Back pain strikes just about everyone at some point in their lives, and its causes aren’t always easy to diagnose. I, myself, am constantly experiencing small back pains even when I am diligently observing my posture. After much reading over the internet, I found out that there are little things that we all do that can contribute to back pains that’s beyond just our posture – a wrong exercise regimen, unhealthy food, and even clothing.
More often than not, these factors are related to my exercise regimen. Which is why whenever I go to the gym, I always tend to wonder why I continue to get those unsolicited back pains. Luckily, we now have researches, studies, and user experiences that show what activities we do that contribute to our unhealthy back. Here are some of the things people might be doing that may harm their back – and what to do to effectively address them:
High-impact Exercises? Replace them with Swimming
High impact exercises can take its toll on anyone. During high impact workouts, both feet leave the ground at the same time, as is the case during running, hopping, jumping rope, skipping, jumping jacks, plyometrics, step aerobics (if you jump on or off the step or run around the room), and even cardio dancing that involves leaping.
Try to go back to high school and be reminded of Newton’s Law: For every action (force applied by one body to a second), there is an equal and opposite reaction (the second applies an equal force on the first but in the opposite direction). This means that your body must absorb the impact forces during high-impact moves.
The force on your body while running (high impact) can be more than twice that of walking (low impact). A 150-pound person who runs would land on one foot with about 300 foot pounds of pressure on the ankle, knee and hip joints. This can result in muscle overuse and stress injuries, especially those who have higher masses and go at faster speeds.
Injuries because of this generally include the back – especially the lower back – because it’s part of the core. Surely, exercises like these are good for strengthening other body parts and even the back itself. However, that’s only true when you’re doing every movement properly. Since not everyone is a fitness expert, the tendency to make mistakes is very high.
Now, this is where swimming comes into play.
Running is a high-impact activity that can cause muscle strain, inflammation and other injuries. While there remains some debate of whether running leads to joint problems, its impact does leave runners susceptible to a myriad of problems.
Swimming, on the other hand, is considered a low-impact sport that can provide the same – or even more – amount of calories burned per minute of exercise.
From head to toe, swimming engages your entire body. Each competitive stroke engages different muscle groups so you could torch more calories. As a matter of fact, the butterfly stroke is considered the most taxing (in terms of calories burned) movement among all sports. According to studies, the calorie torching potential of swimming ranges from 649 calories for a 130-pound person to 1,024 calories for a 205-pound person.
Some studies reveal that swimming can also contribute to the rehabilitation of back injuries instead of surgeries. For back injuries, swimming is particularly useful because swimming is not weight bearing. The water mostly supports you, and you swim close to horizontal, releasing most of the pressure associated with exercises where you need to stand. Now that pressure is not completely eliminated, the back still remains engaged while you swim. Playing around with strokes can help alleviate some of this pressure further.
In addition, backstroke swimming is likely one of the best strokes for back injuries as you lay in the water in the supine position, allowing the water to support your back, in contrast to the other swimming strokes which renders you in prone position.
Not Using a Weightlifting Belt during Heavy Back Workouts? Start Using a Weightlifting Belt.
In the outside world, I use designer trench coats because I want to look good while also protecting myself from the rain – surely I won’t sacrifice being uncomfortably warm just to be fabulous. My clothing deals with the weather and conditions of where I’m at and the aesthetics are just the bonus.
That’s the same concept that should be applied when it comes to working out, especially during the days that requires you to use a lot of your lower back. It’s just a matter of matching what you wear with what you want to do.
Normally, weightlifting belts are a turn off in terms of fashion. Then again, that is only because it was totally designed to protect our back during squats, deadlifts, and other compound exercises that include the back muscles. Its purpose greatly outweighs its fashion integrity.
Considering weightlifting belts’ function, studies confirmed that wearing them during weightlifting activities has increased intra-abdominal pressure by up to 40 percent, while one study reported that compression of the intervertebral discs has been reduced by 50 percent.
Increasing intra-abdominal pressure is similar to inflating a balloon inside your abdominal cavity. The pressure inside the abdominal cavity pushes on the spine to support it from the inside, while the core muscles in the abdominal wall and lower back push on the spine from the outside. These pressures (inside and outside) act to stabilize the spine and reduce the stress it receives when lifting weights.
Leg Raises and Crunches? Go for Reverse Curl-ups and Planking
Targeting the abdominals by lying on your back and slowly raising and lowering your straightened legs is one of the worst spine-stressing exercises that you could do. Instead, do reverse curl-ups put far less torque on the back without sacrificing any of its belly-tightening benefits.
Reverse curl-ups are also easier to do: Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your palms face down on the floor for support. Tighten your abs to lift your hips off the floor, driving your feet toward the ceiling. Pause at the top for a moment before returning to the starting position. Be sure to curl your hips up far enough off the floor during the exercise. Also, keep your palms on the ground for a more stable base of support. Finally, avoid bending your knees excessively. Instead, maintain a soft bend in the knees.
Conversely, planks are a safer way to tone your belly and strengthen core muscles than crunches, which require a forward rounding of the spine. Planks are especially good if you have osteoporosis. It’s safer to work the spine with the torso aligned in a plank position, or with the spine stabilized on the floor.
To perform planks, you should have a timer with you. Start doing planks by getting into a press up position. Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms, not on your hands.
Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine, and hold this position for the prescribed time. The prescribed time is at least 60 seconds; that a one-minute plank may just be the longest one-minute of your life.
Health is Wealth.
