Losing Weight by Lifting Weights


How to burn fat by lifting weights


People engage weightlifting with the mindset of building muscle mass. However, this isn’t the sole purpose of weightlifting programs. Rarely is it discussed about the weight loss benefits of weightlifting.

Muscles in your body burn calories without doing a thing. So naturally, the more muscle mass you have the more calories your body burns on it’s own. And the more calories your body burns the more fat you burn. See, makes sense right?

Lets take a look

Cardio vs Weightlifting

Aerobic or cardiovascular activity is great for both the heart and lungs. It is a popular meditative technique to clear the mind from accumulated stress as well as to get in touch with nature. For others, such activities offer the physical and mental challenges that similar competitive sports induce. However, as a standalone tool for weight loss, aerobic exercise is a mediocre technique that can result only in a plateau.


The Science Behind Weightlifting as a Weight Loss Strategy

The problem with trying to lose weight is that you must burn more calories than what you consume. Keeping your body deprived of its caloric requirements forces your body to begin burning through its own tissues for energy. As a result, you may be seeing numeric improvements on your weight scale, but how much of the lost weight is fat and how much of it is muscle remains an uncertainty. Losing the latter can actually sabotage your efforts to lose weight.


Muscle contraction is a primary mechanism for losing weight by lifting weights. The more muscle you contract, the greater amounts of fat you burn. Furthermore, weightlifting and similar strength conditioning workouts that work large muscle groups to their burning limit will increase the production of hormones that help in minimizing body fat. Thus, the goal of efficient weight loss is to hold on to as much lean muscle mass as possible while burning fats.


Benefits of Weightlifting For Weight Watchers

For starters, losing weight by lifting weights increase both short-term and long-term metabolic rates, which usually happens in the hours following an intense workout. The total volume of lean muscle mass in the body is also maintained hence creating a permanent effect in metabolic rate.

Cardio training, on the other hand, only causes increased speeds in metabolic activity for a few hours following a workout session. To make matters worst, if you overdo your cardio session, it often leads to a decrease in total lean muscle mass.

If you wish to go beyond the goal of cutting body fat to altering body composition, even the most intense of cardiovascular workouts will not suffice. Sure, you can hop on a treadmill, run for an hour or two, repeat the process everyday for two weeks, and lose 10 to 20 pounds easily. However, your body’s form will not be as well-defined as you’d want.


Tips For Effective Weightlifting

To get the most out of your weightlifting, use dumbbells instead of the machines or cables. Resistance machines can certainly help you achieve those well-defined curves, but for muscle growth, use the free weights. Barbells and dumbbells will force your ancillary muscles to work and build in mass. The free range of motion also reduces the risk of injuries or strain.

When doing bench press, make sure you ask someone to spot you if you’re working with weights that are unusually heavy for you. Safety first before anything else.


Benefits of Yoga and Why You Should Consider It


You should consider doing yoga and here’s why


In today’s society, the rush to become in shape and nutritionally sound has caused an increase in fitness programs. On every other television station, magazine cover, or website, there are videos, workout equipment and exercise programs geared toward toning the muscles, cardio fitness, fat burning, walking, or running.

Amid these workouts, there is one program that people tend to shy away from, yet, can receive the most benefits from, and that is: yoga.

Yoga exercises address the complete body by combining the practices of breathing, poses, and meditation. It helps in strengthening and relieving digestion; promoting circulation; balancing hormonal, emotional, psyche and respiratory system.

Because of the many movements in the workout that involves bending and stretching, the difficulty of the exercises is sometimes intimidating. Therefore, people tend to place it as the last choice on their list when deciding which workout is best for them.

Types of Yoga Exercises

With the numerous yoga exercises available, the task of selecting the proper one is confusing for many. It is wise to consider age-appropriateness, condition of the body, and always medical counseling before embarking on this physical journey. Guidance and research is the key when choosing one that is best fitted for your specific need. Therefore, listed below are several to help with your decision:

Yoga for flexibility

After participating in a strenuous physical activity whether it be playing a hard game of football, basketball, or running a 5K, the muscles in the body becomes stiff and tense. Yoga provide poses that stretches the muscles, resulting in better body movements and decreased stiffness.

