morning, you will reap the benefit for hours as your day continues. Exercise raises your metabolism.

The researchers of this particular experiment believe that when your muscle cells are optimally oxygenated, the perks of exercise are even greater. So, depending on the time of day, along with glucose and then the generation of lactic acid, your workout could be fantastically phenomenal.

Other Benefits

Although this theory will require further studies, it’s an interesting look into how to possibly manipulate oxygen and sugar levels in muscles. That is something that could eventually lead to an alternative approach to treatment for diabetes.

It could also become a strategy for serious and professional athletes. Finding out their optimum time of day when to train could increase their performance potential.

Regardless of if you exercise for personal fitness, or if you push your body for sports or other training, taking the time—whatever time of day—is what’s most important. Get the job done.

Is This The Least You’ll Weigh All Year?

According to a semi-global study, late October and early November are peak times for  “best” weights for Americans. It’s right afterwards, during holidays, that we tend to grow larger (and we don’t mean taller.)

Tighter Clothes: Post-Holiday Woes

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published its findings from a three-country study. The weight loss-and-gain of Americans, Germans, and Japanese folks were observed. Around this time of year, late fall, Americans weighed in at their lowest compared to the rest of the year.

In Germany and Japan, the results were the same. Thousands of participants were tracked using wireless scales. In all three countries, the participants’ weight rose within 10 days after Christmas Day. The heaviest day for mostly everyone in the study was around New Year’s Day.

Holiday Feasting

The common thread between all three countries is that a major holiday falls in a similar time period. Each of those holidays is celebrated with food—and lots of it. In America, of course, there’s Thanksgiving. In Germany, it’s Christmas, and in Japan, Golden Week.

Although the greatest weight gains were observed through November and December, the study also showed that there was significant weight gain around other major holidays as well.

Some Good News

It isn’t all downhill for our waistlines after the winter festivities. On a positive note, the study showed that up to half of the weight gain was lost pretty quickly after the holidays.

The Other News (…Not so Encouraging)

There’s a reason why gyms do amazing business after the first of the new year. Everyone signs up wanting to shed the extra weight they recently acquired. According to the study, the bummer news is that about half of the weight that was gained in the winter tends to stay on until summer (and sometimes beyond.)

More Self Control Needed?

If you don’t mind (or truly enjoy) being part of this statistical study, then don’t give any of this another thought. Eat, be merry, and worry about it later.

If, however, you really don’t want to gain weight during the holiday season, some serious mindful eating will need to come into play. Food celebrations will be all around you, tempting you. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, pies, rolls, egg nog, the list can and will go on… You will need to make some hard and fast choices.

Will you nibble here and there, so you won’t feel deprived? Or will you eat very healthy, smaller portions most of the time in order to indulge yourself a small bit? Or will you kick up your exercise regimen in order to burn the extra calories?

Clearly, the less you gain, the less you have to lose. Keeping that in mind, don’t stress—just try and make the healthiest decisions and stick by them. Enjoy your comforts and the people in your life. That will feed your soul well.

No Time to Exercise? Here’s A Way To Squeeze It In!

Work, kids, the house, the spouse, the boss, the folks, no sleep—we get it! You want to exercise, and even though you feel like you’ve got no time, we gotcha covered.

Time for Class?

Who doesn’t love an amazing, 90-minute aerial yoga class? Pilates with pizza would be perfect, too. But where does that fit in the schedule? If it can, that’s outstanding. Congratulations. But the likely reality is, the best stretch you’re getting in the morning is reaching to shut off the snooze for the fourth time or grabbing the door jam to keep your balance on the way to the baby’s room for the fifth time.

Home Gyms

If you’re fortunate enough to have a treadmill at home, best odds is that it’s either unplugged or acts as a hanger for flat-dry laundry. Too bad the Stairmaster is in the garage where it’s 109 degrees on a cool day. We joke, but that’s because sometimes you have to if you don’t want to scream—or cry.

Here’s the gold at the end of the rainbow. Your home really can be your gym. You don’t need “special” equipment. Your classes can be as long or short as fitting to your needs. It’s free. You just need imagination, courage, and a passion for an endorphin rush, a visible muscle under your skin, and/or a lower number on the bathroom scale.

