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Why Can’t I Achieve My Fitness Goals?

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How many times have you heard someone, or yourself, make a certain fitness goal during New Years? We have all been guilty in one way or another claiming we will lose 10 pounds within the next week or that we will quit eating fast food. There’s nothing wrong with declaring these goals, except that if you do indeed lose 10 pounds in a week, you should probably see a physician. Most people can stay consistent for the first month or so, but by February they end up suddenly unmotivated from the lack of results and stop attempting all at once.

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The problem here is lack of consistency. I am sure we can all agree that if people did go to the gym for the entire year instead of the first month they would be closer to their fitness goals. The question is how?  

The first part of this milestone is to set your personal fitness goal that is feasible. The hard part is sticking through your promises because 73%  of people who set resolutions end up giving up on them. It is easy to get motivated initially, however, motivation is usually temporary. The key trick to accomplishing any task in life is consistency.

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One of the best ways to stay consistent with your fitness goals is to do something you actually enjoy. If your goal is to be more active or start going to the gym, then begin by experimenting with different training styles that can help you find what it is you enjoy doing. For example, if you take pleasure in doing weight lifting over cardio activity,  you are way more likely to remain consistent with it. You won’t see the activity as tedious and instead it will be something you look forward to.

Photo by Mattia Cioni on Unsplash         

There are so many options out there for you to try. To stay active, you can try a new sport, go to the gym, or even walk for 30 minutes a day. Even within the gym, there are a variety of different options. You can lift like a bodybuilder, Olympic weightlifter, powerlifter, etc. It can be overwhelming at first with so many options, but the best thing to do is pick something you think you may be interested in, and then try it out. Stick with whatever you choose for a while and then you’ll have a better idea of how much you like to do this activity. Overall, it is about having fun while trying to reach your fitness goals. If you can do that, you’ll find yourself being consistent with this lifestyle without even realizing it.

 

Another great way to stay consistent with your fitness goals is to have a training partner. A training partner can help keep you accountable and even make training more enjoyable. Training partners can also push you during workouts, and together you can even have some friendly competition. The key is to pick the right training partner. Choose someone with similar goals and someone you believe will be as consistent as you want to be. Finding the right training partner may not always be easy to do, but it can be a great way to help you stay consistent with your fitness goals. 

What are some other ways to stay consistent with your fitness or lifestyle goals? Comment below!

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Fitness/ Diet

What You Need to Know About Activated Charcoal

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Activated charcoal has taken the modern-day food industry abuzz not just for its mystery and intrigue but also for its health benefits. Did you know it is found in the most ubiquitous foods such as ice cream, donuts, and coffee? Although activated charcoal is starting to become popular, it was widely utilized as a popular product in natural healing around the world. It was used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for generations, and there are recorded uses of activated charcoal that date back to 1550 BC.

What Does Activated Charcoal Look Like and How is it Made?

In terms of its looks, activated charcoal usually comes in the form of black powder. It is usually produced by burning a substance without oxygen that builds a deep char. The substances can include anything from bamboo to coconut shell charcoal. When synthesized in the lab, the char is heated to a high temperature and exposed to various gases to activate the charcoal.  This leads to a porous end product that is safe for consumption.  Once the activated charcoal has been activated, it can bind to a substance and eventually gets absorbed. Activated charcoal is tasteless, odorless and completely non-toxic.

What are Some of Its Health Benefits?

  • Removing Poison and Toxins: Activated charcoal is considered one of the most effective G.I. tract decontaminants on the market. It can quickly absorb 50-60% of unwanted elements that are found in the intestines and the stomach; in fact, these absorption effects can last for up to 2 hours. The positive effects of activated charcoal can continue to last up to two hours after it’s ingested. Many emergency rooms regularly use activated charcoal for handling certain types of poison. Charcoal can bind to and remove substances even after they enter the bloodstream.
  • Oral health: Activated charcoal can be particularly powerful at removing materials from the digestive system and your teeth. It doesn’t directly neutralize toxins, but it can bind to them and quickly remove harmful substances from your mouth. Activated charcoal can quickly remove stains from the teeth and whiten teeth in just a few uses.
  • Skincare: Activated charcoal also has many uses in beauty products. It’s commonly found in many facial scrubs and it’s widely effective at removing chemicals, dirt, and bacteria that can often build up along your skin. Regularly treating your skin with activated charcoal can be an excellent anti-aging solution. It will regularly remove toxins that can make you age faster.
  • Regulating Cholesterol Levels: Activated charcoal can work to remove bad cholesterol and increase the incidence of good cholesterol just as you would receive from any prescription medication.
  • Reduces Bloating: It can be extremely beneficial in removing gas caused by byproducts in food items. Taking 500 mg of activated charcoal can help to reduce bloating and gas regularly after a meal that contains these items.

Is Activated Charcoal Safe?

Activated charcoal is non-toxic; however, if you have any health risks, you should consult your primary care physician before internal use.