More Info:


Beginner’s DVDs & Videos

Yoga for pregnancy

Care should always be the number one concern when pregnant and considering exercising. There are risks involved, especially when work out has not been part of a woman’s regimen beforehand. Yoga prepares a woman’s body, as well as her mind for bringing a new life into the world. It keeps her calm, centered, decrease symptoms that includes constipation and morning sicknesses.

More Info: 


Beginner’s DVDs & Videos

Yoga for insomnia

Many people are up most of the night because of the inability to sleep. Yoga provides the relaxation needed for the body to relieve stress and tension. Poses can include downward facing dog, child’s pose, crocodile pose, seated forward bend, or corpse pose. Each of these poses give a calming effect to various parts of the body to relieve the tension and prepare the person for a good night sleep.

More Info: 


Beginner’s DVDs & Videos

Yoga for diseases

Yoga is used as an improvement or cope mechanism for particular diseases. It helps in lowering high blood pressure, improving indigestion, controlling blood sugar, headaches, depression, cancer, back pains, and arthritis. WebMD article states, “Findings show that people who practice yoga and meditation at least three times a week may reduce their blood pressure, pulse and — most importantly — their risk of heart disease.”1

More Info:


Beginner’s DVDs & Videos

Yoga for weight loss

Yoga does not yield as high of a heart rate as aerobic exercises, but it has benefits when it comes to shedding the pounds. There are vigorous yoga such as sun salutations, ashtango, or power yoga, that consist of fast-moving and sweaty style poses. These type of yoga workouts help to build and tone muscles, enhance posture, gives a sense of well-being, and helps to lose those unwanted pounds.

More Info:


Beginner’s DVDs & Videos

Yoga for aging

Yes, there is yoga for reversing the aging process (well, slow it down at least). It is said that the corpse pose causes the body to regenerate from its degenerative state that has occurred over the years. Yoga gives the body a boost of youth by reducing skin infections and wrinkles, improving tone, increasing circulation, and adding luster to the skin.

More Info:


Beginner’s DVDs & Videos

Benefits of Yoga

There are many benefits of yoga. Foremost and overall it is good for the mind, body, spirit, and soul. It addresses every area of the human structure, providing it with a variety of movements ranging from mild to complex; breathing and meditation exercises to calm the thoughts and body functions; and opportunities to challenge oneself to recognize its capabilities.


At some point in life yoga should be considered. Most see it as an exercise when it is more than that. We do not live in a stress-free society and the challenges are becoming greater every day. We need an outlet to take us away from the everyday happenings, and this is where yoga is needful. Its mission to transfer, translate, and transform, is worth the undertaking so that we experience life at its greatest level.

1 http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20041108/yoga-gets-hearts-healthy

Benefits of Whey Protein Powder for Weight Lifters


Why you need a whey protein supplement if you lift weights


Physical fitness and well being is not a new concept to the health community. It has long been realized that there are specific health considerations to take into account when an athlete is involved in a sport or recreation.

Lifting weights is a great example of the need for proper nutrition and protein to support the muscles and growth that a weightlifter is seeking.

To get the needed protein, a whey protein supplement will give the needed extra boost to those athletes who lift weights.

What is whey protein?

According to the definition in Wikipedia, whey protein is “a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production.”

How does it work?

Whey supplements work by entering the body and aiding the muscles in repairing the damage that is done during a weight lifting session. These small repairs are then in turn building muscle mass on the athlete.

What does a whey supplement do?

Studies believe that introducing a whey supplement to the body before and after a lifting or workout session will increase the muscle mass of the lifter. Before the workout, the whey supplement gets the body jump started with a load of protein. After a workout the body is at it’s peak ability to receive and process this whey supplement. This is important for the maximum delivery of protein to the muscles that are being built.

To get the maximum results from a whey supplement, it is important to eat small meals throughout the time following a workout. This will provide the body with a constant supply of protein to help repair the small tears that occur in the muscles during lifting. This protein helps to repair these spots and build the muscle that is desired.