The Secrets are Revealed

Here’s an exercise plan that won’t cost you anything but your commitment. Please don’t mock the suggestions if you feel they’re old school. No one’s laughing at classics like Mustangs, strobe lights, or Bob Dylan, right? Some things maintain their value… Here’s the obligatory checklist to start:

  • The key is to keep your heart rate up.
  • If you can integrate aerobic and anaerobic, you’ll be the master.
  • If you can combine aerobic, anaerobic, and strength training, we bow to you.

Your Options

This is the “secret.” We’re going to list all the (high impact) great aerobic exercises you can do at home, no problem, and hopefully with sweat. Mix and match and create your own circuit.

All you need is a) good training shoes; b) space so you don’t trip or fall; and c) add other stuff (like weights, balancing, or stretching) during the exercises or later when you get a chance. Also, on any positions that include a plank, you may opt to use that moment to do a pushup if you feel up to it.

1) Burpees. You’re going to have a love/hate relationship with these! Squat to the floor. Jump your feet to a plank position. Jump back in and stand up. That’s it. You burn 100 calories in 10 minutes. (So in 5 minutes, you’ll burn 50 calories!)

2) Mountain climbers. These are obnoxious too, but they work! Begin in a straight-arm plank position and then run (not jump, run) your knees in and out, in and out. This is a great calorie burner and core and shoulder strengthener.

3) Bear crawl. Think “traveling plank.” Begin in a squatting position, walk your hands out to a plank, then walk them back in and stand straight up. Repeat. You can growl during this exercise.

4) Squat jumps. Begin from a squat, as the name implies. Keep shoulder-width space between legs and your feet pointing forward. Now jump (as high as you can) and land (as gently as you can) back into a squatting position. These burn calories, raise your heart rate, and build leg strength.

5) Jumping Jacks. These need no explanation—just like buckling a seat belt. Just raise your arms high with each jump to increase heart rate and make them worthwhile. Some moms can’t do these for certain reasons. Don’t worry, just jog in place instead and raise your arms.

Showing up is everything. Give any exercise your best effort and whatever time you can. And while you’re doing it, let the rest of your world’s worries fall away. Enjoy!

For other tips on exercise, clean living, and family check out www.GetThrive.com

 

Is There a Fix for Childhood Obesity?

Youth obesity is a prevalent, dangerous (and growing) epidemic. Can there be a plan where prevention of weight-gain and increase in healthy weight-loss can exist? Yes, there may be an interesting and potentially successful fix for childhood obesity.

What it’s Looked Like in The Past

Diet, as a term, basically means the types and amounts of foods someone typically eats. “Dieting”, however, has become known as the practice of reducing calories and changing eating and exercise patterns.

Many youth-based obesity programs focus on “dieting.” They often stress the counting of intake calories, along with counting calories burned through exercise. That’s a plausible and proven successful method of accomplishing a weight-loss goal. But is it working? Clearly, not well enough.

A New Approach

Mindful eating” is a new buzz-term that can truly benefit our overweight and obese youth. It’s an approach to eating that emphasizes on how the body feels while eating—and afterwards.

There’s a focus on the foods we put into our mouths. That would be a simplistic definition of mindful eating. But, Dr. Lenna Liu explains that a more demonstrative example of that focus means, “It allows us to pay attention to hunger and fullness, emotional connections to food and the relationships involved in eating.”

How Do You Feel?

Mindful eating focuses on what we ingest and why. If I’m feeling sad and I eat a gallon of ice cream, it’s pretty obvious what I’m eating and why.

Keeping an eye on ourselves, with compassion, we can make healthy food choices that focus on using food as energy. That’s what its intention is/was. All the artificial flavors and fats and salts…those are all unhealthy soothers.

Dr. Lenna Lui is a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She expresses that mindful eating focuses on positives, not negatives. She suggests we all observe our emotional connection to foods and how we respond accordingly.

Being Models For Our Kids

We all grab for “comfort” food. But why does food need to be the comfort? There must be an alternate, progressive way to help our youth. They needn’t tie their emotional needs or disappointments into eating. We can teach them differently!

As Liu points out, “the urge to eat due to emotions can occur suddenly and urgently.” If we, as adults, can recognize what’s going on, we can communicate or model a healthier approach for our children.

Explaining, demonstrating, and modeling that food is a beautiful necessity—we need it to “think, play, learn, and grow.” Also, making sure we provide healthy foods in the home will make a huge difference how children choose their foods. Working together, we all can make a difference.

