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Foam Roller Stretches For Muscle Pain

Foam Roller Stretches For Muscle Pain

Whether you’re warming up or cooling down, foam roller stretches for muscle pain can be a huge benefit for easing sore muscles with a good old fashioned self massage. You don’t have to wait until the next exercise session to get soothing relief from these simple tools. You can do the stretches anytime to bring quick relief to your muscles. Like a message, they improve blood flow to the area and that increased blood flow can speed the healing process. They can help break up scar tissue and release knots to bring almost instant relief. There’s no need to suffer through the pain when the solution is this simple.

You can roll the pain out of all the muscles in the leg.

No matter what muscle in the legs hurt, you can roller it out by insuring the weight of your body is on the roller at the point of pain. If the quadriceps ache, take a face down position with the roller at hip level. Work it down to the knees. Turn on your side for the IT band, connective tissue along the side of the hips.

Work on your glutes.

When the muscles are tight on your backside, it affects more than just that area. It can cause shooting pain throughout the lower back and even into the knee area. When you use a foam roller in this area, it can let you move freer by releasing the trigger points. Just sit on the foam roller and cross one leg over the other. The roller should be located at the top of the glutes, toward the lower back. You’ll be working one side with this exercise, then working the other. Lean a bit forward toward the side you’re working out and let the foam roller roll down the glutes. It’s just a few inches.

Upper back tightness can be painful and lead to headaches.

Lie on top of the foam roller with it perpendicular to the body, just under the shoulder blades. Put your knees flat on the floor with your knees bent and your hands behind your head. As you tighten your abs, you’ll slightly lift your hips and roll the foam roller slowly from the shoulder area to the middle back. Along the way, you’ll probably find the spot that hurts, roll over it a few times more.

– If you’re new to the foam roller, you’ll probably try to roll it too fast. Don’t try to move it by more than an inch every second.

– You’ll probably feel some discomfort, just as you would with a massage. It’s a good pain that means the tight muscle is getting loser and feel better when you’re done. The most painful areas are trigger points or knots in the muscles.

– Use moderate pressure. If you use too little, you won’t get much benefit and too much can be counterproductive.

– Remember a tight muscle in one area can create pain in another area. If you’re not getting relief, roller a different area until you find the location of the knot.


Surprisingly Healthy Snacks That Taste Good

Surprisingly Healthy Snacks That Taste Good

It’s always a challenge to find healthy snacks that taste good, but it shouldn’t be. There are a surprising number of them that will fill you up, not out, while giving your body the treat of nutrition…and best of all, they taste good. Snacks can be as simple as slicing an apple and putting on almond butter, which is similar to peanut butter, but wins the healthy race by a smidgen. If you’re feeling depressed, change that butter to cashew butter that is known for its properties that help with anxiety and depression. A medium size apple is 95 calories, a tablespoon of almond butter is 98 calories and a tablespoon of cashew butter is 94. It’s an easy, yet yummy snack under 200 calories.

You can make a healthy dip that tastes good from cottage cheese.

Just mix a half a cup of cottage cheese with chives and you’re ready to dip some vegetables. If you want something a bit more exciting, try mixing a ½ cup of cottage cheese with one chopped green onion, a tablespoon of fresh parsley, ½ tsp dried dill, a pinch of each pepper and garlic powder and a ¼ tsp of Worcestershire sauce. Put it in a blender and blend until smooth. It’s a great dip that will make you look forward to eating fresh vegetables.

Air popped popcorn with seasoning can be delicious.

You don’t need the movie style popcorn that’s drenched in butter if you season air popped right. When a sweet tooth strikes, toss on a tablespoon of mini-chocolate chips to three cups of popcorn. Add a dash of salt for a treat that’s under 150 calories. You can use other mini-chip flavors for variety. For a sweet treat that’s spicier and far less gooey, mix a couple of shakes of cinnamon with a bit of cayenne pepper and a tsp of cocoa powder. Drizzle the popcorn with a tsp of butter and shake on the mixture. Drizzle on coconut oil and then shake on jerk seasoning for a lively flavor. Add a tsp of unsalted butter then mix with a tsp of powdered ranch dressing. The choices are endless when it comes to popcorn and super low in calories.

Homemade creations can be a delight.

You can make a version of the ham, cream cheese and green onion roll that’s healthier and lower in calories. Use a Romaine leaf, a teaspoon of cream cheese and green onion. Put the cream cheese on the leaf, top it with the onion and roll it up. There are many other healthy lettuce wraps to add variety to your snacks. You can use lettuce wraps as an alternative to a quick sandwich for lunch. Watch your portions and keep the filling healthy.