How much should I take?

When dealing with building muscle using a whey supplement, the suggested amount to ingest for each pound of body mass is one gram of protein. For a one hundred pound athlete, the minimum amount that should be taken in is one hundred grams. Any extra whey protein that is ingested above that will be used by the body to repair the muscles while they rest.

Although this supplement is created from a natural source, there are still some risks to taking in too much of this supplement. Some of the effects of too much whey protein in the diet could trigger such things as:

  • calcium loss
  • liver damage
  • renal damage
  • diarrhea
  • water loss
  • bloating
  • gout
  • dehydration

It is important to keep a realistic view of the goals and time needed to reach those goals of the athlete. Overindulging in this whey supplement may be more harmful than helpful when it is taken in excess.

What are the benefits of taking whey protein powder?

There are a number of benefits to taking a whey supplement.

This type of addition to a diet is a natural way to ingest the necessary amounts of protein to build muscle, burn fat, and repair muscle damage. Adding a supplement to a healthy diet is an easy adjustment with the large selection of whey related products and supplements.

Not just for muscles…

The addition of a whey supplement to a diet will benefit other parts of the body other than just the muscles used for weight lifting.

Protein is essential for the creation of enzymes, nucleic acids, hormones, cellular messengers, and the components of the immune-system. The introduction of a constant flow of protein is needed for the proper function of the cardiovascular system, tissues, cells, and organs.

According to David Galanis’ article “The Benefits Of Protein Shakes!” on the bodybuilding.com website, these elements are all needed for the proper function of muscle contraction, healing, and growth.

Reach new goals

Often the nutrients and proteins that are necessary to reach weight lifting goals is not being attained through the athlete’s normal diet. For people who are very busy and do not have the time to prepare these special protein enriched meals, it is necessary to introduce a supplement into their diet.

In order for an athlete looking to increase their body and muscle mass to be successful, they need to take in more protein than they are burning off when lifting.

This can be done easily and nearly effortlessly with a whey supplement.

Here are a few of our favorite whey protein powders to consider checking out:

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard


$40 on amazon.com

BSN Syntha 6


$35 on amazon.com

MusclePharm Combat Powder



$33 on amazon.com


Why Exercise Is Essential for a Healthy Heart


Exercising your way to a healthier heart


You’ve probably been told that exercise is important for your heart’s health, and for good reason.

Doctors recommend regular, aerobic exercise to everyone. However, for people who are at risk for heart-related health issues, it is even more important to exercise.

See also: Tips for reducing stress levels

A nutritious diet and exercise are both equally important for your heart’s health.

There is a direct link between being sedentary, or not exercising at all, and mortality. On the other hand, beginning an exercise program can decrease the risk of heart-related health problems dramatically.


How Much Should I Exercise?

Health experts recommend about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, which averages out to 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

You can also exercise for longer or shorter periods of time, but aim for a total of 150 minutes per week.

In a recent survey, the CDC determined that only 20.6 percent of the group surveyed met the recommended requirements for aerobic activity. While many people think that fitting exercise into their schedule sounds too hard, it is doable.

If you can find time to squeeze in your favorite television show, you can find time to fit in a session of heart healthy exercise. If you want to, you can even watch TV while you bicycle or use the treadmill if you have the right setup. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cdc-80-percent-of-american-adults-dont-get-recommended-exercise/)

What is aerobic Exercise?

Any activity that uses your large muscle groups and causes your body to use more oxygen during the activity than while resting is considered an aerobic activity.

This can include anything from bicycling to walking. Exercise strengthens your heart by causing it to work a little harder, building up strength in the muscle and increasing your heart’s volume. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_exercise)

She knows has an article on 5 easy exercises you can do to improve your heart’s health and start adding to the minutes you exercise each week. (http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/814921/5-best-exercises-to-improve-heart-health-1)

They include swimming and interval training. Swimming is especially great for people who find that typical exercise hurts their joints.