This saying might just be the single most used (worn-out) health-related quotation on earth. And for good reasons.
People have heard thousands of health one-liners that they are now well-embedded in the minds of people around the world. This includes simple health tips like “if you want to build more muscle, go hit the gym at least three times a week and have a protein-rich diet,” or “to have more energy through the day, get enough sleep at night.”
However, there are some other, arguably “weird”, tips that you may have never heard of.
You may scratch your head or raise an eyebrow after reading some of these facts, but you may want to consider that some oft-repeated tips to stay healthy can actually be really absurd and counter intuitive. After all, the below “weird” tips are actually scientifically proven to make a more fit and healthy person out of you.
Drink Coffee Before a Power Nap
According to a research study in Japan, drinking coffee before taking a nap could help you to perform better as you wake up. The study’s result shows that people who had consumed 200 milligrams of caffeine and then immediately went for short nap felt more focused and alert afterwards versus those who just took a nap.
This is because after drinking coffee, the caffeine kicks in after 20 minutes and clears the brain of adenosine molecules. This maximizes alertness and focus since high levels of adenosine causes fatigue.
Use the first urinal in the comfort room
Surprisingly, the first urinal in a restroom – the one closet to the door – is most likely to be cleanest among all the urinals in the room. In a study, experts examined 51 public toilets and found out that urinals near the door are constantly the ones that have the lowest bacteria levels.
The first stall is probably the least used since it is near the door and most people want a bit of privacy when doing their business in the comfort room. Just a reminder though – when you’re done, stand away from the urinal before flushing. Doctors warn that flushing causes a fine mist of water to spray up which may contain harmful bacteria.
Don’t Blame Yourself for Losing Your Keys
There is a significant difference between how young people and older people interpret losing their car keys, according to research. A young person usually accuses someone else of taking the keys, while older people tend to blame their old age for being so forgetful.
Experts say that you should not use your age as an excuse for your failures – like not remembering where you put your car keys. It is actually an effective mental trick to stay mentally younger.
Do Not Use Antibacterial Soaps
According to the American Medical Association, using an antibacterial soap may not really be helpful. In fact, it could actually make you MORE prone to germs. Almost 50 percent of the soaps in the United States contain antimicrobial agents; AMA states that there is no definite scientific proof that these soaps are better at killing germs than regular ones.
On the contrary, they warned antibacterial soap users that it may be more harmful than it is beneficial. Most antibacterial agents cause dry skin, and having dry and flaky skin can cause skin irritations that could later on become wounds that can serve as a gateway for germs to enter the body.
Do Not Brush Your Teeth Immediately After Eating
For healthier teeth, experts say that after eating, you should wait for 30 minutes to an hour before brushing your teeth, especially if you ate something acidic.
Food and drinks that contain large amount of acid like citrus fruits, tomatoes, sports drinks, coffee, and soda can soften tooth enamel. That is why brushing your teeth after consuming acidic food allows the acid’s effect to speed up and can damage the enamel of your teeth and erode the layer below it.
To Fit In a Smaller Shirt, You Have to Gain Muscle
You heard it right – it’s about muscle mass, not fat. A 170-pound man who lifts weights (and thus is more muscular) is more likely to fit in a smaller shirt than a 170-pound man who does not exercise at all. Similarly, a 170-pound muscular man could wear the same size as a slightly lighter man who is physically inactive.
This is because the man who exercises gains more muscle mass, while the one who does not work out gains mostly fat, in spite of their similar weight. Muscle takes up lesser space in the body since it is more compact and denser than fat, so the muscular man ends up being thinner despite being the same weight.
Expose Your Body to Extremely Cold Temperatures
You read that right: if you want to increase your immunity against diseases and have a happier disposition in life, you may want to try the Wim Hof method. This technique is a rather odd mental and physiological training that incorporates breathing, meditation, and cold exposure. The theory behind the Wim Hof Method is that as the average human goes about their day-to-day lives, they are simply not exposing their bodies to particularly stressful environments, and the physiology of their body ends up reflecting that. Exposing your body to more controlled stressors allows the body to withstand and adapt to that stress.
According to a Wim Hof Method review, the author has become more powerful after doing the breathing exercises daily. Since trying out the unique method, he has noticed subtle but significant physiological improvements in his everyday life.
Flush Your Enemies
Just for clarification – it’s not real people that need to be flushed – it’s their names. There is a psychological trigger that induces a sense of satisfaction and relief from stress when people flush a toilet, especially with its rather triumphant flushing sound.
To make it extra stress relieving, bring a pencil or a pen every time you enter the comfort room. While doing your business, write on small strips of flushable toilet paper the names of the people who have stressed you out lately. Include anyone who has been causing you negative vibes, and has caused misery in your life. After you’re done, crumple the paper strips and throw it in the psychological pit (together with everything else). You then flush the toilet with your newly-heightened feelings. You would be surprised how relieved you will feel after doing this simple but powerful gesture.
Eat More to eat Less
Eating a low-calorie snack of bread or cookies to stave off your hunger may seem rewarding for someone that watches their calorie intake, however, diet experts say that doing that is actually more likely to make you crave more food than if you eat a larger meal. This is because eating in small portions of carbohydrates causes a spike in your blood sugar levels, which causes you to want to eat more.
Instead of eating low-calorie carbs, dietitians suggest that you replace it with high protein foods such as peanut butter or cheese with a serving of fruits. Although these are higher in calories, protein and fat makes you become full faster and stay full longer.
