Getting the Most Out of Each Exercise Session

In this day and age we place a lot of emphasis on the importance of exercise. The CDC recommends that adults do at least of 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity. If you exercise five days a week, that’s about 30 minutes a day. The CDC also recommends at least two days a week of and muscle-strengthening activities. If you don’t have a half-hour block to do your aerobic activity, the CDC recommends you try breaking it down into 10-minute bursts.

If you do manage to find 30 continuous minutes, plus whatever time you need to complete the strength training requirements, you need to make sure that you are doing all you can to get the most out of your workout.

Eat Before Your Workout

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be tempted to do it on an empty stomach, to force your body to use your fat stores for energy.

The problem is that exercise creates an immediate need for energy, and your body may not be able to break down fat fast enough to meet that need. As a result, you’ll get fatigued faster and you won’t be able to exercise as intensely or as efficiently.

At the same time, you don’t want to eat a heavy meal because that can also interfere with your exercise. When you eat, your body sends a lot of blood to your digestive tract to absorb nutrients. If you exercise after eating a heavy meal, you may not have enough blood flowing to the muscles, resulting in fatigue and muscle cramps; or, the exercise will divert blood away from the digestive process, resulting in gastro-intestinal distress.

Your best option is to have something light, like an energy bar or a fruit smoothie, about a half hour before you exercise. You will have the calories and energy you need, but your digestive tract won’t be working overtime during your workout.

Wear the Appropriate Clothing

You don’t have to spend a $1 million on the latest workout gear, but your clothing should fit well but allow you freedom of movement, and help wick moisture and sweat away from your body. Your shoes should provide the support and cushioning appropriate to the task.

For example, running shoes are designed to ensure proper form and protect the feet and joints from the impact of running; whereas, tennis shoes are designed to handle the stops, start, and pivoting that occurs on the courts.

You also want to make sure you have the appropriate support equipment and clothing.

For example, if you run you might consider running tights that encourage blood flow. These types of compression tights offer a measure of pain relief during recovery and also help you regulate your temperature when exercising in hot or cold weather.

On the other hand, during your weight routine, you may want to invest in a weight belt to support your lower back, and gloves to give you a better grip.

Focus on Your Exercise

In a study published by researchers at Edge Hill University and the University of Hull, both in the UK, revealed that subjects who focused on their biceps, while doing biceps curls, had significantly more electrical activity within the target muscles than those who focused on other things. The researchers have extrapolated that the same thing occurs with other muscle groups as well.

For example, the next time you’re in spinning class, focus on your legs and pedaling instead of all the things you have to do after class.

Listen to Music

Music has a lot of benefits: It stimulates brain cells, it reduces stress, it reduces your response to pain, and it can help you exercise harder and longer.

Some gyms play their own music, but then you’re stuck with whatever the music service decides to play that day. Your best option is to create your own playlist on an iPod or Mp3 player, preferably one that you can strap to your arm, or clip to your clothing.

While smartphone technology has made it possible to use your phone as a music player, the notification sounds can easily distract you from your workout. If you must use your phone, turn the notifications off, including the vibrations, during your exercise session.

Stretch After Each Session

After exercise your muscles are usually tight, which can constrict blood flow. Stretching loosens the muscles to allow blood flow; improving your recovery time and reducing your risk of post-exercise soreness.

However, you should not stretch before exercising because you can actually do yourself harm by stretching before your muscles have warmed up.

Choosing the Right Walk in Shower For You

While most homes still contain at least one traditional bathtub, more and more families are opting to replace their tub with a walk in shower for the home. People love how walk in showers take up less space, how they look and how accessible they are. However, not every walk in shower is right for everyone. Here are a few ways to determine which walk in shower is right for you.

Assess Your Needs

The reason you want or need a walk in shower will have a large effect on the type of shower you choose. You might want to save space in a small bathroom. You may have trouble stepping in and out of the tub. You may have trouble lowering and raising yourself in and out of the bath. You may want a walk in shower purely for aesthetic reasons. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of great walk in shower options for you to choose from.

Review Your Options

There are three primary types of walk in showers: stand-alone showers, shower bathtub combinations and handicapped accessible showers. Shower bathtub combinations are the most popular, though stand-alone showers are quickly growing in popularity. Handicapped accessible showers generally have features such as grab bars, low thresholds or seats that make showering easier and safer. Showers can be enclosed with a door, privacy wall, curtain or nothing at all, and they come in all sorts of sizes and shapes.

You also have many bathtub options as well, if you choose to include one. You may want a traditional tub, or a large and contoured tub that will be more spacious and comfortable. You may even choose to put in a Jacuzzi or whirlpool. Alternately, you may skip the bathtub altogether.