There is less impact on your knees, ankles, and hips when you are in the water, but you can still get a great aerobic workout in the pool.

Why is Exercise Good for Your Heart?

When you spend time exercising, your heart gets stronger. The heart is a muscle, just like your bicep.

When you exercise your arms, your biceps get stronger; when you exercise your heart, your heart gets stronger.

A strong heart doesn’t have to struggle to pump blood, resulting in lower blood pressure. Low blood pressure is one sign of heart health.


Why Worry About High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for developing heart disease. Having high blood pressure for a short time is not as big of an issue, but it is important to get it under control quickly.

The longer your body struggles with high blood pressure, the more likely you are to suffer from a stroke, a heart attack, and kidney disease.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is important for your heart’s health. By exercising regularly, you are helping your heart maintain a lower blood pressure, and you are helping prevent heart disease.


Other Benefits of Exercise

Not only will exercising help lower your blood pressure, but it has also been shown to lower triglyceride levels and increase good cholesterol in your body.

Triglycerides are fatty substances that can build up inside arteries and cause increased blood pressure and slow the flow of blood to the rest of your body.

Lowering triglycerides will improve your overall heart health and reduce the risk of a heart attack. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myocardial_infarction)


Final Thoughts

To keep your heart pumping along the best it can, start making time to exercise now if you aren’t already. Start small if you have to, but get up and do something.

If you start a new exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that you don’t overextend yourself. Even going for a walk after dinner is a great first step.

Remember: to keep your heart healthy, stick to an exercise program where you get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least 5 times per week. Your heart will love you for it.

5 Simple Workouts You Can Do At Home


Exercises to do while at home


Working out at home is oftentimes the only option for most people. Going to the gym is not easy for some, and usually it can be expensive to pay monthly for a gym membership. This is why working out at home is the best option, and it is all about working out harder because of a lack of gym equipment. These five workouts are perfect for getting a toned and stronger body.

1.) Push Ups + Pull Ups


Push ups alone can be extremely powerful, and when combined with pull ups, expect massive growth. Vince Del Monte has explained this simple workout anybody could do.

All you need for equipment is a pull up bar. We recommend this one from amazon, It’s a decent price at $35, and can fit on almost any doorway.

The goal is to do 200 push ups and 50 pull ups every single day. This perfect upper body workout can push your chest, biceps, and triceps to new heights. The goal is to do it for three whole months every single day while taking a rest on Sunday to recover.

Now, we’re not crazy, you don’t have to do them all at once. You can interval it throughout the day, but the total number should end up at 200 push ups and 50 pulls ups.

2.) Ab Workouts


Leg Lifts

The simplicity of these workouts is what makes them worth doing to get strong abs.

The first exercise is laying down on the floor, lifting your legs together straight up in front of you up high, and then slowing letting it down back to the floor.

Do this over and over again, and try to do it for 3 sets of 10 reps. This means do the exercise 3 times with 10 repetitions in each exercise.

How to do leg lifts video:


This is the king of ab exercises since its so simple and effective at the same time. Check out the video below on how to do it properly. Like above, do it for 3 sets of 10 reps.

How to do crunches video:


The last exercise to accompany this workout is the plank, which is great for the arms and the abs. Get into a push up position, but instead of being on your hands, go onto your forearms.

Stay there for 30 seconds, and do this repeatedly around 8-10 times. Make sure to tighten your stomach to get the full effect.

How to plank video:

3.) Tabata Training

Now I know you’re probably wondering what the heck “tabata training is” so here is a short video explaining it:

Tabata is fairly vague; however, it’s a unique new way of doing cardio. The idea behind this kind of workout involves doing multiple exercises, whether it’s jumping in place, moving your arms in circles, doing squats, jumps, and other movements.

Find something that fits your style. You can find multiple other videos on YouTube that showcase different Tabata workouts.

Consider making your own up. They only need to be five to ten minutes long of fast paced cardio to develop your endurance and stamina.

4.) Squats And Squat Jumping Workout

Squats are no doubt one of the best ways to get stronger, improve your legs, and attain a stronger body overall.