– Hard boiled eggs have always been a favorite of mine. I love them freshly boiled and slightly warm, but you can make them ahead and keep them in the fridge. A dab of dressing can add flavor, but keep it to a dab.

– A cube of Gouda cheese and a handful of grapes makes a great snack.

– A half cup of cottage cheese and a half Mott’s applesauce cup is filling and just over 150 calories. Make sure you get the kind with no added sugar that’s 100% real fruit.

– A 1 oz container of oven roasted almonds with sea salt has 170 calories. You could eat the whole bag or only half and have an apple or fruit with the nuts.


How To Cut Down On The Sugar And Still Satisfy Your Cravings

How To Cut Down On The Sugar And Still Satisfy Your Cravings

It’s not as easy to cut down on the sugar as you think. In fact, it’s almost as hard as quitting smoking and withdrawing from drugs. Please don’t think I’m making light of drug addiction, I’m not. James DiNicolantonio, from the Department of Preventive Cardiology, Saint Luke’s Mid American Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO and Sean Lucan, Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, state that not only is sugar highly addictive, it’s in everything. They even note that salt may be getting a bum rap and sugar is the real culprit in high blood pressure.

Spend your time reading labels, better yet, eat whole foods.

Of course, you can kick the sugar habit cold turkey or just switch off processed foods and the sugar they contain, switching instead to natural forms of sugar in fruit. There are several road blocks to avoid in your quest to overcome sugar. Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can make those sugar cravings worse and lower your serotonin level that leads to sugar hunger. Drinking adequate water can eliminate dehydration that’s often mistaken for sugar cravings. Eat more frequently. Rather than three meals a day, make it six. It helps stabilize blood sugar.

Go for naturally sweet fruit.

Lychees are one of the sweetest fruits around and packed with vitamins, particularly vitamin C. It will quench your hunger for sweets quickly. Mangos are super sweet and definitely will satisfy your sugar hunger. I recently ate a mango chutney made with tomatoes, cilantro, mango, fresh pineapple and a bit of vinegar. It was sweet and fabulous. It also was a great dessert that was healthy, while cutting down on my desire for sugar. Figs have as much sugar as a candy bar, but they also contain other nutrients. Fresh figs with cashew cream will satisfy that urge for a sweet treat.

Other sweet fruit treats to consider.

For one of the best treats that stops my sugar cravings in its tracks, I turn to sweet grapes and Havarti cheese. It only takes a handful of grapes and one slice of cheese to make me feel like I’ve had a delicious rich dessert. Another simple to make but satisfying treat is segmented and peels grapefruit, oranges and a few seeded black cherries. You’ll get the sugar with extra benefits.

– At first, when you’re giving up sugar, you may want to eat fruit more often. While too much high sugar fruit isn’t good for dieting, if it helps you break the processed sugar habit, it’s worth it.

– Try substituting Stevia for sugar. It’s 300 times sweeter than sugar but with zero calories.

– Be aware of hidden sugar in some nut butters. A whole food store that grinds the butter for you from the nuts is the best option. For sweetness, nothing can beat cashews. Put some on an apple and you’re ready for a treat that will satisfy your urge for sugar.

– Eat more fermented foods and drink while kicking the sugar habit. Coconut kefir, cultured vegetables, homemade sauerkraut and natto or other fermented foods can help you kick the sugar habit quickly.


Love Your Body, Don't Hate It

Love Your Body, Don’t Hate It

No matter what shape you’re in, love your body, don’t hate it. Hating your body is counterproductive to getting fit. While you don’t have to love the shape it’s in, you don’t need to hate yourself either. Think about it. When someone talks about a house that’s been allowed to become run down, you’ll hear them say, all it needs is a little love. So what makes that inanimate object deserves love more than your own being? Nothing. All you need is a little love.

You can control what your body looks like.

While there are some things you can’t control, such as how tall you are (although, exercise does improve your posture, which can actually make you taller.), you dictate how fit you are and that’s huge. That’s why there’s no place in fitness for hating your body. It interferes with the task of creating a program to achieve the way you want it to look. You have to be realistic. Remember, a lot of those pictures of stars are photoshopped to create teeny waists and Barbie doll hips and legs. Healthy is a good look to strive for when it comes to fitness goals.

Loving your body means you’ll treat it to better food.

