Healthy Byte: Elevating the Push Up

Image result for push up

If you feel standard Push-Ups are too easy, perhaps it’s time for some variation. Hindu Push-Ups are a fantastic option for athletes of all ability levels to obtain the muscular pectorals that are necessary for strength, power and effective posture, movement and stability—all things athletes should be concerned with.

Hindu Push-Ups can be superior to Bench Presses for a few reasons:

  • By being able to manipulate the position of your body, you can create more tension in your chest, a key component for building muscle.
  • Bodyweight exercises are excellent for improving the mind-muscle connection, so you can create greater tension within the target muscle.
  • Because no external weight is involved, most athletes aren’t tempted to do more than they are capable of just to appear stronger or to stroke their ego.

The best way to include Hindu Push-Ups in your programming is to use them as an assistance exercise. Assistance exercises can be used for injury prevention and/or muscle hypertrophy, making them more suited to moderate to high reps (6-12-plus).

Although you can manipulate your body to make this movement more difficult, it isn’t a great option for maximal strength development. Instead, you should perform Hindu Push-Ups after you’ve done a maximal strength-focused movement like the Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press.

To start, perform 3 sets of 6-12 repetitions after you finish your maximal strength exercises for the day. For example, start your workout with Barbell Bench Press for 3 sets of 3 reps. After you finish all sets and reps of the Bench Press, do Hindu Push-Ups for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Programming Push-Ups as a finisher (the last sets of the training session) also works extremely well on upper- and full-body days.

How to Perform Hindu Push-Ups

1) Assume a push-up position with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your core tight and back flat.

Hindu-Push-Up-1

2) Push your torso backward and raise your butt up to move into a pike position so your body forms an inverted V.

Hindu-Push-Up-2

3) Bend your elbows to lower your upper chest to the ground while keeping your butt up. As you lower your chest, drop your butt down so your body is in a straight line when you’re closest to the ground.

Hindu-Push-Up-3

4) Straighten your arms to push your chest up, but allow for a slight arch in your back similar to the yoga Upward Dog position.

 5) From this position, push your torso backward and repeat the sequence beginning at Step 2.

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: Turn Fitness Goal to Lifetime of Good Health

NOTE: If you are like me and you simply don’t like to exercise then perhaps finding something that you “love” may be too far of a stretch. Try finding something that you don’t hate and can be consistent with and you may just end up with something you can tolerate for the long term. 🙂

While you’re working on your fitness resolutions, let’s clear up a few misconceptions:

●Your weight will fluctuate, even after hitting that feel-good goal. It happens to everyone, even elite athletes.

●At some point, you will hit a plateau.

●Your running pace will regress after initial gains.

●You will get stuck on a weight-lifting benchmark.

None of this means your work is done and you should quit. In fact, it means the work is just beginning.

Many people who accomplish short-term goals get a rush of achievement in the moment but don’t create the behavioral changes needed to maintain and improve, said Tom Raedeke, a professor of kinesiology at East Carolina University who specializes in exercise psychology. “Somehow, we have to help people go beyond . . . just meeting the New Year’s resolutions or just accomplishing this goal,” Raedeke said.

MAKE YOUR SYSTEM WORK FOR YOU

The main difference between an average adult and a high-level athlete isn’t a lack of talent or willpower but rather a lack of a system.

Sam Zizzi, professor of exercise and sports psychology at West Virginia University, points out that athletes succeed because of the infrastructure created for them: coaches and trainers, set practice times, and a methodical approach to nutrition.

All that’s left for them is to, well, just do it.

The vast majority of adults, however, do not have that in place.

“We’re competing with a wide variety of priorities, and things kind of get lost in the mix,” Zizzi said. Individuals have to either make their fitness goals a top priority and pivot their life to accommodate that goal, or merge a goal with something or someone that already is a top priority.

“There’s not this coherent goal where everyone is on board with you walking 10,000 steps a day,” Zizzi said. “You have to put the structure in place. You have to hold yourself accountable.”