Sources:

  1. https://wellnessmama.com/247/activated-charcoal/
  2. https://www.homeremediesnaturalcures.com/2018/11/25/activated-charcoal-can-be-used-to-remove-years-of-toxins-poisons-and-mold-buildup-in-your-body/

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Fitness/ Diet

A Brief Guide to Injury Prevention

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Almost every sports game, whether that is on television or in real life, at least one athlete gets injured. These injuries can range from sprains (injuries from ligaments) to stress (injuries from bones), and they occur when there is overuse, direct impact, or application of force that is greater than how much the body can withstand. Injuries are also quite common in daily exercise routines and can often require long recovery periods with intensive care. Therefore, injury prevention is critical not just to optimize performance but also to maintain proper health. Here are a few simple tips on injury prevention:

  1. Adhere to Proper Form: While often overlooked, proper form can help in lessening impact stress and avoiding injury in the first place. If you are starting to exercise, you should consider learning the appropriate form and technique from a professional. The consequences of not maintaining proper form are misaligned muscles, tendons, and joints that have the potential to cause stairs. By keeping proper form, you are also ensuring that the right part of your body is getting worked.
  2. Purchase the Right Gear: Special attention must be given to shoes, so make sure you get the right ones that suit your exercise needs. For example, walking shoes will be a little stiffer, whereas running shoes are more flexible. Moreover, you need to understand your foot shape to know what kind of support you need for your soles. The type of shoe and insoles will not just minimize any ankle or joint foot damage but will also make your work out a more pleasant experience.
  3. Drink Plenty of Water: Sweating is your body’s way of losing essential fluids, so to replenish those, be sure to drink water before and after your sports training or workout, depending on the duration. Hydration will help prevent muscle cramps and keep sodium and potassium levels high.
  4. Eat Healthier: As seen consistently, it is no secret that Western diets are high in fats and carbs. Eating these foods will make your body gain weight and will prevent you from recovering from an injury. Instead, focus on eating tons of fruits and vegetables, as these foods are essential for recovery and injury prevention. Plant-based diets are filled with Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium, which are optimal for bone recovery and growth.
  5. Know Your Physical Limitations: Understand how much your body can handle. This may mean that you need to start gradually and build up to a more vigorous workout. It is also just as important to cool down, as that gives time for the body to maintain flexibility, composure, and stability. Most importantly, listen to your body when it shows signs of immense physical fatigue.

Although these tips may help in preventive care, it is essential to be mindful of what steps to take in the case of an injury:

Sources:

  1. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Sports-Injury-Prevention-Tip-Sheet.aspx
  2. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/sports-injuries
  3. https://strengthrunning.com/2010/05/born-to-run-chris-mcdougall-ultra-runner/
  4. https://www.nfpt.com/blog/importance-proper-form-strength-training
  5. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-choose-athletic-shoes#1
  6. https://www.livestrong.com/article/297024-why-is-it-important-to-wear-proper-shoes-while-working-out/
  7. https://www.orthoarizona.org/azbone/blog/hydration-and-injury-prevention
  8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/10-tips-to-prevent-injuries-when-you-exercise
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Fitness/ Diet

3 Reasons Why Morning Exercise May Improve Your Health

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Morning exercise versus evening exercise? This lifestyle factor has been a point of contention for many individuals. Millennials, in particular, tend to exercise at night because traditional 9-5 jobs may not afford the luxuries of waking up early or working out at lunch. Some people, on the other hand, work out in the morning as it gives them a boost of energy to focus and concentrate for the day. Science, for the most part, has shown the effectiveness of exercise during the day. Check out some of these benefits below:

  1. Morning workouts have been proven to give a jumpstart to your day by “kickstarting your metabolism early.” In essence, you burn more calories and fat during the day rather than at night. For example, when you wake up in the morning, studies show that fasting while exercising improves glucose tolerance. In the study, there was a control group, a group that had fasted, and a group that consumed carbohydrates prior to exercising. The results demonstrated that those that were in the control and carbohydrate group had increased body weight, compared to the group that fasted. The group that fasted had higher muscle protein content and burned more fat stores compared to carbohydrate stores.
  2. A 2012 study conducted by Brigham Young University demonstrated that 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise decreases a person’s motivation for food. Researchers studied 35 women and assigned them to view food images, with and without a morning exercise. The women performed these two tasks in a random order. The researchers then found that after working out in the morning, attentional responses to food had decreased.
  3. A study conducted at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, 20 adults did a moderate-intensity level workout at 7 a.m., 1 p.m., or 7 p.m to monitor the participant’s sleep quality. What researchers found in the study was that the participants woke up fewer times in the night when they worked out at 7 in the morning, spending less time in REM sleep, which is considered the lightest phase of sleep.

In short, exercise during the morning helps you burn more fat stores, decreases attentional responses to food, and results in better sleep. Building up an exercise routine in the morning may seem daunting at first, but it is very doable with a little bit of consistency and motivation. This can be done by re-adjusting your sleep schedule by waking up earlier. Ultimately, exercising in the morning not only brings about the aforementioned health benefits but can also set a positive tone for the rest of the day by making you feel productive and energized.

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