If you’re feeding your body food that doesn’t contain all the nutrients you need, you’re not giving yourself the love you should have. Pretend your body is a small child and you’re responsible for keeping that child healthy with a good diet. Would you feed it cookies, Ben & Jerry’s, chips and French fries? No! You’d go out of your way to create menus that were nutritious and also yummy. You need to take care of your body and pamper it with a healthy diet like you would an innocent child.

Bodies have to do what they’re meant to do, move.

You weren’t created to sit in a chair all day. In fact, if you lived that way in prehistoric times, you wouldn’t last a week. The body has built in mechanisms that work best when you get a vigorous workout regularly. It burns off stress hormones and improves circulation, while also providing hormones that make your feel good. When you love your body, you’ll keep it moving and adore the feeling of controlling each muscle.

Dehydration takes its toll. About 50 to 65 percent of the body is water and about 73 percent of your brain is water. Take loving care to replenish it throughout the day.

Get plenty of sleep. Loving your body means not beating it up with overwork and no rest. Make sure you get adequate sleep at night.

Appreciate what you have. Sure, you may be overweight, but you can walk. As I watched older members of my family lose their ability to walk and slow down dramatically with years, I learned to appreciate and use the gifts I have, which is a healthy active body.

Set a goal and reward yourself when you reach that goal. Make that reward something you really want. It might be a special outfit or a night out on the town.


Say Goodbye To Your Muffin Top

Say Goodbye To Your Muffin Top

If you don’t love your love handles and would prefer to travel lighter—without a spare tire, say goodbye to your muffin top forever and get ready to have the body you want. Whether you call it a Buddha belly, muffin tops or other colloquialism, it’s still just the accumulation of fat around your middle. It’s one of the worst places to carry fat and caused by hormones, which includes cortisol, a hormone created by stress. Even if you do spot exercises, you may not see the difference if excess pounds are hiding the improved muscle tone. Luckily, there’s a way to get rid of these and improve the rest of your body at the same time.

You need to start with a healthy diet.

There are all types of philosophies of when to eat, how many meals to eat and the number of calories you should eat to be healthy, but it all boils down to eating healthy in the first place and letting that take care of the problem. Eating healthy means pitching those Twinkies and processed foods out the window and instead making your meal more whole foods that are both lower in calorie and high in nutrition. There are some foods that tend to be better in helping to reduce these, such as high fiber foods, black rice and tea, just to name three, but they’re not magic and won’t work if the rest of your diet is junk. Learn to make smarter choices when it comes to food and you’re on your way to eliminating that belly fat.

Get an overall workout, not just spot exercises.

Of course you want to tone your abdominal muscles, but to get rid of muffin tops, you need to workout the whole body. Doing cardio isn’t enough. Cardio doesn’t take off fat rapidly, strength training does. Weight lifting will help you shed those pounds, while also strengthening your core muscles. What it won’t do is build bulky muscles in women. Because of hormonal differences, women would have to do special exercises and spend most of their time at the gym to get those results. Instead, you’ll build lean muscles and start to see those love handles disappear.

Burn off stress hormones.

Stress contributes to belly fat by sending a message to the brain to increase cortisol. Cortisol is used to raise blood sugar levels to get the muscles ready for fighting or running. It raises blood pressure and provides a burst of glucose into the system. While that’s good if there’s a tiger chasing you, it’s not so helpful if it comes from a traffic jam or a discussion with the boss. It accumulates and creates fat cells on the belly, which by the way, contain four times more cortisol than other cells. It also leads to insulin resistance and diabetes. The good news!!!! Exercise burns off the hormones from stress..

One scientific study showed that a diet that’s high in both sugar and fat increases abdominal fat.

Don’t give up all fats. Yes, I know I just said that a high fat diet contributed to muffin tops, but healthy fat, Omega3 fatty acids found in salmon and avocado, actually helps regulate hormones and eliminates belly fat.

Get plenty of sleep. Too little sleep contributes to the accumulation of belly fat.

Drink plenty of water. Water not only keeps you hydrated and feeling good, it helps cleanse the system and even helps eliminate water retention and bloating.


How To Get Out Of A Workout Rut

How To Get Out Of A Workout Rut

If you’re not looking forward to working out at the gym because it’s just too boring, get out of a workout rut and start having fun. You won’t benefit as much doing the same old workout year after year and frankly, it’s just too boring to spend your time doing that. There are hundreds of exercises and a huge number of different ways to exercise that you’re cheating yourself if you’re still doing the same old routine.