Exercise When Tired
After a stressful and exhausting day at work, most of us prefer to just sleep than to work out. However, researchers have proven that doing physical activities when feeling fatigued and tired can in fact give you more energy. In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the feeling of fatigue along with bad mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute moderate intensity exercise session.
This is because exercising helps you to regulate your breathing pace, allowing more oxygen to be distributed to all the organs of the body. Doing so allows you to work more efficiently as it improves your body’s endurance.
The importance of staying healthy and fit is constantly reiterated by many health experts all across the world. On the path of being physically fit, the main pre-requisites reiterated are always diet and exercise. Many people often have the notion that when you constantly exercise, then you are already fit and healthy. That, in fact, is wrong.
Health enthusiasts and doctors alike make it a point to say to their patients and clients that having a balanced diet is equally as important as exercise. In fact, it is proven that 80% of body building is done in the kitchen. That implies a lot about how your diet actually impacts the end result of any health regimen.
Everyone’s bodies are different, and often individuals require a different amount and type of nutrients. This depends on age, gender, illness and the rate at which your body works. This trend is similar if you want to develop a certain body part such as arms, legs and chest, as every person has a different preference on which body part to build.
For those whose goal is to buff up, keep your eyes on the prize and learn more about nutrition in developing those bods. Eat right and feel right. Here are three nutritional plans for your muscle building needs.
ARMED with the right diet: Biceps and Triceps
Anyone who knows the basics of anatomy would tell you that there are many other muscles in your arm besides the biceps and the triceps. Your gym trainer would tell you that improving those parts will likely lead to strengthening the others. Your trainer is right. By doing arm muscle exercises you are able to improve the muscles specific to that area. This includes using dumbbells, push ups, chair dips and many other exercises. What is equally important is the perfect diet that comes with it.
In order to get bigger arms, you must eat foods that promote muscle growth. If you do not eat a good muscle building diet, you are limiting the results you can get from training, according to Muscle and Strength, an authority in bodybuilding. Focusing on adding more protein, complex carbohydrates and calories to your diet can help you meet your size goals.
Protein is important in nutrition mainly due to its benefits in aiding recovery of the muscles after exercise. This ultimately means that when you intake foods high in protein, you are healing your muscles for you to work them out during the next session. It is advised to eat protein in every meal and to aim for at least 30 grams of protein per meal with a basic diet plan. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that eating at least 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein found in meats, fish, dairy products, eggs and beans daily per pound of body weight can definitely help in the process of building your arms.
The best way to get your daily dose of protein is by eating organic beef. It contains lots of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which is basically healthy fat that helps you burn unhealthy fat. Aside from that, many studies show how CLA also helps you gain muscle mass. According to a study on a group of men who took only 5g of CLA per day gained more muscle over 7 weeks than men who did not take CLA.
Similarly, wheat germ is a viable option for adding that much needed protein to your diet. It is high in octacosanol, and if you eat wheat germ about 30-to-60 minutes before your muscle building workout, the octacosanol in wheat germ helps to increase your muscle strength and endurance during your workout. This high-carb food source also has lots of protein in it.
On another note, preferring brown rice over white rice can have huge benefits in arm muscle building. It is high in GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and GABA can increase your growth hormone levels by up to 400%.
Eating Healthy, CHEST out: Pectorals
The most popular exercises to add strength to the pectorals (the muscle in the chest) include bench press, dumbbell press, dumbbell flys, cable crossover, and the push-up. In fact, there are a huge variety of chest exercises you can do to make your chest lean, cut and stand out. However, what comes before a solid cut chest is a solid cut diet.
If you want a bigger and stronger chest, you need to eat more. Most active men need 15-to-17 calories per pound of body weight for maintenance. To build one pound of muscle mass per week, you would want to add 3,500 total calories into your weekly diet. The simplest thing to do is just take note of the food you eat in a calorie counter.
If you want to go about packing on those calories in a greener way, then you may want to check out the best green superfood drinks here. This intelligent mix of vegetables, fruits and herbs provides protein, antioxidants and enzymes to help boost muscle growth.
Salmon can also build chest muscle because it is calorie-dense, with 233 calories in a 4-ounce fillet. This is beneficial because you need to eat a surplus of calories to gain muscle mass. Additionally, salmon is high in protein, the nutrient your body uses for muscle repair and growth, with 25 grams per 4-ounce serving. Furthermore, salmon is high in fat, with 14 grams — less than 3 grams of which is saturated fat.
Another beneficial food choice for bulking up your upper chest is eggs. Like salmon, eggs are rich in both protein and fat. A large egg contains 72 calories, with 4.8 grams of fat and 6.3 grams of protein. Additionally, eggs are a good source of vitamin D. In “Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Testosterone Levels in Men,” it is indicated that higher intake of vitamin D promotes an increase in testosterone levels, which eventually promotes muscle growth.
Eating, Kicking, Living: Quadriceps and Hamstrings
Leg muscles are arguably one of the hardest muscle groups to build since it is, obviously, your primary mode for mobility. You tend to lose muscle mass and instead have the muscle that is there become stronger and more lean. Plus, aesthetically speaking, most bodybuilders put off working on them as they are usually hidden, and they lack the same visual impact as other muscle groups. In spite of these factors, they still come with their own set of challenges just like every other muscle group.
And yes, diet still plays a huge in toning those quads.