Choose a Design Style

These days, showers are as highly customizable as the bathrooms that contain them. You can choose a particular theme or feel such as “spa” or “Zen.” You can choose between a variety of different shower materials such as metal, glass, tile and even wood. You can also choose the colors and finishes that you prefer.

Consider Adding Extra Features

Once you have decided on the basic layout and design of your shower, consider which extra features may be important to you. You may choose to have a removable showerhead for easier cleaning, or you may choose to have multiple showerheads. You may want to install grab bars and handrails to help you safely navigate in and out of the shower or a bench that will allow you to rest while showering. Non slip tiles or pads are another important feature to keep you safe in the shower.

Whether you want a stand-alone shower, a shower bathtub combination or a handicapped accessible shower, you have several options available to you. Take your time and choose just the right layout, design and features for you, and you are sure to have a bathtub that you can safely use and love for years to come.


Walk In Shower Designs

Five Things Your Skin Needs Every Day

Everybody wants to have skin that is clear, beautiful and healthy. However, healthy skin requires hard work. There are several things that your skin needs every day in order for it to stay healthy. Below are some of the things that your skin needs to have every day:


If you are always under stress, then it will eventually begin to take a toll on your skin. Stress can worsen conditions like acne and eczema. That is why it is important for you to take the time to de-stress and rest every day. You can take a power nap to recharge your batteries. You can also take a bath or spend time talking to a friend.


Daily cleansing is essential for removing grime and dirt from your skin. Cleansing will also help remove the residue that is left behind by your skincare products. Use a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. You should also make sure that you use a product that is free of alcohol. If you are looking for a healthy way to treat eczema and other skin conditions, then you should consider looking into essential oils for eczema.


Water helps hydrate your skin. In fact, water is what your skin needs the most to keep it hydrated. It also helps flush toxins out of your skin. Many of the impurities in the skin can lead to acne. Additionally, water is essential for absorbing vital nutrients. Drinking water is one of the simplest things that you can do to keep your skin glowing and healthy.


Antioxidants are a group of nutrients found in certain fish, vegetables and fruits. They help fight free radicals, which are molecules that damage the healthy cells in your body. Vitamin C and Vitamin E are two of the many nutrients that your skin needs. Vitamin C helps your body build collagen, which is essential for keeping your skin looking plump. You can get adequate amounts of vitamin C in citrus fruits, apples and whole grains. Vitamin E is essential for keeping your cell membranes healthy. You can find vitamin E in wheat germ oil and peanut butter.


Many people think that sunscreen is only important during the summer months. However, if you want to keep your skin looking its best, then you will have to wear sunscreen year round. It does not matter whether it is hot or cold outdoors. The sun’s rays can still harm your skin during the winter months. You not only reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by putting on sunscreen, but you can also protect your skin from aging. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause your skin to age much faster.

Experts recommend wearing a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. If your skin is very sensitive and prone to sunburns, then you will need to wear a sunscreen with a Sun protection factor of at least 30. Your sunscreen will need to be re-applied every few hours.

It is impossible to have healthy skin without a good skincare regime. Your skin needs rest, water, antioxidants, cleansing and sunscreen every day to be healthy.


The Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking White Wine

For years, red wine drinkers have seemingly held a corner on the health market as the benefits of drinking moderate amounts of the stuff has continuously been researched, touted and researched anew. For the white wine drinker, a glass or two of a favorite varietal has previously only been justifiable as a delight to the taste buds. The playing field, however, may be leveling. Recent studies reveal that white wine boosts health almost as much as red wine and in different capacities.

So, drink up white wine lovers, and arm yourselves with these health-related talking points. The next time you find yourself seated at a dinner beside a red wine drinker putting on airs, you’ll find you can keep your blood pressure low, your mind razor sharp, your waist trim and your lungs pink and fresh — all thanks to the health-boosting antioxidants in white wine.

Heart Healthy

Red wine isn’t the only drink on the heart-helping list. According to researchers at the University of Milan, white wine’s heart-protecting qualities are every bit as good as red’s. Unlike red wine’s abundance of resveratrol — an antioxidant that keeps blood vessels free of plaque and cholesterol levels in healthy ranges — the antioxidants tyrosol and hydroxytrysol are the workhorses of white wine. Also found in olive oil, these two compounds put white wine in line with red wine in the good-for-your-heart category.

It’s All in Your Brain

When it comes to preventing brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia, a glass of white or sparkling wine is like a miniature time machine that whisks your brain back a few years to when it had youth on its side. Certain white and sparkling wines contain a memory-aiding compound called phenolic acid, which has been proven to boost concentration and spatial working memory — the part of your brain that remembers how to keep you oriented in your environment. Coupled with a regular diet of brainteasers, a few glasses a week seem to provide a bit of protection against senility.