 

 

Add Aerobics and You’ll Deter Aging

Yoga, Pilates, and strength training are all beneficial forms of exercise; however, a new study points out that good old aerobics can delay the aging process.

Jump On It!

With each decade, it seems that a new version of physical movement becomes all the rage. And with that, comes a deluge of media hype purporting the exercise’s superior advantage over others. Now we’ve got hybrids of ballet and yoga, swimming and Pilates, and strength training in circuits. And they’re all great!

Alternately, as research has recently reported, endurance training not only strengthens your heart but also blocks DNA from wear and tear. Jogging, cycling, and jumping rope have returned as your good friends. Aerobic exercise may very well slow down our aging process.

The Scientific Stuff

We have chromosomes. Packed inside each chromosome is DNA.

Our cells continuously divide and reproduce. To live a long, healthy life, we need to keep our cellular structure intact and active.

One thing that assists in protecting DNA is a thing called a telomere. A telomere is a cap that safeguards each strand of our DNA. As we age, the telomeres shorten, leaving portions of our DNA strands at risk. This causes deterioration to our cells. Eventually, cells become so weak they no longer can divide and reproduce. That’s, unfortunately, when we die.

So, let’s keep the telomeres long so they can keep protecting, and we can live longer!

The Aerobics Element

A recent study out of Belgium discovered that aerobics stimulates telomeres to grow in length. Blood samples and muscle biopsies were taken from participants in the study. Their task was endurance training. They began with 45 minutes cycling on a stationary bike. The researchers found increased levels of a particular enzyme. That enzyme prompts telomeres to lengthen.

Experimentation

The scientific truth points to—aerobics help telomeres grow. Some scientists, however, believe that some people are simply born with longer telomeres than others. That places them (if they live healthily) in a natural position to live longer based on their genetic predisposition.

A CEO of a fresh biotech firm believes in gene therapy. The company has experimented with lengthening telomeres in mice, and it’s been successful. The CEO places so much trust in gene therapy and her company’s experimentation that she, herself, has received doses. In the fall of 2015, she received “a dose of viruses containing genetic material to produce telomerase.” Telomerase is the protein that lengthens telomeres. She is the first (and only, so far) human patient to test the dose.

So for the time being, if we want to protect our cells, instead of gene therapy, we can exercise! Sweatin’ to the Oldies, Jazzercise, and other trusty forms of endurance training may come back into vogue. If those aren’t your style, what type of aerobic fun will you choose?

For more articles on exercise, health, and long life check out www.GetThrive.com

Study Shows Minimal Exercise Can Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

A 20-year concurrent study showed that even two-and-a-half hours a week of brisk walking could lower risk of heart disease significantly.

Three-Hour Power

The study was conducted by the Indiana University School of Public Health. Over 95,000 women between the ages of 27 to 44 were observed and questioned biannually for 20 years. The purpose was to study the association of total leisure-time physical activity with heart disease in younger women. One finding was with the ladies who participated in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. They were found to have an approximate 30% percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).

Why This Study?

One of the reasons researchers chooses this age group is because there has already been a multitude of studies on “older” women and men. Examining the probability of getting CHD at a younger age means earlier treatment and lifestyle choices. Another alarming reason is that there has been the very little decline in CHD-related mortality rates amongst young women. The rise in type-2 diabetes and obesity numbers certainly hasn’t helped make a dent. (At the time of this publication, 58% of women between 20 and 39 years old are overweight or obese. The number of women between 40 and 55 hangs at 71%.)

Healthy Findings

One real discovery was that physical activity lowered CHD risk—regardless of a woman’s BMI. So for young women of any weight, moderate exercise, physical activity is beneficial.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, also examined the effects of moderate vs. intense activity. The researchers additionally explored if a particular type of exercise made a difference. And finally, they looked at the frequency of participating in exercise and its effects on lowering CHD risk.

Exercise does not have to be strenuous to reduce heart disease risk. It can be moderate, such as brisk walking. Frequency was found to be not as important as total volume; meaning the total amount of time per week trumped how many times.