Have you found your workout isn’t effective anymore?

One reason to breakout and try something different is plateauing. Plateauing occurs when the body becomes too efficient. While efficiency is good on the job, it’s not good when you’re trying to get fit or lose weight. It means the body burns fewer calories and that means you don’t get the maximum results. When you’re constantly changing the workout, you keep your body constantly learning and you’ll see more dramatic results. So, not only do avoid boredom, you’re also getting more for your exercise time.

You need a wide selection of exercises.

Getting fit isn’t just cardio, so people who run as their fitness method aren’t getting a complete workout. Sure, they improve their endurance, but they still need to work on strength, flexibility and even balance to be truly fit. Strength training helps you shed pounds faster and among other things, it helps build stronger bones, while building lean muscle tissue. You need flexibility training to improve your range of motion to avoid injury. Balance keeps you from falling and aids in simple tasks, such as going up and down stairs. Limiting your workout creates incomplete training.

There are more ways to exercise in the gym and even more outside the gym.

Many women shy away from weights and things like kettlebells, but they’re not just reserved for men. Somewhere, someone assigned them an identity that linked them to men. Women don’t bulk up like men, which is a reason some women avoid them, but they miss out on the super results that can be achieved with weights. Walking, hiking, dancing, taking the stairs and biking are great forms of exercising that can be added to any workout program, as long as they’re no the only form of exercise. You need a complete training program for the best results.

When you get out of your exercise rut and vary your workout, you’re more apt to hit all the muscle groups in the body.

Switching your workout frequently is like sampling many different foods at the buffet. You’ll often find one that you like better, but enjoy all the others, too.

When you do the same routine repeatedly, you lose the fun from the challenge of conquering a new workout. Fun can keep you coming back to the gym.

Sticking with the same routine means you’re not progressing. You have to up the ante to get your body to the next level of fitness.


 Cold Healthy Treats To Beat The Heat

 Cold Healthy Treats To Beat The Heat

When the sun is at its highest, your first thought might be to grab a soda or guzzle an ice cream cone. While you should do yourself a favor and get something deliciously cold, it can be healthy and good for you at the same time. Here’s some cold healthy treats to beat the heat that you’re sure to enjoy. You can start with banana ice cream, which has banana, but absolutely not milk…sugar…or any other ingredient. It’s really easy and extremely yummy. Just chop up a banana to one inch circles, place it on a cookie sheet keeping each slice separated and put it in the freezer. I mash my frozen bananas until it’s ice cream consistency. It’s yummy and delicious,, while also providing an ice cream alternative for anyone lactose intolerant.

Make delicious fruit sorbet.

Fruit sorbet can be made with almost any fruit, although some fruit is not nearly as sweet and may need the addition of other fruit. Cut up chunks of fresh fruit, place them on a cookie sheet to freeze and prevent them from sticking together in the process. Freeze them overnight and them put them in a blender that crushes ice. It won’t take long before they’re a smooth creamy sorbet. To get an extra shot of sugar to combine with less sweet fruit add these sweet fruits, persimmons bananas, grapes, mangosteen, papaya and jackfruit.

Fresh fruit popsicles will have the kids begging for some too.

You need a Popsicle mold and some sticks to make these, but the rest is a breeze. While this recipe contains strawberries, kiwis, blueberries and raspberries, experiment with all types of fruit. Cut one peach into ½ inch slices (this will make about a half cup.), add ½ cup each blueberries and raspberries, ¾ cup finely cut strawberries and 2 kiwis, peeled and cut into quarter inch slices. Mix the fruit well in a bowl and put it in the Popsicle mold. Pour in no-sugar-added 100% white grape juice to fill in the gaps, You’ll need about 2 cups of it. The last step is to add sticks and freeze. They come out beautiful to look at and yummy to eat.

Make fresh fruit and fruit juice slushies.

Making a slushie doesn’t require hardly any time, but it does require a lot of time but it does need a blender. Just throw in a cup of ice with a half cup of juice and blend away.

It’s ready to cool you down in just a minute. If you’re like me, you probably have some fresh fruit in the refrigerator, throw a handful in with the juice for a special treat. You can use almost any kind of juice and even substitute some of the ice with frozen fruit.

– Peel and chop cantaloupe into bitesize pieces or do the same with any other type of melon, including watermelon. Put it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator and grab a piece or two for a cool sweet treat when you want something sweet and refreshing.

– Keep bottled water ready to refresh you in the refrigerator. I love my water, so I diligently keep a container always ready in the refrigerator for a refreshing drink.

– Who says a treat has to be sweet. Chop celery and make a low cal veggie dip to have it ready in the refrigerator when you need a treat that is cold and low calorie.

– Peel and slice cucumber sticks and tomato wedges. Put them in the refrigerator. Drizzle a few with balsamic dressing when you’re ready to eat and it’s a low cal delicious snack.


Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans Again

Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans Again

skinny jeansEveryone has their own way of deciding when to lose weight. Some people go strictly by the scales, while others use their clothing as a guide. If you no longer fit into your skinny jeans, I can help change that and even help you get into smaller ones. It doesn’t take long to see a dramatic change in your overall fitness when you start my plan. In fact, the name tells the whole story, Burn It in 30.

You can choose to lose weight through dieting, but there’s a better way.

Getting fit and looking fabulous in clothing isn’t all about losing weight, although that may be part of it. Exercise and toning muscles seldom used is also important. When you workout, you build muscle tissue. Muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch than fat tissue does. So when you build more muscle tissue, even if you never shed one pound, you’ll lose inches. It’s like comparing the size of a container that holds a pound of marshmallows compared to one that contains a pound of steel. The steel container will be smaller, just like your body.

Of course, losing weight is part of it.

When you exercise, you burn extra calories. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose. By combining exercise with a healthy diet, you’re giving fat a double dose of trouble. You’re lowering your caloric intake and increasing your caloric output. It takes a reduction of 3500 calories to lose one pound. I can help you achieve that and more in just one week. You’ll see a huge difference on the scales and how your clothing fits in a very short time.

Eating healthy isn’t a diet. Diets don’t work.

That’s right, diets don’t work. I’ll help you learn how to eat healthier with sample meals that contain whole foods that are good for you. While you’re cutting your calories, you’ll be learning to make smarter choices that have more nutrition. You’ll learn to make substitutions that are healthier, such as using Greek yogurt as a substitution for sour cream. One thing is certain, people who love the new way of eating.

You’ll see your energy level soar. The more energy you have, the more you’ll do and the more calories you’ll burn. You’ll probably have time for fun activities and even the energy for them.

As you build muscle tissue, you get an added benefit. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. That means you’ll boost your metabolism.

You’ll build your confidence level. Looking good builds both self-esteem and confidence.

You’ll improve your posture, which makes you look even thinner and helps clothing fit better.


It's Transformation Time

It’s Transformation Time

transformation timeWhen you hate to look in the mirror because you reflection doesn’t show the person you think you should be, it’s transformation time. It’s time to take charge of your life and change how you look, while also learning to love yourself no matter what your appearance. Once you start on my Burn It in 30 program, you’ll notice the difference in how you feel almost immediately. At the end of 30 days, you’ll be amazed at the difference the thirty days of devotion to the plan made. You’ll love the new way you look and be ready for more.

Loving who you are is important.

It makes you realize how important you and your health are, keeping you motivated until you see the change. Some people think they have to hate the body they’re in, but they don’t realize it’s the same body, only thinner, that you’ll have after the 30 day program. Loving yourself drives you to take care o your health, something that’s important for lasting physical fitness success.

Our program works you hard, but still within your capabilities.

The workout is tough and will wear you out, but in a good way. There’s loads of ways of being tired. Stress can wear you out, which is never any fun. Exercise burns off the hormones of stress and replaces them with ones that make you feel fantastic. You’ll see improvement after just a few days, with more energy than you thought possible. As you become fitter, you’ll be able to do a workout that’s more difficult, getting even better results.

What you eat makes a huge difference in your transformation.

Exercise is only part of the program. Healthy eating is another part. Healthy eating isn’t dieting. Dieting doesn’t work. Diets always end and then you go back to old eating habits that put on the weigh in the first place. Instead, I’ll show you how to make healthier choices when it comes to food. By the end of the thirty days, you’ll have created a new food habit that will keep you healthy and thin for the rest of your life.

Our program provides motivation and keeps you accountable for your progress. It’s easy to follow and specific, so there’s never a misunderstanding.

Your energy level will be immense by the end of the 30 days. You’ll find you want to do other active things with family and friends, such as hike, swim or dancing. That helps take off even more weight.

As you build muscle tissue, you’ll be boosting your metabolism. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, burning more calories 24/7.

You’ll not only chase away stress with exercise, you’ll sleep better at night. That can help you stick to the eating plan without the need for sweets to sustain you.