Weight Loss Assistant

Far from contributing to a beer gut, one study found that drinking white wine appears to assist people who are actively trying to lose weight, while still other researchers have found that women who drink moderate amounts — say one to two glasses a day — are less likely to gain weight over time than are nondrinkers. This finding is most extreme among middle-aged women, for whom drinking a glass or two of white wine every day cuts their risk of becoming overweight by one third. Interestingly, the same doesn’t appear to hold true for men because the alcohol in wine speeds up a woman’s metabolism. Unlike men, women make a smaller number of the enzymes needed to digest and metabolize alcohol, so their bodies must keep making it, which requires an extra expenditure of calories. Thermogenesis, which is the process by which the alcohol in wine and other boozy delights raises the drinker’s body temperature, also necessitates the burning of energy.

Fresh, New Lungs

White wine drinkers have healthier lungs than teetotalers, beer drinkers, liquor lovers and those who prefer red wine. While scientists aren’t entirely sure of the reason behind this, they think it has something to do with white wine’s abundance of nutrients and antioxidants that clear out toxins in the bloodstream and alleviate inflammation in the airways, both of which affect lung health positively.

There are many reasons beyond simple good taste to partake in a glass of white wine, but if you really want to double down on the health benefits, make the following considerations when choosing a grape or vineyard:

  • Choose organic grapes. Part of what makes drinking white wine so good for you is that it is rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals which cause disease. By choosing organic grapes, you’re ensuring the wine itself doesn’t contain any harmful, residual toxins from chemicals or pesticides.
  • Choose biodynamic grapes. Part of being able to have a healthy mind and body is living in a healthy world. Biodynamic grapes are those that have been grown, harvested and processed in such a way as to preserve, protect and sustain the vineyard’s ecosystem.

White wine drinkers, be proud of your beverage. From chardonnays to muscadets, white wine — when it comes to benefitting your health — is finally just as good a choice as red.

About the Author: Lydia Carl is a regular contributor to health magazines and practiced sommelier with a taste for white wine.

Image source

The Remarkable Health Benefits of Cranberries

Cranberries are one of the world’s most potent super foods. They’re known to prevent urinary tract infections, and may also have anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and immune-boosting benefits. Cranberries can also support the health of the digestive tract and prevent numerous cancers.

The health benefits of cranberries come from their rich nutrient content, which itself comes from the way they’re grown. Because cranberries are grown in the water, they’re exposed to far more sunlight than most crops, and it’s this sunlight that’s responsible for their high nutrient content. Cranberries are full of antioxidants, vitamin C, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients that support good health. Eat whole cranberries or drink cranberry tea to reap the benefits of cranberries for your own health.

Effective Protection Against UTIs

One of the most well-known health benefits of cranberries is their ability to protect against urinary tract infections or UTIs. Researchers once believed it was cranberries’ high acid content that allowed them to prevent, and perhaps treat, urinary tract infection. It’s now known that cranberries’ UTI prevention powers come from their high levels of proanthocyanidin, or PAC. Urinary tract infections form when bacteria cling to the lining of the bladder and walls of the urinary tract, but PACs are able to stop bacteria from clinging to these tissues.

Support for Digestive and Oral Health

The PACs in cranberries can also prevent stomach ulcers caused by the H. pylori bacteria. They make it difficult for these bacteria to cling to the stomach lining and create an ulcer. Research has shown that consuming cranberry juice can help support the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the intestines.

The antioxidants and phytonutrients in cranberries also support oral health, by preventing bacteria from clinging to the teeth and gums to form plaque. Cranberries are therefore an effective preventative measure against tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Cancer Prevention

The antioxidants in cranberries help prevent a variety of cancers, including stomach and colon cancer, but also breast, prostate and lung cancer. Oxidative stress, which occurs when the diet lacks sufficient antioxidants over time, and chronic inflammation resulting from a dearth of anti-inflammatory nutrients, are the two main factors in the development of cancer. With their high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, cranberries are the perfect food to help stave off cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Cranberries contain a significant amount of salicylic acid, a compound similar to the active ingredient in aspirin. (For this reason, if you’re allergic to aspirin, you should avoid using cranberry products.) This powerful anti-inflammatory compound can help to support the health of the entire body, and prevent the tissue damage that occurs with unnecessary and excessive inflammation. Cranberries’ anti-inflammatory properties help them ease inflammation in the gums, colon, stomach and cardiovascular system.

