With kids back heading back school soon, germs will be flying and as the weather chills the last thing you want to do is battle a cold. In order to prevent and fight infection, your body needs an army of immunity boosting foods and nutrients. Probiotics are a great way to help boost your immunity by ensuring a balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut. Many yogurts, and some other products, contain probiotics. Other nutrients experts believe have infection-fighting properties include garlic, ginseng and aloe vera (studies are being done to better understand the role of these nutrients). As always, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and always get a good night of sleep!
If you have been resistance training and you are at a standstill or unsatisfied with your strength gains, try slowing down the eccentric phase of muscle contraction. The eccentric phase provides the “brakes” when lowering a weight. It is simply when the muscle is lengthening under tension rather than shortening. To train the eccentric phase of the muscle contraction: after lifting, lower the load through the entire range of motion as smoothly as possible to a count of 4-5 seconds. This method will cause the muscle to sustain greater levels of cellular damage and result in further cellular repair, which in turn means increased strength and muscle mass.
Did you know that a common reason people avoid exercise is due to a fear of getting hurt? Injuries tend to be an unavoidable part of life – it’s true; however, there are several ways you can prevent injuries relating to exercise.
- Focus on the task at hand: It’s incredibly important to focus on your body’s movements, particularly when it comes to your form whilst performing an exercise. Allowing yourself to be distracted can lead to uncontrolled and unplanned movements, which may then lead to an injury. While some degree of discomfort during and following your training session is normal, pain is typically a sign that you have injured yourself.
- Set yourself up for success: It’s important to exercise in a safe environment, which is why you should avoid slippery surfaces, ensure equipment is properly stored when not in use and always wear proper (activity-specific) footwear – shoes designed to provide special support and flexibility for physical activity.
- Understand and respect your limits: Pushing your body beyond its comfort zone is necessary to improve; however, it is important to be aware of your body’s limitations as pushing yourself beyond what your body can do is a sure-fire way to hurt yourself.
It’s important to remember that as we age, the risk of developing various health issues and diseases can be vastly reduced by committing to regular physical activity. Research has shown that working with a personal trainer not only generates results more quickly and efficiently but also with fewer injuries than training alone!
Sometimes it’s easier to cut corners to speed up your workouts but doing so may not only hinder your results but could actually lead to serious injuries. Consider if you were to rush through lifts instead of controlling the weight as you lifted and lowered it. Not only will controlling the motion ensure you are gaining all of the strength benefits of lifting the weight, but by ensuring you are in full control you will also avoid unnecessary strains and injuries.
What does it mean to eat heart healthy foods? It means selecting foods that benefit your heart and positively impact your cardiovascular health.
Though you may think all fats are bad for your heart, the reality is that there are some great heart healthy fats that you should be including in your diet, including: monounsaturated fats (found in avocados, olive oil, etc.) and polyunsaturated fats (found in salmon, corn oil, etc.). Be heart healthy – include heart healthy fats in your diet, reduce and monitor your sodium intake and be sure to live an active and healthy lifestyle.