According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, protein is essential and should be supplied in every meal (around 1.5 to 2.0g/kg of body weight is ideal). Carbohydrates should remain the predominant macronutrient; complex carbs are preferred over simple carbs but both are needed. Fat should be used in moderation, totaling about 30 percent of your overall diet. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should make up most of the fat allotment. In order for the body to build muscle, athletes also must exceed their caloric requirements by about 10 percent.
Lean white chicken breast adds protein without the fat of dark meat. Adding salad greens and mixed colored vegetables provide antioxidants to help the body recover from training sessions. Similarly, olive oil and avocado provide heart-healthy fats when portioned appropriately. Putting them all together can make a delightful meal that gives you the proper nutrients you need for building your leg muscles.
Another essential food to eat is bran cereals with skim milk. Bran provides complex carbohydrates to give you energy for mobility. Bran cereals are fiber-rich foods. It contains around 5 grams of fiber in one serving, which is about 20% of the daily fiber requirement of a 2,000 calorie diet. Fiber is necessary in your bodybuilding diet as it helps in your bowel movements as well. The skim milk provides protein and can be supplemented with the addition of protein powder.
It’s no longer just about weightlifting or cardio anymore – nowadays, hiring personal fitness instructors is all about having the best assistance in developing a healthy and fit lifestyle. According to Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise (ACE), studies have shown that personal trainers can help people stick to their exercise routines more effectively than they would on their own. If you ever thought that hiring personal fitness trainers is just a waste of money, you probably haven’t realized their true worth.
Here are some of the benefits of having your own personal fitness trainer.
Working with a good personal trainer can help you boost your confidence level. With positivity, encouragement, and understanding, a good personal trainer can show you all of the best in yourself.
A good trainer also can help you reach your physical goals, improving the way your body looks, feels, and operates on a daily basis. This leads to you feeling more confident in yourself and your abilities. Doing it alone can be tough because you may be your only source of inspiration; humans are indeed social beings who thrive in the presence of others. Hiring a good personal trainer can definitely help you achieve the results you want.
Setting Goals and Achieving Them
A personal trainer helps you define your fitness goals. They take into account your current fitness level and discuss what you want to achieve through your workout. While you may have some idea of the goals you want to set, a professional is able to help you break them down into smaller goals that are specific and realistic. The personal trainer also helps assess your progress toward those goals.
Having fitness goals is so much better than just trying to be fit and work out randomly. Numerous studies conducted in the field of success psychology have shown that individuals who set goals have a far better chance of achieving them than those who do not.
Personal trainers create a specific workout plan just for you based on what you want to achieve. The personalized plan typically gives you better results than a general workout plan. Because they know your physical condition and medical background, they are able to make adjustments in the program to fit your needs.
Anyone can do a workout from Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness, or any other magazine, but they are simply an attempt for one-size-fits-all programs that don’t take into account differences between individuals that make them unique. These types of programs may lead to injuries as well if you aren’t familiar with the exercises or just aren’t prepared for the training techniques involved in them.
Having a personal trainer allows you to have customized workout activities based on your specific goals, the time you have to devote to exercise, the equipment available, and many other factors (e.g. specific health needs, social support, and current mental state). Having this type of program also allows you to achieve the results you desire in much lesser time.
You might find fitness programs to be difficult to follow at first, but once you get into the habit, it is generally very easy. Some people do a lot of cardio, but no weight training, or vice versa. It is very important to get a bit of both, as cardio is wonderful for your heart and weight training is excellent for bone density among other things. If this sounds like you, you are the perfect candidate for fitness programs planning.
Proper Workout Mechanics
Professional fitness trainers have spent time studying and practicing the correct way on how to perform workouts. In this way, they would know how one can maximize their results while diminishing the risk of injuries. This is another of the many benefits of hiring your own fitness instructor.
A professional trainer teaches you the proper way to perform each exercise movement in your routine. They can demonstrate the movement first and then watch you perform it so that they can correct any issues with your posture or technique. Learning how to perform exercises properly reduces your risk of injury.
For example, if you are lifting a lot of weight, your body is likely to become slightly misaligned, which can place your muscles, joints and tendons in awkward positions that could potentially cause strains or tears. It is best to ease up on the weight if it means you are better able to maintain proper form. Proper form during workouts is something most people take for granted, but is still of utmost importance.
Time is gold, and everybody knows it. You probably have what seems like an endless amount of things to do each day. Hiring a personal trainer can help you get results much more effectively and in less time as well. Personal Training Courses are designed to reach your goal faster than what you normally would if you’re just training by yourself, and fitness trainers know just about every training course that’s best for anyone.
Efficiency can lead you into getting the most out of the time that you spend working out. In most of fitness instructor guided workout routines, there are much more efficient exercises and techniques than you think. For example, you might be doing too much of upright rows, where you can get by with dumbbell shrugs and still get the effect that you wanted for your traps.
Also, having a personal trainer would guarantee a spotter. Spotting is a crucial component of fitness training. Proper spotting for appropriate resistance training exercises enhances a lifter’s mental and physical performance during resistance training. Without a spotter weight-lifters may put themselves at a higher risk for lifting-related injuries. Furthermore, spotting hastens your muscle development by a huge margin because your muscles properly contracted and trained as compared to a normal weight lifting session on your own.
Motivation is something that can truly help you become more fit. If you’re not at all motivated to reach your goal, you may never be able to achieve it. The same goes with fitness.
Then again, motivation is often difficult to maintain when you exercise on your own. Regular sessions with a personal trainer enhance your motivation to continue with a workout regimen. They are highly trained on how to motivate a person. Even if you don’t use a personal trainer for every session, knowing that you are going to meet with your trainer soon motivates you during your workouts.