Some of the specific anti-inflammatory compounds in cranberries include proanthocyanidins, quercetin and other flavonols, phenolic acid, and anthocyanins, which give cranberries their distinctive red color. Cranberries work to subdue the inflammation response by blocking the action of cytokines, the molecules that communicate the need for an inflammatory response to our immune cells. While inflammation is not always a bad thing, excessive inflammation — such as that related to periodontal disease — can cause unnecessary tissue damage.

Cardiovascular Support

Chronic, excessive inflammation and oxidative stress are two of the main culprits implicated in cardiovascular disease. They can cause the damage to blood vessels that ultimately leads to arterial plaque formation, hardening of the arteries, and eventually arterial blockage. Regular use of normal amounts of cranberry can stop this process before it starts.

As a result, cranberries and cranberry tea are a great way to prevent hardening and narrowing of the arteries and high blood pressure. Cranberry also helps to lower blood levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol. Controlling cholesterol levels is one more way that cranberries protect heart health and prevent arterial blockage.

Immunity Support

Cranberry has been found to help improve many facets of immunity. Research suggests consuming normal amounts of cranberry could protect against cold and flu symptoms.

Cranberries are a nutrient-rich food capable of supporting good health in a myriad of ways. Whether you’re looking for a way to prevent urinary tract infections and stomach ulcers, protect yourself from gum disease, or prevent cancer, cranberries can help. Eating cranberries or drinking cranberry tea regularly can help support your heart health and digestive wellness. Enjoy the remarkable health benefits of cranberries by making cranberry tea a part of your daily routine.

Image by Mariluna from Wikimedia Commons.

About the Author: Contributing blogger Maddie Rockwell is a registered dietician with more than 15 years of experience. She regularly drinks Buddha Teas Cranberry Tea.

Antiaging Cream and Supplements: Do they really work?

There is a wide range of antiaging cream and supplements on offer in the market these days. Using supplements and anti-aging cream can definitely make some difference while it is important to note that natural anti-aging foods are the best way to go.

Signs of visible aging like wrinkles, fine lines are quite common at some point in our lives. The lines tend to show up in more numbers as you age. Taking some measures to delay these wrinkles would help you to look younger and feel great about yourself. Knowing that you look vibrant and great can also assist you to have a more positive outlook towards life, offering you the ability to defeat and manage stress. Doing so will even help you to minimize any kind of risks of heart attacks and other diseases.

Choosing the Right Antiaging Creams

Antiaging creams are not always totally useless as most people believe. While there are some creams that come with chemicals, most of these creams are derived from natural ingredients and as a result are quite expensive. But, the best thing about such products is that you would not have any side effects as you will be guaranteed of some decent results. So the first thing to keep in mind is to go for a natural-ingredients based anti-aging cream.

In order to pick an anti-aging product for your skin, it would be important to know about your skin type and what kind of skin problem you want to solve. Dry patches? A vitamin c deficiency? Moreover, you also need to know what type of formulation would work best for your conditions. In most cases, antiaging creams that contain antioxidants would work great in defying your age while preventing diseases.

Anti-aging creams usually work by preventing cell damage in the skin thereby making you appear more youthful. Most of the top anti-aging creams even contain moisturizers that help keep your skin hydrated and skin soft making it appear healthier.

Anti aging beyond creams

Apart from the creams, we all know that a balanced exercise and diet routine can assist you in staying younger. However, these can be much more effective once you start to use certain anti-aging supplements. The signs of aging will always be there to show you that you are growing older every day but the signs can be reduced once you get to know all the secrets on how to stay fit, healthy and young.
Like anti aging creams, there are anti-aging supplements in the market that are made from all organic and natural ingredients. Hence, you can be rest assured that there would be no or minimal side effects. Top anti aging supplements that are beneficial usually contains vitamins A, C, D, E and K and several essential minerals like copper, calcium, selenium and much more.

It may help to start taking these supplements once you are in the middle age and your potential food intake in terms of calories and quantity reduces.

Although aging is normal, some of the useful anti aging creams and supplements can help a lot in making someone feel great and slow down the aging process. So the answer to our original questions is that some amount of supplements and creams can actually help fight aging while regular exercising, getting rid of bad habits like smoking and eating healthy are the best and inexpensive ways to stay healthy and young.

Anti aging Foods, Vegetables and Fruits

Anti aging creams, lotions and other products are probably the wrong way to fight the aging process as they basically hide it rather than maintaining healthy cells in your body. In fact, there are a number of food items that when used on a daily basis can be the best anti-aging solution ever that make a 45 year old middle aged person look like a 25 year old youngster.

Have you noticed that people from certain ethnicity look much younger than others around the world? The reason is the kind of ingredients (e.g. ginger, turmeric etc) they have as part of their daily cooking as well as food intake.

Top 25 Anti-Defying food items to help slow down aging

Here is the list of the top 25 food items that are known for their role in the anti aging process.

Anti aging Vegetables and leaves

1. Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain Lycopene which protects your skin from oxidation and hence an excellent food – in whatever form – to slow down the aging and wrinkling of your skin due to harsh sun. Tomatoes are also rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A which further add to the cause.

2. Spinach
As an excellent source of Vitamin K, spinach, keeps your bones strong and keeps your eyes with sparkling good vision even in the late middle ages.

3. Egg plants
The purple pigment in the skin of egg plants is very rich in Anthocyanin which is a very powerful anti-oxidant. Decreasing oxidation is one of the key aspects of natural anti-aging methods.

4.Leafy vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress and turnips helps the body fight toxins and hence cancer. Leafy vegetables are best taken raw or very lightly steamed or stir fried so as to preserve all their goodness.

5. Green beans
Almost all types of beans – green beans, white beans, kidney beans etc – are rich in phytochemicals and fiber to help you keep young apart from being good providers of protein.

Anti aging fruits

6. Watermelon
Apart from keeping you hydrated melons also contain good amount of vitamins to keep you nourished. Even better is the melons with their seeds blended in your juice as they contain zinc, selenium and essential fats that helps against aging. The skin of the cucumbers is loaded with silica that helps in mending wrinkles and accelerates collagen production.

7. Avocado
Avocados are probably the top in the list of good anti aging fruits because they contain plenty of good fats that helps to build good cholesterol in your blood.

8. Apricots
Apricots are loaded with potassium and beta carotenes which are essential for cardiovascular health and anti-aging of the skin.

9. Berries
Blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrant and black grapes are rich in Cyanidin (flavonoics) and hence are extremely good to slow down the oxidation process. Other berries and cherries are extremely good anti oxidants as well along with the commonly found colorful small fruits.

10. Blood Oranges
Just like the case of egg plants, the purple skinned fruits – especially blood oranges – are good as well due to the Anthocyanin anti-oxidant content.

Natural Anti aging Tips

Who does not want to look or feel younger? The number of people who go after anti aging solutions (medicines, cosmetics, surgery etc), in order to look younger, is growing at an alarming pace day by day. While these product manufacturers mint money, what many people don’t realize is the fact that we do have significant control over our aging process.

The three most important things to we need to concentrate on in tackling aging are increasing blood flow, decreasing oxidation and decreasing inflammation.

How to increase blood flow?

There are a few ways in which you can boost your blood flow so that the most important of our anti aging technique really works.

Get up and move: Regular exercise is the key here. You need to work out at least 30 minutes for three to four times a week in order to increase your stamina and blood flow.

Spices and vitamins: Citrus fruits have abundant amounts of vitamin C which helps to keep your blood flowing. Nuts and seeds contain high amounts of vitamin E and vitamin E helps to prevent blood clots and strengthens your blood vessels. Tomatoes are high in Lycopene especially when they are cooked. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps to prevent free radicals.

Explore Alternative Medicine: Chinese medicines have been around for many centuries and the western medical community is now recognizing the effectiveness of traditional cures. There are many methods in Indian Ayurveda as well.

Breath deep: Breathing deep and easy is not something that everyone does. A lot of people underestimate the power of breathing. This is a very important aspect in keeping the blood flow high and supplying it with a lot of oxygen.

Decreasing Oxidation

Antioxidants play a major role in the anti aging process. Fruits are natural sources of antioxidants and their consumption regular basis does the trick. Grapes, apple and blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that help fight cancer.

Decreasing Inflammation

You can help your body fight inflammation by reducing stress, eliminating sugar and processed foods and getting enough sunshine.

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants and nut oils.

Fruits and Vegetables: Whole fruits, berries and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. These are very helpful in reducing bodily inflammation.

Protein Sources: Possible anti-inflammatory protein sources include lean poultry, fish and seafood (fatty fish offer protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids). Soy and soy foods such as tofu and tempeh, along with other legumes, can be used as plant-based protein sources.

Beverages: Your body needs a lot of water. Drink bottled water or good quality filtered water, 100% fruit juice, herbal tea, low-sodium vegetable juice and low or non-fat milk several times a day in order to help decrease inflammation. Human body needs at least 2 liters of water every day and the more the better.

Cigarette smoking, usage of caffeine products such as coffee and tea, excess alcohol consumption etc can make you older than you actually are. If you want to keep younger and healthy, get rid of these bad habits today.