Creating that structure takes accountability and support, something Evan Hakalir is building for himself. Hakalir, a 35-year-old New Yorker, lost 70 pounds in his early 20s and was physically active. During the Great Recession, he lost his real estate equity job and decided to start a new children’s clothing line, Andy & Evan, with his partner.

“With a baby on the way, I felt, ‘Oh my God, this has gotten out of control,’ ” Hakalir said. “So instead of buying the larger suit size, I decided to recommit myself to being fit.”

To keep himself accountable, Hakalir joined Weight Watchers. Wanting to use the in-person weigh-ins (and the embarrassment of a bad weigh-in) as initial motivation, he’s instead found a supportive environment.

“What I actually found were nice, like-minded people of all shapes and sizes who were on this journey. Some were much thinner than I ever was, and some were heavier. They all were on this lifelong struggle of staying healthy and fit,” Hakalir said.

Zizzi said making a plan is key. He encourages his clients to have a Plan A and a Plan B so they are prepared when life intervenes.

Raedeke recommends that individuals focus on planning an activity with details a reporter wants to know: the who, what, when, where and how. Instead of saying, “I want to walk more,” make a plan: “I will walk one mile every Monday and Wednesday at 1 p.m. with my co-worker.”

An action plan shifts the “Why?” from the outcome to the process.

Image result for fitness confidence

CULTIVATE CONFIDENCE

Just as in other areas of life, competency is a key marker when it comes to long-term health. “People are very good at their jobs and feel good and competent as a parent, but they don’t feel competent as a healthy person,” Zizzi said. “We invest and take time to do things we are good at.”

With his clients, Raedeke starts by finding out whether they have been successful in making a change in the past. “If you have, what things helped? Then, I know right away I can build on what’s worked for them in the past. It can be something unrelated to diet, but what worked for them may work for diet and exercise,” Raedeke said.

To keep the momentum going, you have to be dedicated to educating yourself (perhaps taking a healthful-cooking class or hiring a personal trainer) and to experimenting.

“Even when I first started out in my journey, I’ve had confidence to try things. I started out with workout videos, and now I have more of an idea about what I can do,” Williams said. “And I had a personal trainer a few years ago, and it was extremely helpful to get me comfortable with the gym.”

When the weight fluctuates or the running pace slows, people often get discouraged and give up or overcompensate in training, which can lead to burnout and injury. Self-sabotage is the pathway to undercutting confidence. Raedeke said individuals start viewing the regression “as a failure and also a reflection of their underlying ability versus it’s just a process.”

Understanding the science and psychology behind fitness regression and plateaus — even understanding that plateauing is a natural component of getting stronger and faster — can save a person a lot of frustration.

Experimentation not only combats boredom but also allows short-term goals to grow into long-term behavior. Williams said her goals evolved from losing weight to being healthier to becoming stronger, an activity Williams said is particularly hard for women.

Women are “fine doing a group fitness class but shy away from lifting weights, and I’ve heard so many say, ‘I want to get into weights, but I don’t know how. I’m too embarrassed.’ That’s frustrating for me,” Williams said.

Image result for regular people workout

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

In 2012, Mike Stollenwerk, a Philadelphia-based chef, made the decision to get healthy.

On a friend’s advice, he took up the martial arts discipline of muay thai. “The first month was hard because you don’t see results right away,” Stollenwerk said. “I couldn’t do a push-up, I couldn’t do a pull-up, I couldn’t jump rope. I was really out of shape. After the first two to three months, I started seeing results. I lost 10 pounds. It was getting exciting.”

In a year, Stollenwerk lost 160 pounds and was going to muay thai five days a week. But life intervened: He was in the process of opening a new restaurant in Philadelphia, which consumed the majority of his time and disrupted his eating schedule of six small meals a day.