You also get the satisfaction of showing your trainer the improvement you’ve made as your exercise program progresses. Having someone to validate and affirm your improvement, especially from a trainer could help you see how you gradually reach your fitness goals.
Another common problem is lack of commitment to a regular exercise program. When you exercise on your own, it is easier to skip a session here and there or fall off the wagon completely since there’s no one to hold you accountable for you actions. When you work with a trainer, they keep you accountable, making it more likely that you’ll stick with your training program.
A great personal trainer helps keep you accountable for not only exercise, but also nutrition. On top of that, by spending money to hire a trainer, you are making yourself much more accountable for the exercise and lifestyle changes you will make: people are naturally more invested in things they pay for. Having more on the line can help you live the life you desire.
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to be an aspiring bodybuilder or an athlete before you think about lifting weights or doing back exercises. Because no matter what your profession is, back pains will start to develop once you stop taking care of yourself.
Whether you’re a gym regular or someone who has just started training, a trainer or therapist will almost always advise you to do lower back exercises. Perhaps they want to add in a routine training for injury prevention and better overall body strength.
Even if you don’t realize it, your body particularly needs back exercises just like how plants need fertilizers or dogs need dog probiotics: you can potentially survive without it, but your life would be so much better with it.
So what’s the big deal with back exercises? Why do we need to do them in the first place?
The Natural Benefits of Back Exercises
Back exercises provide spinal support.
The body’s muscle groups located at the lower back includes stabilizers that act as support for muscles around the spinal cord and consequently, the spinal cord itself. Some of these muscles make up the part of the core muscles that takes a lot of benefit from consistent toning and strengthening. The body’s core muscles are so important as they are the direct connection of the lower body to the upper body. As such, it provides a vital role in maintaining balance and aligning the body’s center of gravity during various physical activities.
In the grand scheme of things, the core carries the body and distributes the pressure brought about by gravity or other outside force acted on it. By carrying the body and distributing the stress all over it, the core is able to support the body’s internal infrastructure. This includes a huge part of the spinal cord, the abdominal organs, and many other important parts.
This is how vital taking care of the core is. Many kinds of lower back exercises like leg curls and back hyperextensions actively work out the lower back muscle groups, which means that the core muscles can function more easily because they are stronger.
Back exercises facilitate proper balance among muscle groups.
If you’re not a bodybuilder, you are usually not appropriately using your muscles. Sometimes, you might find muscle pains that you have no memory of stressing. No matter who you are or what you do, you ought to take care of your back muscles as they are the muscles that takes care of all your other muscles.
Say you’re lifting a box full of your old stuff. The act of lifting any object definitely takes a toll on your back muscles as time progresses. Think of it as a sum of many stressful actions that eventually makes your body ache – especially your back muscles.
This is the reason why bodybuilding is always good for the body, especially when you train properly. In handling heavy weights, the back muscles are also trained in order to provide balance with the chest muscles. In a more general sense, there’s also the “strong limbs/weak core” scenario, or someone who trains up the pecs and arms without training the back and abdomen.
In this case, you may suffer some area-specific injuries or conditions simply because the surrounding muscle groups are not prepared to deal with the additional bulk or pressure on another. It’s always a good idea to pay attention to the balance between your lower back and other core muscles in relation to the primary muscle groups in the chest and arms while you are engaged in an intensive weight training program.
Back Exercises Without Weights
Surely, lifting weights maybe too much for beginners. Luckily, Dailyburn.com gave a few good back exercises that do not require weightlifting:
- Reverse Snow Angels
- Position yourself face down on the ground with arms at your sides and palms facing down.
- Peel your shoulders and hands a few inches off the ground by pinching your scapula together and engaging your lats and rhomboids in your mid-back.
- Keeping your head facing down, in a slow, controlled motion, bring your arms up past your shoulders and up to your ears until your thumbs meet directly above your head.
- Then, bring your arms back to the starting position. The key here is keeping the arms straight and elbows locked through the entire movement to engage your lats and shoulders.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 5 reps, with 30-60 seconds of rest between sets.
- Dolphin Kick
- Position yourself face down on a bench so that the crease of your hip is at the end of the bench.
- Your feet should be resting on the ground with your hands firmly engaged on the underside of the bench for support.
- Straighten out your legs while raising them all the while engaging your abdominals, glutes, hips and spinal erectors in your low back. Your toes should be pointed away from your body and above your head at the top of the movement.
- Hold this static position for 5 seconds by firmly engaging every muscle in your body, before dropping the feet slightly below the bench and contracting again for 4 additional reps.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 5 reps, with 30-60 seconds of rest between sets.
- Lie face down with your chin on the ground and eyes at a neutral gaze.
- Your ankles should be touching with toes pointed under you.
- Reach your arms straight out above your shoulders so your palms are resting flat on the floor.
- Engage your back, glutes and shoulders to pull yourself a few inches off the ground.
- Your arms and legs should remain fully contracted so that your hands and feet are elevated to the same relative height at the top of the static hold position. Hold this position while fully engaging your body and“fly” like Superman.
- Repeat for 3 reps with a 15-30 second static hold, and 30-60 seconds rest between sets.
- Hip Hinge
- Stand up straight with your hands on your hips. Your feet should be slightly wider than your hips and firmly planted on the ground.
- Start the movement by engaging your core, pushing your ribs down and pulling your shoulders slightly back with a neutral neck position.
- Bend forward at the waist in a slow and controlled manner while keeping your shoulders in line with your hips.