Doing weightless squats at home are still very beneficial despite having any weights for you to use.

How to do squats at home:

The 100 squat challenge has always been a great workout for exercising your legs without actually needing to hit the gym. Correct form is always vital to remember.

Doing 100 squats a day is very powerful. Try doing them 10 at a time, but try doing an added jump on the tenth one onto your squats. This will give you the extra boost you need.

Now if you’re willing to drop some money, you can grab a couple of weighted kettle bells and hold onto them as you squat. You can check out some of them here.

5.) Jump Rope + Burpees

jump rope

If you want to do something that is simple and effective, try this workout.

Jump rope for about 30 seconds at high speeds. Do around 10 burpees right after. Take a quick 30 second break before doing it all over again.

Around five to eight reps should be good for you.

If you need a good jump rope, we recommend this one from amazon.com. It’s a very nice rope at only $8 bucks and has a lot of satisfied user reviews.

To do burpees correctly, you only need to stand up straight, bend forwards and put your hands on the floor, jump your feet so that you are in a push up position for a split second, and then jump back to your hands.

All you have to do next is stand back up and jump up to complete one burpee.

Check out this video on how to do burpees properly:

In conclusion

These five workouts may be simple, but they aren’t easy. They require serious work on your part. These all work together to develop your stamina, lose fat, strengthen legs and arms, increase endurance, and even build muscle.

Why Stress is Terrible for you and Some Tips to Reduce It


Tips for reducing stress in your life


Everyone feels stress at times, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In small amounts, stress can be beneficial, helping to motivate you to overcome challenges and reach your goals. Stress is also part of the body’s warning system that produces the fight-or-flight response. Chronic stress is very different from the sense of pressure you feel to finish an assignment or get to work on time, and it can actually wreak havoc on your body.

43% of adults are believed to be suffering adverse health consequences from stress, and up to 90% of all doctor’s visits are for stress-related conditions. The good news is stress management techniques can be very effective to help you overcome stress and live a healthier, happier life.

How Stress Affects Your Health

A large body of research has found many damaging effects of stress, including fueling cancer, increasing the risk of heart attack, and increasing the risk of chronic diseases. Here are some of the most important reasons that stress is bad for your health.

1. Stress increases your risk of disease

A study published in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that people who were very stressed and anxious were more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions like arthritis and heart issues ten years later.

2. Stress can fuel cancer

An animal study found that stress may help cancer cells survive and beat anti-cancer medication. It seems the adrenaline produced during stress helps cancer cells fight the medication.

3. Stress can change your gene expression

Amazingly, the chemicals produced during stress have the ability to switch on or off genes that can change the function of your immune system, how fast your body ages, whether you develop cancer, how much fat your body stores, and more.

4. Stress increase your risk of stroke and heart disease

People who deal with chronic stress are at a higher risk of stroke than those who are not. http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/83/11/1104 Anxiety and stress also raises your risk of heart attack by 27%, which is the same as smoking 5 cigarettes a day!

5. Stress can make you sick

Chronic stress and anxiety causes your body to produce cortisol, which has the ability to slowly shut down the immune system and inflammatory response. This increases your susceptibility to infection, slows wound healing, and keeps you sick longer.

Tips to Reduce Stress

Do you have too much stress in your life? You don’t need to book a vacation to get relief, but you do need to set aside some time to take care of yourself.

  • Try meditation. Research suggests that practicing meditation for even a few minutes a day can change your brain’s neural pathways to make you more resilient to stress.
  • Reach out to a friend. When you’re feeling stressed out, talk to someone about how you’re feeling and get a new perspective.
  • Identify sources of stress. Look for the real sources of stress in your life and try to identify any habits you can change or excuses you can get rid of.
  • Listen to music. Calming music can reduce your cortisol levels and blood pressure while calming your brain and body.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Avoid unhealthy foods high in fat or sugar when you feel stressed. Instead, try eating fish. Fish has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce stress symptoms.
  • Watch something that makes you laugh. Laughing releases endorphins which boost your mood and lower cortisol and adrenaline levels. Try watching a movie or stand-up routine that makes you laugh.
  • Drink green tea. Green tea has half the caffeine of coffee, which can raise blood pressure. It’s also a source of antioxidants and theanine, an amino acid that helps calm the nervous system.
  • Exercise. Even brief amounts of exercise, such as getting up and walking around the house, reduces cortisol levels and prompts the release of feel-good endorphins. Exercise can also help distract you from the trigger causing the stress.
  • Be realistic. Don’t try to put unrealistic expectations on yourself or do more than you can. Trying to accomplish too much will only cause more stress.

5 High Protein Foods You Should Consider Eating


5 Foods that are high in protein


Protein is one of our greatest resources to keep our muscles strong and to stave off hunger. Luckily, some of the best sources of protein have plenty of additional health benefits, are tasty and easy to prepare. Try adding a few of these sources of protein to your diet to stay full while staying healthy.

1. Nuts


Nuts are the perfect snack. They come in bite-sized containers, they fit perfectly in your pocket, they’re easy to grab and they are packed with tons of nutrients and vitamins. Plus, they are full of protein so you stay full longer and they are pretty darn delicious too.

When choosing which nuts to eat, always snag the ones with plenty of healthy unsaturated fats. You’ll get a healthy boost of Omega-3 fats, which will help keep you feeling slim and trim. Since studies also show that Omegas can help boost your mood, you might feel a little happier after eating a handful of nuts for a few weeks. Sure beats a Xanax.

2. Eggs


Unfortunately, over the years eggs have gotten stuck with a pretty bad rep. Since the health food crazes of the 1980s and 1990s, we have been terrified of fat. Turns out, fat isn’t so bad for us. All those years we were throwing out our yolks and choking down egg whites mixed with broccoli were all for naught.

Those yolks are actually packed with protein and nutrients like vitamin D, Omega-3s and B-12 complex vitamins. What’s even more shocking is the fact that were aren’t confined to eating eggs only three times a week anymore. We can now eat them every day. All hail the yolk!

3. Kale


In addition to being one of the most protein-packed veggies, kale has plenty of other health benefits. This iron-rich green has plenty of cancer-fight vitamin K and tons of antioxidants to keep your lymphatic system happy and healthy. Since kale became popular a few years ago, many people have developed an aversion to this tough, leafy green. Make a kale smoothie out of a few leaves of kale, one-half a banana and a cup of berries.

The berries will mask the bitter taste of the kale, but you’ll still get all the antioxidant benefits of both. The banana will add potassium and make the drink smooth and creamy. Or, throw a handful of kale leaves on a sheet pan and throw it in the oven to make kale chips—a healthy alternative to potato chips.

4. Yogurt


The health benefits of yogurt have been breaking out over the past five years. Since Greek yogurt went big in the past decade, every small dairy farmer has been trying to make it big in the yogurt industry.

Yogurt is a great snack and fantastic breakfast because it is packed with protein and has plenty of healthy cultures and bacteria that help keep your tummy running smoothly. You’ll not only eat less but you’ll feel slimmer and less hungry. Frozen Greek yogurt is also a great alternative to fat-laden ice creams, so you can freeze a few cups and watch the pounds fly off.

5. Fish


Fish is the friend of all; the meat eater, the pseudo-vegetarian, the pescatarian. The Paleo dieter, the Weight Watcher and the South Beach dieter. Fish is not only packed with tons of protein to keep you feeling full all day long, it is easier to digest than red or white meat and is full of Omega-3s that can keep your skin looking youthful and moisturized.

Fish is easy to prepare and comes in many sizes, shapes and packages. Make an easy broiled salmon by placing a salmon filet, skin-side down on a broiler pan lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before popping underneath a broiler. After a few minutes, you salmon will flake right off the skin. Serve with steamed or broiled veggies and a baked potato.

Just beware of the types of fish you eat; some fish should not be consumed more than once or twice a week due to a high iodine content.

Luckily, you might already find yourself familiar with many of these types of foods. Add a few extra to your diet to keep your muscles strong and your heart healthy.