Stollenwerk had to cut back on his hobby because it didn’t fit his schedule. As a supplement, he took up hot yoga because it “keeps the chi correct and keeps you feeling good.” It also fit his schedule; he goes to hot yoga at 6 a.m., then goes to work. Now that the restaurant, 26 North, is up and running, he’s looking forward to working more muay thai back into his weekly routine.

A sense of enjoyment is key to staying motivated for the long haul, Raedeke said. “If they can grit through it for a week or two, that’s not a lifestyle change.”

Ultimately, the goal of living healthfully is to find meaning and to embrace, rather than fight, all the peaks and valleys.

“In the process, there’s going to be natural fluctuations, and it’s part of the journey,” Raedeke said. “And the delicate nature is how to help people find meaning in the process of change, not just the outcome.”

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: Say Goodbye to Your Wings!

2016-06-14-1465911850-1380512-DaraArmWorkout.jpgPhoto: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

 

We all have that friend. The one with the Michelle Obama arms that photograph well from every angle. And if you’ve ever met NYC-based trainer Dara Theodore, she is that friend. Lucky for us, the Daily Burn 365 trainer and walking gun show (lovingly referred to as “Armageddon”) is spilling a few of her best-kept strength secrets. Scroll down to also snag the 15-minute arm workout she swears by — no equipment necessary.

 

The Better Way to Work Your Arms

If your upper body routine currently consists of curls on curls on curls, Theodore suggests rethinking your plan. “Bicep curls are fine as a single-joint exercise, but let’s face it — we’re all busy. I like to spend my time doing multi-joint, compound exercises so I get more accomplished in less time.” That’s why Theodore opts forfull-body workouts whenever she can. “When performing push-ups or renegade rows properly, your whole body should be working from arms down to legs. Yes, the focus is on upper body. But if you properly engage your legs, glutes and core, they will get a workout as well!”

And the results speak for themselves: More definition, greater strength and, if you keep at it, a higher percentage of lean muscle mass (hello, increased calorie burn!). “Maintaining a strong upper body not only makes the necessary activities easier, but it also ensures we are doing them properly (i.e. using the right muscles) so we don’t injure ourselves,” Theodore says. And let’s not forget: “At any age, we need strong muscles to support our bones,” she adds. “Its never too early to start strength training.”

 

Yet, the 44-year-old mom wasn’t always flaunting her killer arms. “As a younger woman, I had a hard time embracing my muscular physique. In my 20s, the waif-like look was in style, and I have to admit I was a bit insecure and didn’t consider my look ‘feminine’ enough,” Theodore recalls. “Thank goodness I got older andgrew up a little, and got over that nonsense! Today, I’m really proud of my muscles and work hard to make sure they work really well,” she says. “I have so much admiration for strong women, women who can lift heavy weights and support the weight of their own bodies — both are equally strong in my opinion!” Amen.

Dara’s 15-Minute Arm Workout

Don’t be fooled — this bodyweight workout packs a serious punch, especially since the exercises are performed as a circuit, with little to no rest between moves. To make sure your form is on point, Theodore recommends taking a video of yourself doing the move. “It’s a great opportunity for self-critique and progress.”

Ready? We thought so. Complete moves 1 through 5 (pictured below) in quick succession. Rest 60 seconds at the end of the circuit and repeat for three rounds.

2016-06-14-1465911288-9867021-TricepPushUp_2.gifPhoto: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

1. Narrow Grip Push-Up (10 reps)
Also known as the tricep push-up (see complete push-up tutorial here), this move targets the triceps, shoulders, chest and core. Not bad for one badass bodyweight move! “Think of the body as a moving plank with the glutes, quads and core super engaged,” Theodore says. Also be sure to draw the shoulder blades down the back and keep elbows close to body. Need to modify? Add some incline, placing the hands on a box or bench.