- Keep your back, glutes and hamstrings engaged throughout the exercise. Bend forward until you are parallel, or just above parallel to the floor, before bringing yourself back up to the starting position.
- Note: A common error to this exercise is rounding the back, resulting in a loss of the neutral spine position. Form is crucial to this exercise and should be replicated perfectly on each rep to avoid injury and get the most out of the exercise.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 reps, with a 30-60 second rest between sets.
- Nose and Toes Against the Wall
- Start in a push-up position with your feet against the wall.
- Next, walk your feet up the wall while keeping your core tight, hips flexed and spine neutral.
- Place your palms firmly on the ground just outside shoulder width as you begin to inch your hands towards the wall.
- The top of the position will be reached when just your nose and toes touch the wall with firm hand placement on the floor and rigid core for a “hollow body” position.
- Upon completion, safely come down by walking your hands away from the wall and bringing your feet down in a controlled manner.
- Repeat for 3 reps with a 15-30 second static hold, and 30-60 seconds rest between sets.
Mother Nature has provided everything that man needs to be at his healthiest. Among the gifts of nature, she made her fruits abundant, fully nourishing and strengthening. Nature made sure that what man needs is readily available for him to live in comfort and internal harmony. All these gifts should be enough to make sure the world can continue to live and let live. One of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts is the lemon, or more specifically, lemon essential oil.
Highly nutritious and well-rounded, the lemon is a super fruit that can be used for pretty much anything. Its nutrient content makes it more than just a whole house air purifier. Lemons can help you create a healthier life – from the fruit and pulp, all the way to its oil and essence.
Read on to learn how lemon essential oil can treat common ailments, improve internal health, and strengthen the body.
Lemon Essential Oil Helps with Digestive Tract Problems
Lemons provide natural first aid for an upset digestive tract. Stomach cramps due to indigestion and constipation are common ailments that lemon essential oil can help. It can also improve the functionality of other organs in the digestive system.
Irregular digestion can be caused by an underlying health issue, such as leaky gut, a medication effect, or lifestyle imbalance. Indigestion can also be the result of an ulcer, an infection, and even cancer. Furthermore, unhealthy vices (like smoking and excessive drinking), stress, and eating too much food too fast are likely to bring about physical troubles to the digestive organs.
Using lemon zest on meals can assist with the digestion of the food itself. The citrus essence serves as a purifier to help clean the digestive tract as the food travels along the way. Lemon juice gears up the body to promote a smooth-flowing digestive process and healthier bodily function.
With the running trend nowadays of drinking lemon water, more and more people are turning to natural revitalization as a better option.
The lemon essence allows the body to allot more time in processing food. The more time the food goes along the digestive process, the more insulin is conserved inside the body. In effect, this aids in the regulation of the amount of glucose in the body. Also, the more time it takes for food to be processed, the more nutrients the body can absorb. Lemon juice offers great support for diabetics who encounter difficulty in digestion and controlling their sugar at the same time.
Lemon Juice Enhances the Immune System
Lemon is extremely rich in vitamins that are great in improving the body’s immune system. Not only it is nutritious and invigorating, it also tastes good!
The immune system is always on standby to defend itself against any microorganisms, bacteria, viruses and germs that want to invade the body. The body coordinates all organs, tissues and cells to form an anti-riot team that will fight off any mob of foreign bodies on the warpath. This is where the white blood cells, or leukocytes, come in. They are produced to lead the defense. Situated in the lymph nodes, which are strategically spread throughout the body, the white blood cells are making their rounds non-stop to make sure everything’s all good in the body.
Health enthusiasts have raised the awareness of drinking lemon-water because of its good effect on the body. According to experts, regularly drinking a glass of warm water with lemon essences can improve the body’s defence against harmful intruders that could enter the body. The vitamins in lemon and its derivatives (like lemon juice and lemon essential oil) are the source of antioxidants which in turn brings about the boost in the immune system. It is also rich in catechines, a type of flavanoid that attack harmful free radicals which are damaging to the blood vessels.
Eating lemon can definitely pack up the support the immune system needs to function at its best. Creating the habit of consuming warm lemon water is a good choice as a launching pad to start off a lemon-infused health routine, especially when the body is already sick.It serves as a perfect source of healthy fluids to energize and replenish the body when there is a high fluid loss during fever. Lemon also has beneficial properties that trigger the effective mobilization of white blood cells to help fight any ailments such as fever, typhoid, and malaria.
Lemon Juice Effectively Treats Various Skin Ailments
When it comes to having vibrant and glowing skin, lemon juice is one of the leading natural options that exist today. Readily available in almost every farmer’s market, grocery store, and convenience store, lemons can be prepared as the main ingredient of any healthy skin regimen.
Skincare is definitely a growing industry worldwide. Various skincare products and services have been spreading like wildfire in the past few decades. Establishments offering the next best thing in skincare are popping up in practically every mall and corner store. However, there is always a caveat. It should be common knowledge (and practice) to be mindful of the credentials of the “experts” to make sure only standard-grade products and services are offered. Otherwise, customers may get a botched face instead of the healthy glow they crave.
Lemon and any of its natural derivatives are still the best products that can bring the vibrant color in every skin. The natural health benefits from lemon can make skin firmer, more relaxed, and more evenly-toned. Lemon essential oil, in spite of the fact that it is oil, can be used as an effective astringent to reduce the oil production of the skin.