It Begins Early

Setting up routines for regular exercise as a young person is a wise choice. Movement becomes a habit, not a chore. Additionally, physical activity participation between the ages of 14 and 22, showed to lower CHD risk up until middle adulthood. However, this study also revealed that those who are middle-aged and older no longer benefit from their high-school years of sports, etc. Physical activity must be resumed—even if it’s only a total of three hours a week.

What was also fascinating is that the effects on blood pressure, lipids, glucose levels, and triglycerides were all altered beneficially directly after physical activity. This is a critical note. No matter how inactive you may have been (or still are), the second you pick yourself, it immediately benefits your body on so many levels. You may not see what’s going on inside, but once you start exercising, your heart fills with smiles.

For more popular stories on heart health and exercise, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

5 Surprising Natural Remedies For Anxiety You’ve Got To Try!

Daily, there are millions of people taking medication for depression, anxiety and/or practicing stress-reductions techniques. Generally, experts recommend the same handful of suggestions as natural remedies for anxiety. Those suggestions can be effective, but here are 5 more that may surprise you!

Tried and True

By and large, health practitioners similarly advocate a few main elements to de-stress. These include:

  • Getting more rest
  • Improving dietary habits
  • Exercising
  • Meditating
  • Seeking therapy or counseling

Clearly, this is sound advice. As a result, it’s been proven helpful to many. But, did you know there are at least five other natural remedies for anxiety that may help, too?

No Surprise!

The standard strategies for relieving stress are fairly well known. For example, if you cut down on sugar and caffeine, you’ll sleep better. If you exercise more fervently, your endorphin levels should increase. Therapy, along with behavior- and thinking-pattern changes, should benefit your overall wellbeing. Ultimately, practicing these techniques should make you feel better and less anxious.

Yes! Surprise Natural Remedies For Anxiety

Some folks are just not comfortable with taking medication. Additionally, medication may not be the “cure all” for others. Hence, experimenting with natural remedies is often the go-to solution.

Most noteworthy, whatever works for you (within healthy bounds) is the most awesome choice. Everyone is different and one organic stress-reliever may work for you. But not for someone else. And, vice versa. 

Let’s explore some anti-anxiety strategies that may seem revelatory…

#1 Tennis Anyone?

Table tennis, also known as ping-pong can be a definite stress reliever. This sport requires concentration, strategy, and distinct body movement. These elements force your mind to attend. You can’t possibly harp on your worries while you’re playing ping-pong!

Aside from that, you can actually get real exercise! Table tennis can increase your seratonin and dopamine levels. This action can boost your mood, better your sleep quality, and improve your attention span. How about that for an anti-anxiety activity?

Bonus: Ping-pong as exercise has a low risk of injury.

#2 Lemons Don’t Have to Be Sour

Actually, it’s LEMONGRASS that we’re addressing here. To take it a step further, it’s really lemongrass essential oil that’s the hero. It has the ability to be one of the natural remedies for anxiety. That what makes it sweet.

Lemongrass essential oil has many significant, health-enhancing properties. Many Thai and Chinese dishes use lemongrass in their recipes. The oil is extracted through steam distillation from the leaves. The oil has been known to decrease pain, but also counter feelings of depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, it has the ability to act as a sedative. It can boost spirits and help alleviate anxiety. Lemongrass essential oil can be used in a diffuser, inhaled, or applied (diluted) to the skin. One of our favorite lemongrass natural remedies for anxiety can be found here.

 

Now Foods Essential Oils, Lemongrass Oil, 1 fl oz
Now Foods Essential Oils, Lemongrass Oil, 1 fl oz

 

#3 Put On A Happy Face

Believe it or not, smiling makes you feel good, even when it’s forced. You may not feel like smiling, but research has shown that when you smile or laugh, “feel good” chemicals are generated.

The brain releases dopamine when we smile. The simple action of pulling up the corners of your mouth is one of the natural remedies for anxiety. Smiling makes us feel happy, makes others feel happy, and can help relieve stress with no cost. Smile at yourself in the mirror and feel your worries fade away.

#4 Let Them Bake Cake!

Sometimes we stress eat. Cake is yummy, but eating it won’t make you as happy as if you bake it!

Baking requires focus with all its measuring, mixing, etc. Hence, it provides a mental escape from stressful thoughts. It can also be a great form of creative expression. Decorating the finished product can also be a feel-good activity. Also noteworthy, baking a cake for someone else can make the effort more significant. Anyway you look at it, baking a cake is a positive remedy for relieving anxiety.

#5 Desktop Tidy Time

A huge source of stress can come from clutter. Oftentimes, the stacks of papers or the massive amount of files overwhelm us. Cleaning and organizing can actually have a positive therapeutic effect.

Choose one section of your desktop and commit to combing through. When we organize, cortisol levels have been shown to decrease. Furthermore, you may want to try and finish an unfinished project. Cleaning may distract you from anxiety. Yet, the results may be equally relaxing and fulfilling.

 

Different people will choose various strategies in an attempt to decrease tension. Consequently, you will pick what works best for you. Hopefully, one or more of these natural remedies for anxiety will benefit you. Here’s to happiness!

Click HERE for more articles on lowering stress and maintaining best health.

 

Sources:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemongrass-essential-oil.html

https://medium.com/@ttdementor/how-table-tennis-can-cure-stress-burnout-767c8e932ce

https://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/laughter-scares-depression-anxiety-boosts-moodstates/

http://www.businessinsider.com/baking-could-help-you-relieve-stress-2017-4

Summer Is Coming – Exercises To Lose That Belly Fat!

Summer is fast approaching and winter’s belly fat is still flopping around the mid section in all its miserable glory.  Feeling the heavier side of wobble is disheartening, especially when reaching for that swimsuit.  Don’t give up, determination, healthy eating and exercise will prevail.

 

YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

This is where it gets interesting!  Many people have been doing the exercise all wrong.  Workouts have either been sporadic or involve tummy crunches and lunges in desperation to squeeze that fat away.  The crunches are ideal after the pudge starts to slide off, as it will help tone muscle.  However, before concentrating on toning up, there is a crucial kind of exercise to do for at least 30 minutes a day:  high impact.

 

Elevating the heart rate moves oxygen and blood into our muscles, which in turn work more efficiently.  Noticing the difference in your mobility and stamina will happen over a couple of weeks.  Once muscle productivity and stamina increase due to heart rate elevation, fat will start to burn off.

 

NEW AND EXCITING WAYS TO GET RID OF BELLY FAT

The tummy stores the fat, but the key to slimming down is working out the entire body not just the middle.  There are many fun and thrilling exercises that will assist in improving the heart rate and increase muscle mass, as well as a few that will support the high impact moves like yoga or Pilates. (Any form of high impact exercise will require checking with a physician, before undertaking any of the following suggestions)

 

  • The Tracy Anderson Method. Its difficult to stay motivated with the same old run, swim or cycle ride, so try something new, dynamic and that the Hollywood stars are hooked on.  Tracey Anderson, a dancer turned weight loss/fitness trainer, has come up with an exercise routine that will get the heart pumping, whilst concentrating on smaller core muscles to lengthen and give definition. Tracey, TAM, has video streaming classes, which are amazing, motivational, exciting, and well worth the monthly fee.
  • Burn60 is a full body high impact workout lasting 60 minutes. Increasing endurance, speed, and strength, they claim that a person will see a difference in two weeks with an average of 500-900 calories burned each class.  They are currently only based in California, USA but you can stream their workout videos .  Burn60, is fun and will test you to your limit.
  • A combination of music and high impact routines produces Pound. A unique way to combine physical and emotional influence to get a person fit.  The 45-minute class uses a specially designed lightweight drumstick (called Ripstix) as a prop to combine yoga, Pilates, cardio and muscle conditioning to music.  Kirsten Potenza, co-creator of Pound says “its about how your body feels not just about the way it looks”.

 

TYPES OF EXERCISES THAT GET THE BODY MOVING

This is a fun, highly energetic workout that will get hearts dancing, the wobble melting away and the mind happy.

 

  • Pilates is a great way to strengthen core muscles as well as improving posture, strengthening abs and back muscles. Combining posture and high impact exercise is the perfect combination.
  • Trampoline workout. Find that inner child and go jump on a trampoline. This exercise for adults is fun, gets the heart pumping and the muscles jumping into shape. LEKFIT has fabulous online classes, and there is no need to even leave the living room.

 

Adding an exercise which is different, fun and engaging, will elevate the mood, the body, and how the swimsuit fits, minus the rubber ring, before the pool even opens.  To read more on this subject and more, please visit getthrive.com

 

RESOURCES

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045809

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/4/1043/4596712