2016-06-14-1465911376-3690759-RenegadeRow1.gifPhoto: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

2. Renegade Row (10 reps)
Channel your inner GI Joe or Jane for this complex movement. Holding a high plank, keep the shoulders in line with one another and allow elbow to graze the rib cage as it moves toward the ceiling. Pro tip: “Try to keep hips from rocking by separating the feet and keeping glutes and quads engaged,” Theodore advises. Once you’ve got that down, you can add dumbbells for extra resistance.

2016-06-14-1465911418-957119-ProneYT1.gifPhoto: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

3. Prone Y and T (10 reps)
If you have a tendency to neglect your backside, this move has you covered. The secret: “Keep glutes engaged and hip bones and feet on the ground,” Theodore says. “Think of lifting from the arms more than from the chest but do engage the upper back, and keep a nice long neutral neck.” Though you can progress to very light weights, don’t be surprised if you’re feeling this move using bodyweight-only after just a few reps.

2016-06-14-1465911456-3463575-SidePress1.gifPhoto: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

4. Side Lying Tricep Press (10 reps)
We give you permission to skip the scary dip machine. This side-lying push-up will tone the triceps, biceps and obliques in just one equipment-free move. Be sure to press firmly into the floor, firing the triceps and core on your way up. Timing your breathing with help, too. Exhale as you press your body off the floor, and inhale as you return to the start position.

2016-06-14-1465911498-9215841-HalfGetUp1.gifPhoto: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn

5. Half Get-Up (10 reps)
If this move doesn’t make you feel strong, we don’t know what will. Holding a book, a dumbbell or nothing at all (recommended for beginners), the half Turkish get-up works everything from your shoulders, arms, hips, back and core. To get the most out of the move, “Make sure to drive through the heel of the bent leg as opposed to coming to toes, and keep an eye on the extended hand or weight to maintain proper shoulder position,” Theodore says.

 

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: Fitness Myths

2016-03-02-1456933276-7777566-FitnessLies_1.jpegCredit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

 

In a world where everyone has a body, and therefore has an opinion on that body, the number of misconceptions surrounding physical fitness is astounding. Despite years of research refuting some of these long-held fitness myths, they continue to be passed around and passed down from gym generation to gym generation in a frighteningly inaccurate oral history of the human body.

These are just a few of the glaringly obvious fitness lies it’s insane people still believe.

Muscle weighs more than fat

A pound of muscle weighs a pound. A pound of fat weighs a pound. Duh, right?

Then why do people keep claiming muscle weighs more than fat? It’s because people confuse weight with volume. Muscle is more dense than fat. A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat, but when do you talk about your fat or muscle in terms of a specific volume?

The easy solution is to stop saying, “Muscle weighs more than fat,” and to start saying, “A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat.” Or just avoid the topic altogether.

2016-03-02-1456933342-3359179-FitnessLies_2.jpegCredit: Flickr/John Loo

You need to be in the “fat-burning zone” to burn fat
This is just fundamentally untrue.

Your body’s energy requirements operate on an upwardly angled line, more or less. As you move from sitting to walking to jogging to sprinting along the x-axis, your body’s energy needs increase along the y-axis. Your body has to break down stored fat and carbohydrates (muscle glycogen and blood glucose) to produce this increased demand for energy.

The thing is, your body doesn’t break down just one source of fuel or the other — it’s constantly breaking down a ratio of the two. At lower intensities (say, sitting or walking), your body uses a greater ratio of fat to carbohydrate. Hence the name “fat-burning zone.”

As exercise intensity increases, the ratio eventually flip-flops and you start burning a higher ratio of carbohydrates to fats. But since your total energy requirement has continued to rise, you actually burn more total calories and total calories from fats than you would during lower-intensity “fat-burning zone” training. So, for example, if you’re burning six calories per minute at a 4:2 fat-to-carb ratio during jogging, you’re still burning fewer fat calories than you would at a higher-intensity sprint of 11 calories per minute at a 5:6 fat-to-carb ratio.