Aside from the beautifying properties that lemon can provide, it also has healing properties that can treat skin ailments. Lemon juice is used as a natural antiseptic medicine for basic skin ailments. Its extracts can be applied on damaged skin due to sunburns, insect bites, and bacterial infections. In addition, signs of skin aging such as wrinkles, acne, and blackheads can be reduced by using lemon juice in order to bring out the natural beauty of the underlying skin.
Considering how available and healthy they are, why not give lemons a shot?
The Essential Power of Nature – Argan Oil
Mother Nature is the source of all things beautiful, strong and nurturing in the world. She has the ability to bring out the natural beauty in people and all other creations. It’s about time her secrets, such as the power of argan oil, are revealed to let her children bring out their beauty for the world see.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the sweet-smelling and highly volatile essences or extracts that are found within the plant’s cellular structures. The oils are usually produced by processing the different parts of plants like the fruits, leaves, barks and even the roots. Extremely concentrated, these essential oils carry the same properties as their origin.
In turn, the oils provide the same healthy benefits that can be found from the plant it was taken from. Combining its healthy benefits, high concentration, and the difficulty in producing a substantial amount, essential oils are highly priced and valued.
In this discussion, argan oil is set for the limelight.
Argan oil is the essential oil extracted from the kernels of argan nut, which come from argan trees. Usually eaten by domesticated animals that are native in the region, these nuts can only be found in Morocco. Mostly processed by Moroccan women, argan oil has led to the formation of various cooperatives that provide jobs to these women.
For many years, the Moroccan women have been doing the oil extraction process since their childhood. The process has been passed down from generation to generation. Up until now, the oils are still extracted using the traditional method and equipment (argan nut grinder) by crushing the argan nuts to bring out its precious oils.
With its earthy scent, argan oil is an integral part of the natural beauty regimen of Moroccan women. Its beauty-enhancing property is the source of power of this natural fountain of youth, bringing out the radiant glow and youthful, silky feel on the skin. When the modern world learned of the high value of the oil, the knowledge of its beautifying properties spread like wildfire across countries.
Aptly coined as the “liquid gold” of Morocco, argan oil has been part of the “beauty kit” of different cultures then and now. For centuries, this powerful elixir helps rejuvenate the hair, skin and nails. With the unending beauty and cosmetic revolution, this precious solution has reached the mainstream of beauty treatments and products, especially in moisturizing creams, age-defying serums, and anti-wrinkle salves.
Argan oil is definitely an olden source of miracle that found its way into the 21st century. Find out why Moroccan women consider this as the ultimate substance that could restore the beauty and luster of their youth.
Supple Skin and a Vibrant Glow
The skin is one of the most beaten up parts of the body. Everyday dirt and grime make its way to practically every pore of the body. With all the harsh realities of life, the skin deserves every nutrient it can get. It needs to rest. It needs to breathe. If only the best air purifier in the world can make it feel just a little bit better.
Argan oil is the perfect aide to rescue the skin. With its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, it is one of the most commonly used ingredients in top-of-the-line skin moisturizers. It hydrates and softens the skin, leaving a silky finish and natural scent.
In spite of it being an essential oil, argan oil also helps balance the skin to prevent excessive oil production which can result to acne and other unsightly skin conditions. It also regulates oily skin and helps shrink pores. Furthermore, it soothes the skin and promotes the healing of the affected skin cells to restore its even tone and smoothness.
In treating damaged skin, argan oil has restorative properties that can address various skin conditions. Applying the oil helps reduce skin irritation and redness, especially in the treatment of acne, blemishes, eczema, skin asthma, and psoriasis.
Strong Hair and a Positive Aura
The crowning glory of every woman deserves the care and protection of nature. Argan oil sets the bar high as it acts as the perfect leave-in conditioner! It makes hair easier to style and manage while repairing split ends and taming frizzy and flyaway hairs. It can even help prevent damage from excessive hair styling.
The essential oil moisturizes the hair to promote a shinier, smoother and frizz-free finish. It also nourishes, strengthens and protects the hair from roots to tips. A great skin moisturizer and revitalizer, argan oil also promotes the growth of new hair by stimulating the skin and the hair follicle to produce healthier strands onset of hair reproduction.
Aside from being an effective moisturizer, argan oil is a great ingredient in anti-aging salves in the market. Its antioxidants greatly reduce the effects of skin aging. It also restores the elasticity of your skin as it leaves it softer, tighter and more radiant.
Moroccan women who work daily in the production facilities of argan oil have the most exquisite skin. Exposed daily in the nourishing substance, the women have skin so moisturized and so elastic that their appearance hides their age. It seems like a miracle how the oil prevents stretch marks, wrinkles, and fine lines by maintain the skin’s elasticity. In addition, scars and keloids can become less noticeable.
Healthy Protection and a Peaceful Mind
Argan oil is rich in antioxidants that give a subtle but powerful healing touch in every drop. These antioxidants are generally the vital elements in healing brittle nails, damaged hair, and irritated skin. It is also the perfect solution in preventing dry and cracked skin.
The power of argan oil goes beyond its topical effects. It goes deeper in the skin as it restores and rejuvenates the inner layer of the skin from the damaging effects of pollution, sun exposure, oxidation, tobacco, stress and other environmental factors. Furthermore, it has a healing effect on joints as it alleviates rheumatism and arthritis pain.
Argan oil’s benefits have opened a lot of doors towards the enhancement of natural beauty. It has been a popular option for people in different walks of life. From actors and models to beauty-conscious professionals and medical practitioners, this liquid gold caters to people who have high regard for their skin.