Protein supplements are a requirement for muscle growth
PROTEIN is a requirement for muscle growth, but protein SUPPLEMENTS are not. The building blocks of proteins — amino acids — are absolutely necessary for muscle protein synthesis and repair after exercise, and protein supplements like protein bars and powders can, of course, provide the necessary amino acids.

But you know what else can provide the necessary amino acids? Real food. Like chicken, tuna, eggs, milk, or these vegetarian-friendly sources of protein.

I’m not saying there’s no room for supplements, but believing you can’t see results in the gym without supplementation is like believing you can’t go to work without stopping at Starbucks. One is not a requirement to successfully complete the other.

Lifting weights while pregnant will hurt the baby
As long as a woman was lifting weights prior to her pregnancy, and as long as her doctor clears her to exercise, there’s no reason she can’t continue to train throughout pregnancy. This isn’t the Middle Ages, or even the 1950s. Women aren’t dainty flowers, and pregnancy isn’t an illness.

In fact, women who prioritize exercise throughout pregnancy have easier labors and recoveries than those who don’t. So, uh, yeah, lifting weights while pregnant can actually be a really good thing. Stop treating it like it’s a capital offense.

 

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

NOTE: This does NOT work for everybody – but it is always good to know what factors studies continues to find that may help those who are just starting.

No matter how you feel about the weighing yourself, Dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health, shares details from a new study on how the scale can help with weight loss. download

According to a first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers from Duke University Obesity Prevention Program reported that those who weighed themselves daily lost about three times as much weight and body fat, compared to those stepped on the scale less frequently.

The Duke obesity researchers enrolled 47 overweight men and women into a weight loss clinical trial that used electronic scales that were networked to the researchers’ computer network. All subjects were instructed to weigh in daily and were given some basic advice about healthy eating and exercise behaviors (i.e., increase water consumption, walk more, eat fewer snacks, enjoy more fruits/veggies).

Using data from the subjects’ escales, the researchers could objectively track the frequency of weigh-ins as well as the actual weights recorded. Previous studies have relied on subjects’ self-reported information about weigh-ins, which is considered less reliable.

After six months, the researchers evaluated both body weight and composition of all subjects and found that those who weighed in daily (51 percent of all subjects) lost an average of 20 pounds, compared to about seven pounds lost among those who weighed themselves about five days per week. Subjects who weighed themselves daily were also more likely to report following through on more healthy diet and lifestyle behaviors.

The authors concluded: “Daily weighing may trigger the self-regulatory processes that promote behavior change. Those who weigh daily report greater adoption of diet and exercise behaviors associated with weight control.”

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: High Fat & Nutritionally Balance Diets

120813_SCI_sciencelabEX.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large.jpg

Alternating diet between high fat, balanced may help control obesity, study finds
Researchers at the University of Georgia’s College of Pharmacy have discovered that alternating between a high fat and a more nutritionally balanced diet at regular intervals may help prevent or treat obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. They published their findings recently in the journal Scientific Reports.

For their study, scientists fed mice a high fat diet for five days before switching the animals to regular feed for a period of one, two or five days. They repeated this cycle for several weeks and observed the effects.

They found that switching to a regular diet for two or five days between periods of high fat intake not only helped control body weight, it also improved insulin sensitivity and prevented the accumulation of fat in the liver, two common side effects of obesity.

“Maintaining a proper diet requires a lot of willpower, and one of the problems we see very often with modern weight loss programs is that people cannot sustain a restricted diet over long periods of time,” said Dexi Liu, the Panoz Professor of Pharmacy at UGA. “The temptation to eat becomes overwhelming, and many people end up regaining the weight they’ve lost, so we wanted to see if there may be an alternative to these diets.”

Mice were allowed to eat as much food as they wanted during every phase of the study. The researchers also maintained two control groups, one of which received only a high fat diet and another that received only regular feed.

While mice that received only a high fat diet predictably gained weight, those fed an alternating diet closely mirrored the control group that received only regular feed in terms of their body weight, liver health and glucose sensitivity.