If nature produces a precious substance such as argan oil, anyone can be beautiful the way they wanted to be. The way nature intended for them to be.
Listening to Nature – 4 Health Tips From the Elements to Your Home
Nature provides everything man needs. From food to shelter, she never misses to help man when he needs her most. If it seems like Mother Nature is not doing her job of taking care of her children, it is most definitely because man is not taking care of himself.
More often than not, man is harming Mother Nature.
Nonetheless, everything about nature is speaking of better health and better life. The endless supply of food. The unending movement of earth’s fauna and flora. Even nature’s elements that keep the world moving.
It’s about time that man takes the time to stop and listen to nature. Through these simple tips, we help you learn how to create a better life for yourself and the Earth you live on – As nature intended.
The Green Earth Says, “Eat Well.”
This goes hand-in-hand with the saying, “You are what you eat.”
When the body sends hunger signals to the brain, your system is set to find the next nourishing meal for the day. However, people tend to sit at the wrong of the table….
Experts, gurus, and health practitioners say that one of the most important things to do to achieve the best health possible is to eat well. They advise us to consume nutritious foods such as luscious greens, and ripe fruits, all while avoiding junk food and overeating.
While this advice is useful, it takes an extreme amount of willpower and enough discipline to truly keep junk foods at bay.
As the millennials would say, “the struggle is real,” and to give credit where credit is due; they’re absolutely right. Junk foods provide an unmatched experience to our senses by providing the brightest colors and flavors, the softest chew, and the most satisfying crunch. We crave junk food and therefore neglect the types of foods that should go in our bodies. This is truly where society beats nature’s call.
Fortunately, nature will always remind people that food should be grown and consumed organically. Food that is grown, harvested, and prepared as lightly as possible will give the most nutritional value to the consumer, and thus, your health returns.
Next time you need to go food shopping, seek out your local farmer’s market. They usually have an impressively wide array of fresh, whole foods to choose from (and locally sourced meats and cheeses). Another option – if you have the space, is to grow fresh ingredients at home. Not everyone can have an in-house farm, but having a small pot in the kitchen for fresh herbs is a great start!
The Red Fire Says, “Know Yourself.”
Who am I?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer. For some reason, it holds so much challenge to truly know yourself. Life is so extensively complex that answering this question takes years.
However, as nature as always allows, each and every one of us is equipped with the tools to make this question possible to answer. In achieving greater health, knowing yourself is a fiery force that is innate in all living creatures. It is normal for humans to want to harness this energy so they can live better.
Since the beginning of time, humans have learned to connect life with nature. Being wary of the body’s needs is an natural instinct that has evolved through the years. Similar to the need of humans to eat, being able to understand pains, sounds, and movements is a powerful mechanism to develop in people. It serves as an alarm system that says what, when, and why something in us needs to be checked, evaluated, and worked on.
Consistent check-ups with physicians, dentists, dietitians, and other health experts can mean the difference between life and death. What needs to be emphasized is the ability to consciously know what one’s body and mind are saying. Since not all pains are obvious, experts should be part of the picture. However, due to economic troubles some people just shrug it off and leave the body unchecked and hurting.
The same is true from any physical activities. It is important to always listen to how the body reacts to every activity. If a body part is burning up, it is undergoing a form of damage. Whether it is a “healthy” one (i.e. muscle tearing up in bodybuilding) or not (i.e. sprain, fracture and other physical injury), it is integral to overall health to find a way to balance tolerance and the need for a healing aid.
Yellow Wind says breath well
Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
There is a difference between existing and living. Existing is a process of going through life mechanically. Living is a process of going through life by giving meaning to it. There are thousands of ways to differentiate the two. The key point in the endless definition debate is the value of each breath.
There is more to breathing than just traveling air.
There are two types of breathing. The first one is the mechanical breathing. It is the voluntary action people do everyday as part of living. It is natural. It is a crucial part of the physiology that one does not have to think about it. There is nothing to it than just making sure that the air is clean, has passed through the best air purifier for allergies, and exits with no harm done in the process..
On the other hand, deep breathing is a way to restart the body and be in touch with the rest of the world. This is evident during tumultuous times. Deep breathing connects the individual to a higher being to allow a healthier mindset during crucial moments in one’s life. It may sound too grandiose, but everyone has done this at one point in their lives – during an argument, a high-pressure incident, a romantic encounter or a grand milestone.
Every breath is a connection to man’s inner being. It creates balance between conscious and the subconscious. Finding this balance creates a state where anything is possible. This state is the optimum time to create a healthy body and a peaceful mind.
Blue Water says drink more
Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.
Dr. Kevin R. Stone is right on the money as he emphasizes the importance of drinking water. A lot of people take this healthy habit for granted. The importance of drinking water everyday can not be overstated enough. It’s just one one of nature’s blessings that can replenish the body unlike any other substance in the world.
Some say there are better water substitutes. In limited situations, this could be true. However, constantly keeping the body dehydrated (from water) is one of the unhealthiest things to do to the body. Some of the reader would find this unnecessarily redundant. The fact of the matter is that there is a great number of people who prefer to drink soda, coffee, juice, or even alcoholic beverages more than the root of all other liquids – water.
In this aspect, man should see to it that water runs in the body well enough to revitalize, heal, strengthen and improve the quality of his life. Setting this habit will definitely bring about better health.
Let nature in and refresh the body. Listen to her words and be connected to the rest of the natural world. Find the time to be one with nature.
It is worth it.