“The mice that received an alternating diet maintained body weight similar to mice that only received a regular diet,” Liu said. “They also had much lower levels of inflammation, which can contribute to the development of metabolic disorders like diabetes.”

Liu and his co-authors Yongjie Ma and Mingming Gao also found that an alternating diet can reverse obesity in mice. To test this, they fed a group of obese mice an alternating diet for five weeks, which led to a 12 percent reduction in fat mass compared to control animals.

“These results suggest that it may be possible to eat the foods you like, and to do so with pleasure, as long as those habits are tempered with periods of rest,” Liu said.
While he cautions that their results in an animal model do not necessarily translate directly to humans, Liu and his colleagues think that an alternating diet similar to the one used in their experiments could serve as the foundation for new dietary guidelines.

“Obesity is a complex disorder, and there are many factors that can contribute to excessive weight gain,” Liu said. “There are, for example, genetic differences that may influence how easily a person gains or loses weight, but we believe that diet is still the dominant factor.

“Ultimately, we want to find ways to help make people healthy, and an alternating diet may be a more practical way for people to live a healthier life.”

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: Weight Loss Myths

While some have tried pretty shocking techniques to lose weight, there are also some common, long-held techniques that seem like a good idea — and may even work at first — but are absolutely going to backfire and end up causing weight gain. If you’re on a quest to a slimmer you, avoid doing these five things.

Having a Cut-Off Time For Eating

If you’ve heard that you shouldn’t eat past 6, 7, or 8 p.m. in order to lose weight, that’s just not true. Food eaten at night doesn’t automatically get stored as fat, as previously believed. What time you stop eating has nothing to do with how much weight you’ll gain or lose — it’s the total calories you consume in a day that matters. If you are a late-night snacker, opt for healthier options that are easy to digest.

Deprivation

Whether it’s all carbs, all gluten, all sugar, all baked goods, or all whatever, certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition believes this is not a life your pizza-ice-cream-pasta-loving self can sustain. After a period of forced deprivation, most people will just throw in the towel and devour an enormous plate of whatever they’re living without, says Langevin. Or, if they are able to go through a period of elimination, once they go back to eating these foods, the weight they lost will slowly creep back on. When it comes to maintaining weight loss, moderation is key.

Subscribing to a Low-Fat Diet

Going no fat or low fat was a huge trend back in the ’90s, a fad that we are glad has mostly passed. Most low-fat foods are packed with sugar to add flavor, and as a result, they end up causing weight gain — especially belly fat. Also of importance is that we’ve since learned that eating healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nuts can actually help to increase metabolism and can burn away belly fat. Healthy fats also fill you up longer, so go ahead and add nuts to your smoothie, avocado to your soup, or roast your veggies in olive oil.

Skipping Out on Meals

In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. And while reducing the number of calories in your diet is one way to do this, skipping an entire meal is not the way to go. Starving the body can slow down its metabolism and lead to overeating later. And let’s face it, if you’re running on empty, you won’t have the energy for a calorie-crushing workout later. Beyond adopting a healthier diet in general, the best way to reduce your calorie intake is to find ways to make healthy swaps in your favorite foods and also by choosing lower-calorie foods that are high in fiber, protein, or whole grains, which can better keep you full.

Only Exercising

Working out is definitely part of the weight-loss equation, but if you think it means you can eat whatever you want, you’re not going to be happy with the results. Keep in mind that a 30-minute run at a pace of six mph (10 minutes per mile) burns about 270 calories. In order to lose a pound a week, you need to burn or cut out 500 calories a day. So that means coupled with your 30-minute workout, you still need to cut out 220 calories from your diet, which most likely does not translate to eating everything in sight. Research actually proves that “abs are made in the kitchen,” which means that what you eat — focusing on eating healthy portions throughout the day — can be even more important than how much you work out.

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig