muscle

What is Clean Bulking?

Getting in shape doesn’t always means slimming. For those that are already slim, it can often mean bulking up. Clean bulking is a way of combining diet and exercise to build muscles mass. It’s most popular amongst men wanting to tone up, but recently many women wanting to develop a fuller figure have developed an interest in it too.

Much like slimming, clean bulking require discipline and a lot of motivation. If you’re eager to start here are some of the steps you’ll need to take.

Fixing up Your Diet

You can’t bulk up unless you’re upping your calorie intake. This can scare many people off that fear they’ll get fat as a result. However, if you’re complimenting extra eating with lots of exercises, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Like any slimming diet, the key is still to eat healthily, so that all energy is converted into muscle. Instead of processed carbs like sugary snacks and fried foods, consider eating lots of potatoes, rice, and pasta. Protein is also essential to muscle growth and many people will take supplements such as protein shakes. Organic meats, eggs, nuts and milk can be another great unprocessed source of this protein.

On top of eating the right amount of food, you’ll need to consume a healthy amount of water. Other minerals can also help with a progress. You can find many dietary tips and meal plans for clean bulking online.

It’s all Connected to the Core

A healthy core will affect every other part of your body. It’s what helps you to balance and keep you upright. Most people assume that the core simply means the abs, but it actually incorporates all your torso muscles.

Individual exercises can help with many core muscles. Dips can help build your pecs – you’ll find help online on how to do dips at home for the chest. Sit ups, crunches, Russian twists, and leg raises meanwhile can be great for the abs. Endurance exercises such as the plank meanwhile are great for strengthening your whole core and good additions to add at the end of a workout.

Working Your Arms

There are many ways to bulk up the arms. Push ups and pull ups are great for testing most of your arm muscles. Specific exercises meanwhile can be catered to more specific arm muscles groups such as bicep curls and tricep dips. Gyms will often have all the specialist equipment, but you can often achieve the same result simply by buying a pair of dumbbells and working out from home, as well as getting imaginative with furniture (a couch is brilliant for tricep dips and elevated push ups).

Leg Day

Many people, specifically men, will pay little attention to their legs when bulking up. Forgetting leg day however will make you look disproportioned and have a knock on effect later as your legs aren’t able to support the rest of your body.

Many activities are great for building leg muscle. Cycling works out all your muscles groups from your quads to your calves to your glutes. Other exercises are more focused such as deadlifts and squats that specifically target your quads. If you have a gym membership, you’ll find many machines that can further build up your legs.

Creating a Routine

Bulking up requires a good routine. If you’re working out every day, a sensible option is to cycle between core, legs and arms. This will allow you to focus on each group whilst also allowing enough recovery time. Another approach is to exercise your whole body in one session but to give yourself a day’s break between each session.

A personal trainer may be able to help you create a routine that fits around your weekly schedule. As soon as your routine becomes comfortable, you can then start to up the stakes by increasing the number of reps, the time or the weight.

Whilst most of your exercise regime will be strength-based, it’s good to also include some endurance in there. Cardio exercises strengthen the heart and a healthy heart is much needed when bulking up to provide the extra muscle mass gained with the blood and oxygen it needs.

Staying motivated

Keeping motivated is the biggest challenge. Often the best way to stay motivated is to have a tangible target. This could be a target body shape, a target strength that you wish to be able to reach or a clothing size. From week to week, you should also be setting yourself micro-goals. These could be anything from beating your time at the plank to managing an extra weight.

Tracking your progress is important. Some gyms will have machines that do this for you so that you can keep on target with each week. If you’re training at home, you may be able to use apps to measure your progress. Having body stats available can greatly help to spur you on.

You can also take photographs in the mirror. These will show you how far you’ve come and may provide you the motivation to keep going.

Blogging and social media reporting also helps for some people. From week to week you can report your progress so that others can read and get inspired or simply spur you on.

Some people also find that training with someone else helps. This could involve training with a friend or could involve hiring a personal trainer to help put you through your paces. Make sure that if you are training with a friend or family member that you’re still sticking to your routine. Exercise classes may work for some, but probably not for the majority – whilst the likes of CrossFit incorporate many weight exercises, they do not stick to a routine from week to week and focus more on general fitness. Bulking requires specific training catered to the individual in most cases and you’re unlikely to be able to follow this working with a group of people with different goals and needs. That said, such as exercise groups can be still good to do on the side and have been known to introduce many people to weightlifting and new exercise ideas.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post – Sprint Workout: How to Maintain Muscle and Still Lose Fat

When you are sprinting, you always feel accomplished even if the sprint lasts for a split-second. Sprinting is one of the most intense workouts known by man. Olympic sprinters are capable of covering a distance of 100 meters in less than 10 seconds meaning that they output a lot of energy, concentration, and power.

Sprinting is a great workout strategy for persons looking to burn fat but maintain their muscle mass. Although it does not burn a lot of calories within the short period of the actual work, it is an effective fat-burning exercise after the workout.

Sprinting stimulates your metabolism level on a great scale and therefore after the sprint, your body burns a lot of calories and fat for close to some hours after the intense sprinting workout is over. Here we look at the basics of sprint workout and its effectiveness in helping you lose fat but maintain muscle.

Why is Sprinting Considered an Effective Workout?

Sprinting is effective in maintaining the muscle mass in your body and losing fat due to its nature of being a power-based workout. When sprinting, you make use of all your three energy systems i.e. aerobic, glycolytic and anaerobic.

Sprinting is considered as an effective workout as it not only burns fat in your body effectively but also pushes you to your absolute mental and physical limits. It requires you to fully focus on the workout at hand and push through the oxygen deprivation and muscular fatigue thereby making you become a powerful athlete in the end.

Important Instructions for Your Sprint Workout Sessions

Before starting on your sprint workout, it is essential to take part in a thorough warm up. This is very important as it prepares you both physically and mentally for the training session ahead while decreasing the chances of suffering from injuries. Here is an important guide to follow when warming up:

  • Low-intensity Cardio: You should have a CrossFit jump rope that you should use for jumping for about 4-5 minutes in order to break a sweat. Jogging could be another great alternative for a great warm up session.
  • Precise Sprint Drills — you should perform a series of skips (power skip, side skip, and front skip), lunges (stationary or walking) as well as leg swings (side-to-side and front/back). You can do these sprint-specific drills for about 4 — 5 minutes.
  • Accelerations and Plyometrics — you can do some light plyometrics like squat jacks, high knees, and skater hops as well as 10, 20 or 30-meter accelerations again for about 4 — 5 minutes.

Your warm up sessions are geared towards activating your body muscles and sharpening the reaction time in order to generate speed in a quick and safe manner. After warming up for 15 minutes, you will be ready for the sprints.
Sprint Workout

It’s possible to choose your preferred number of sets to take part in for an effective sprint workout. Here are some sets that can be used in a sprint workout:

– Four sets where you cover a distance of 40 meters at 95%, walk back to where you started and do another sprint. The sets should be done after every two minutes before taking a five-minute rest after doing all the four sets.

– A single set of 400 meters, where you should sprint as fast as you possibly can before taking a two-minute rest.

– Four sets of 100-meter strides where you take easy strides and cool down before walking back to the starting point for another set.

You can jog for half a mile and stretch a bit as a form of cooling down. Beginners should sprint once a week but athletes can do it twice in a week.

Other Ways of Burning More Fat and Maintaining Muscle

Apart from sprinting, you should also incorporate weight lifting in your workout program. Investing in a good Olympic weight bench will be important in ensuring you lift weights safely. Lifting heavy weights and sprinting very fast increases your body’s fat mobilization as well as muscle maintenance.

It is important to chart your progress in the weight room to note any reduction in strength as it could point towards a probable muscle loss. You can also invest in the best treadmill to build up your sprinting power and speeds for an effective sprint workout.

Tips to Becoming a Sprint Workout Pro

In order to become a pro in sprint workout, you ought to start slowly with shorter distances and work your way up. At the beginning, you should take adequate time to rest but as you get better the rest period should be decreased slowly. Sprint for the shortest period of time at your best speeds since it will be more effective than sprinting for long but at a less velocity.

References

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-maintain-muscle-while-losing-weight/

http://www.builtlean.com/2016/05/09/sprint-workout-burn-fat/

http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/how-to-lose-fat-without-losing-muscle/

Annie Jones is the main responsible behind the BoostBodyFit.com. She started off a bit on the chubby side, but went through the transformation and now enjoys the great health and looks great.

Guest Post: Reasons Why Yoga is Good for Your Health

Dealing with everyday stress seems to be more difficult today. Just as you’re about to finish a task at work, your boss assigns to you another project; meanwhile, your pet is sick, and your phone battery is dead. It looks like everything is going down in flames. Instead of allowing stress and anxiety to get the best of you, you can start developing your own strategies for handling stress and staying healthy. One of the best ways to do that is by hitting the mat and giving yoga a try.

Have a perfect posture

By spending a lot of time hunched over our computers we are ruining our posture since it is difficult to keep the spine in a perfectly upright position all the time. This means that our sedentary lifestyle puts a lot of strain on neck and back muscles, and modern technology, as well as hours spent in front of a computer, don’t make things any easier. Not only does a poor posture look bad, but it also causes back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. Yoga improves your flexibility, it strengthens your neck and back muscles and helps you stand straight. You will soon notice that your posture is improved and that your back pain problems are gone.

Get Stronger

Strong muscles look amazing, but when you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or in front of a TV, it becomes very difficult to keep that sculptured body. Strong muscles mean that you’ll stay healthy for a long time, you will improve your balance, and you will look amazing. As easy as yoga may seem at first, it’s very difficult, and before you know it, you will notice your body changing, becoming leaner and more muscular.

Improve Flexibility

Not only will you be getting stronger, but you will also become more flexible. Improved flexibility is something that happens over time. During your first classes, you might have trouble bending over, touching your toes, and doing a backbend. Still, if you are persistent and dedicated, you will soon notice your body becoming more flexible with every new class. As your flexibility improves, all your pains and aches will significantly diminish. You will also become more graceful, as you will have better posture and you will be moving with ease.

Fight Insomnia

People who suffer from insomnia have also noticed that the quality of their sleep is significantly improved after only eight weeks of daily yoga. What is more, a study found that even people who survived cancer started feeling less fatigued and could sleep better after doing yoga twice a week. Sleep issues are tightly connected to anxiety, and it is not uncommon that you find it difficult to fall asleep just because you cannot stop thinking about everyday problems and troubles. Breathing and mental exercises help your mind to relax too, and allow it to slow down, so you will soon discover that you’re sleeping better. Start using yoga accessories to help you focus better: find bundles of white sage on Sivana Spirit – the smell is lovely and it will help you relax.

Yoga is not only good for relaxation and finding a peace of mind, but it also represents an incredibly effective mind-body practice. By focusing on your breathing and keeping your body in the right position, you will find it easy to meditate and relax. The best thing is that pretty much anyone can do yoga – there are different kinds of yoga for you to choose from, and once you find the one that’s perfect for you, you will notice that you’re getting healthier with each day.

Diana Smith is a full-time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

Guest Post: How to Maximize Muscle Mass Before, During and After a Workout

This article provides a summary of how to build muscle mass and the type of workout required, the best type of exercises to get the quickest results and the importance of diet.

Strength, Size and Endurance Training

There are three main types of workouts. Workouts designed to produce muscle strength, workouts designed to produce muscle size or mass and endurance training workouts.

If you’re training for strength it’s advised to do fewer reps per set (about 1-5), whereas for muscle endurance doing more reps per set is preferable (13-20). Focusing on building muscle mass, involves a type of muscle growth called Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy and is somewhere between this range.

It is muscle size and mass that I will concern myself with in this article and it’s the most common type of workout, designed to create a lean and bulky muscular look.

Workouts Designed to Produce Muscle Mass

To maximize muscle mass, you have to do more than just push your body to the limit through resistance training. You have to choose the right exercises, the right number of reps and the right amount of rest after each workout. All this done correctly maximizes muscle fibre engagement.

I recommend targeting different muscle groups at different times of the week giving yourself one or two days rest in between exercising that muscle group.

One effective technique is the 3 day split and involves exercising three different muscle groups on three different days of the week. This could involve exercising the legs and Abs on a Monday, taking one day rest and exercising the Chest, Shoulders & Triceps on a Wednesday, taking another days rest and exercising the Back and Biceps on a Friday. Then taking two days rest and repeating the next week.

So for example:

Monday – Work on your Legs and Abs with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

Wednesday – Work on your Chest, Shoulders & Triceps with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

Friday – Work on your Back & Biceps with 3 different exercises. 4 sets for each and 12-15 reps per set

You should pick two or three exercises for each muscle group and then perform 4 sets of between 12-15 reps for each exercise. This would work out at around 8-12 sets per day with 12-15 reps per set.

If three different exercises for each muscle group is too much you should stick to two while starting out, or you could try 2 sets instead of 4 sets for the last exercise.

Working out more than 3 days a week can mean your muscles don’t have time to recover, resulting in wasted effort.

Isolated versus Compound Exercises

You need to choose the correct exercises to maximize muscle growth. This means targeting as many muscles as possible. Compound exercises target more muscle fibres with each lift and therefore provide the most results in the shortest period of time and with the least exercises.

For example a tricep kickback will target just one group of arm muscles — the triceps on the back of the upper arm. However the bench press will target your triceps, pec muscles, and your deltoids, with your biceps acting as a dynamic stabilizer. If you’re targeting two or more muscles than it’s a compound exercise and not an isolated exercise.

By targeting a larger portion of muscle fibres, this will be more taxing on your system and result in a greater release of anabolic hormones resulting in greater muscle growth.

With compound exercises, you don’t need as many exercises per workout and you can spend less time in the gym.

Typical compound exercises include:

• Squats

• Split Squats

• Lunges

• Reverse Lunges

• Pullups

• Deadlifts

• Barbell rows

• Incline bench press

• Decline bench press

• Flat bench press

• Standing Military Press

The Role of Protein, Creatine and Glutamine

Of course nutrition and supplements play a huge role in building muscle with protein being at the top of the list for supplements needed for gaining lean muscles. Creatine and Glutamine are also very important.

Protein should be taken half an hour before a workout to provide your muscles with adequate nutrition thereby reducing the breakdown of muscle or catabolism during workouts. Also, right after a workout, when your muscles are depleted of nutrition. This will aid in muscle recovery and growth. Another important time to take protein is right before bed and upon waking when the body again is again depleted of nutrition.

Glutamine on the other hand should be taken right before bed as this boosts growth hormone levels significantly. Another good time to take glutamine is first thing after waking as this helps in the recovery process from difficult workouts.

You should take creatine about half an hour before a workout and again right after a workout as this creates an anabolic state for your muscles and helps prevent muscle breakdown.

Don’t Over-train

Don’t’ get into the bad habit of working out too long, or train too many days. When it comes to body building, often less is more. Overtraining comes with little to no gains in size or strength. You need to give your muscles time to recover, which means plenty of rest between workouts.

So combining a good workout with the right exercises and reps and the right nutrition, sufficient rest, and a solid supplementation program, you will build a great physique with the least amount of work.

Simon is a personal trainer and gym instructor, his website www.fithealthyliving.com is devoted to all things fitness related, but mainly focused on gym equipment reviews, strength training, workouts, and nutrition.

Get Lean this Summer

Summer might not be far away, but there’s still plenty of time to get lean before you have to bare all in a bikini. No matter where you are on your fitness journey, there are lots of things you can do to ensure that you look better by the time summer rolls around.

Here’s what you need to do to get lean this summer:

Ramp up the Cardio

If you have weight to lose, your first step should obviously be getting rid of those excess pounds. That means cardio and lots of it. Running, dancing aerobics – they will all help you to lose weight so that you can concentrate on leaning out and tanning up.

If you want to really ramp up your cardio weight loss, you could try exercising in a fasted state, which means that you would need to fit your workout in before your first meal of the day. There is some evidence to suggest that doing this will help your body to burn more fat. You can read more about fasted cardio at https://legionathletics.com/fasted-cardio/ if you’re unsure whether it’s a good idea for you to work out this way.

Increase Your Meals

In the spring and summer months when the weather is starting to get warmer, it’s easy for your appetite to slow to a crawl, but if you want to get lean, you need to be eating enough calories to support your body through exercise and help you to build lovely lean muscles. One trick that a lot of bodybuilders use is increasing their meal frequency so that they eat 5-7 smaller, light meals per day. Do this, and you’ll meet all of your calorie needs and keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders.

Get Toned in Ten

It might sound impossible, but you can actually get toned in as little as ten minutes. The workout program at http://www.piyoreviews.com/ will help you do just that if you stick to it religiously from now until summer, and combine it with some of the other tips in this post.

Stay Hydrated

I cannot stress just how important it is to stay hydrated when you’re working on cultivating a leaner body. If you are even a little bit dehydrated, your body’s fat-burning ability will slow down, you’ll feel terrible, and you’ll have a much tougher time getting through the exercise you need to get results.

Get Rid of Sugar

Nothing will ruin your efforts to get leaned more than a diet high in sugar. Sugar is nothing but empty calories which will quickly turn to fat in the body. It will also make you feel sluggish after the initial boost, naming it more difficult for you to stick to your diet and exercise regime. If you have a sugar craving, eat a piece of fruit instead. The sugar you get from fruits is healthier and less likely to lead to binges or crashes that say chocolate or candy.

Get a Fake Tan

Doing all of the above will help you to get leaner than you’ve ever been, but if you want to enhance your results, getting a spray tan, or faking your own bake will slim you down and give you an even leaner look. It’s okay to fake it sometimes!

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Get Fit Before Summer Hits

So, you’ve realized that summer is just around the corner and you’re starting to panic. Sit back, take a deep breath and relax. You might not have much time left until the start of summer, but there is still enough time to get in shape and ensure that you can wear your bikini with pride.

Here are some quick tips to help you get fit before summer hits:

Eat Breakfast Like a King

If you want to slim down in time for summer, you might want to rethink when you consume the bulk of your calories. Most of us eat our biggest meal at dinner time, but research from Skidmore College suggests that eating our biggest meals earlier in the day can help us to drop more weight than eating later in the day. So, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a lowly subject to maximise your weight loss potential.

Go Easy on the Carbs

Another way to get rid of a bloated belly and lose your love handles rapidly is to dramatically cut down on a number of carbs you eat. You could lose as many as 14 pounds in a month by going on a very low carb diet, where the bulk of your calories come from protein and healthy fats, but even if you don’t want to go to extremes, cutting down on refined carbs could help you to lose a few pounds and get a flatter belly by bikini season.

Follow a Bikini Body Guide

If you can find a good bikini body guide, and http://www.bikinibodyguidereview.com/ can help you with that, and you follow it religiously, you should see an improvement in your weight and muscle tone in as few as four weeks. Of course, you’ll need to stick with it a bit longer than that for optimum results, but start now, and you will look better by summer.

Practice Yoga

Have you noticed that dedicated yogini’s all have the most wonderfully lean, toned bodies? It isn’t a coincidence; yoga’s fine mix of bodyweight exercises and serious stretching is perfect for building the kind of lean muscle mass which makes you look beautiful in a bikini. Practice for an hour a day, using https://www.doyogawithme.com/, and you will see spectacular results much sooner than you think.

Go for a Run

Cardio exercise is great for burning fat, and running is one of the most effective forms of cardio exercise available to the average person. If you have love handles, take up running right now and not only will you see them diminish, but you’ll tone up your arms and legs too.

Ditch the Soda

You can’t exactly strut your stuff in a bikini when you’re suffering from belly bloat, and you know what causes more belly bloat than anything else? Soda. Switch your daily carbonated beverages for fat-fighting green tea and reap the rewards.

What’re Your Thoughts

All of these things will help you get fit in time for your favorite season, but only if you put them into practice every day from now until the first day of summer. So, show some resolve, do whatever it takes to get motivated and work hard.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Workout Woes: Three Common Mistakes Women Make At The Gym

Staying in shape is pretty high on many women’s lists of priorities. There are plenty of different reasons why you might want to work out regularly. It could be a desire to look a certain way, or you might just be trying to live a slightly healthier lifestyle. Whatever your reasons are, you likely want to use your time at the gym as productively as possible. There’s nothing more discouraging than putting a lot of effort into your workouts, only to find that they’re not really having any impact. Luckily, if that’s something that you’re dealing with, there are often some pretty simple reasons behind it. This means that you often have to fix one of a selection of pretty simple mistakes in order to start getting the most out of your workout!

Ignoring Weight Training

This is one of the most common mistakes that women make when they’re at the gym, and sadly it comes from some pretty unpleasant gender stereotypes. For one thing, it comes from the idea that women simply don’t have the capacity for strength that men do. The other reason is that there are a lot of stereotypes about what results women “should” get out of their workouts. Many women are taught to avoid getting too muscular because that’s not feminine enough.

These things are both ridiculous, but they do tend to get into many women’s heads a lot of the time. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should run straight for the heaviest possible weights and potentially hurt yourself. Check out these adjustable dumbbell reviews if you’re looking to get started doing some strength training so that you can find something that fits your personal comfort level. The muscle building that comes with strength training is going to help you get a lot more out of your workout than if you were just focussing on cardio.

Not Refueling After a Workout

Sadly, this comes from more unpleasant stereotypes that surround women trying to get in better shape. You’ll almost always see men at the gym having a protein shake after a workout, and most men’s workout routines involve a pretty hefty amount of calories. Sadly there’s an assumption that a woman at the gym should also be watching their caloric intake really carefully. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that it’s impossible to have the right amount of energy during any workout if you’re not taking in enough energy in the first place. Make sure that you’re balancing the number of calories you’re eating so that you’re not left exhausted within moments of arriving at the gym.

Not Having Clear Goals

If you don’t have a clear goal to work towards, then you’re going to find it very difficult to find the motivation that you need to stick at anything. A goal to aim for is the thing that gives you the energy you need when you’re faced with the desire to quit. And make no mistake, that desire will appear at some point. When you’re tired and feeling like you just want to give up, having a clear goal in mind is one of the very best ways to give yourself that extra boost you need to motivate yourself. By the same token try to keep your goals realistic, putting in a lot of work but not reaching your goals because they were simply too ambitious, is a seriously effective way to end up frustrated and discouraged.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Exercising? You Need These Nutrients

You need to eat well while you’re exercising. Otherwise, you’re simply not going to get all the benefits possible from your activities. But it’s worth finding out how precisely you should eat when you’re exercising.It’s not enough to say “eat well” – you need to know what nutrients your body actually requires!

Sodium

Many people may cringe upon hearing the word “sodium” in relation to health; they know it essentially means you need to think about the inclusion of salt in your diet. But isn’t that a big no-no? Actually, exercise makes you lose sodium very quickly, and if you don’t replenish that sodium then you can experience cramps. Low sodium levels in the long-term can cause hyponatremia. That’s why sports drinks have added salt in them!

Zinc

When you don’t get enough zinc, your oxygen intake can become negatively affected. So if your exercise is focused largely on cardiovascular and endurance activities (and what good exercise routine doesn’t at least feature these things?), then you need to pay attention to your zinc levels. It’s also great for helping to keep testosterone levels up, which is something that will become increasingly important for men approaching middle-age! Chickpeas, spinach, cashews, and mushrooms are fantastic ways to get zinc into your system. (Psst – so is dark chocolate!)

Omega-3

If you’re working on cardiovascular activities, then you need to keep your heart healthy. And there are few nutrients out there better at protecting your heart than omega-3. To many, this means you need to consume fish and fish oil – something that worries vegetarians and vegans! But omega-3 can be found in abundance in berries, seeds, mangoes, and leafy greens. Precisely the kind of things you can combine in a Ninja blender to make a tasty and nutrient-packed smoothie!

Magnesium

When you exercise vigorously, you’re actually putting your bones through quite the ringer. Those frequent hard impacts that accompany running can cause problems if you’re not keeping up your bone strength. Calcium is usually considered the obvious nutrient when it comes to bone strength, but you mustn’t forget about magnesium. It also helps you retain muscle strength. After all, your muscles take similar punishment during rigorous exercise! Avocados and bananas are great sources – they’re also rich in potassium, helping you maintain your energy levels. (Psst – dark chocolate also contains a lot of magnesium! Seriously, don’t underestimate dark chocolate. But, y’know, don’t pig out on it, either.)

Vitamins B, C, D, and E

It might be a safe assumption that you need all the lettered vitamins when you’re exercising regularly. But it’s good to understand why these ones, in particular, are so important. Vitamin B helps you metabolize fats and proteins, an essential function for people who exercise. (Vegans will probably need to take supplements to keep their levels up!) Vitamin C helps prevent shortness of breath during and after exercise, so stock up on oranges and grapefruit!

Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – helps the mitochondria in your muscles regenerate energy during exercise. This helps you maintain endurance. As for vitamin E – well, vitamin E is just really good at preventing illness. And few things disrupt your exercise routine quite like being ill!

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Supplement Your Fitness Goals With These Diet Changes

It’s not easy sticking with fitness goals; so if you’ve managed to make it for longer than a few weeks, you should be very proud of yourself. Unfortunately, most people will stop their workout routine at this point for several reasons; they’re too busy, their enthusiasm has died down a bit, or they’re not seeing enough results to keep putting in the effort.

Regular exercise is a big step in the right direction, but sometimes it’s not enough to help your body reach peak physical health. If you’re trying to break a lifetime of bad habits; it can help to supplement your fitness goals with a few diet and lifestyle changes to boost the effectiveness of your workout.

Eat Well and at The Right Time

You’ve all heard about the importance of not skipping breakfast. However, if you prefer to do your workouts in the morning, it may be better to wait and have your healthy omelet after you’re done. If you eat breakfast immediately before exercising, not only do you risk making yourself a bit sick, but your body has to burn off what you’ve just eaten before tapping into the fat reserves that you want to burn.

Add More Protein to Your Diet

If you find that you’re still snacking as much as you used to before you began working out (even if the snacks are of the healthy variety); you might want to look into adding more protein to your diet. Protein will curb your appetite so you’re no longer snacking throughout the day, and it helps you burn fat and build muscle during your workouts. You can get your protein fix from eggs, almonds, chicken breasts, broccoli, or lean beef. You don’t need to resort to whey protein shakes unless you think they could benefit your personal workout. Try increasing your protein intake before you try other hunger suppressing supplements such as the HCGDiet.com.

Get enough sleep

Regular workouts should be helping you to sleep easier anyway, but if you’re not getting your recommended hours per night; you’re actually hurting your weight loss efforts. You could be doing everything right; balancing cardio with weight training, eating the right foods, and drinking plenty of water. But if you’re sleeping less than seven hours a night, you could, in fact, be undoing all your hard work.

Sleep deprivation disrupts your body’s ability to store insulin, which is responsible for removing fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually, this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like your liver. On a wider scale, lack of sleep reduces your motivation, which is a significant factor of people giving up on their fitness goals. You don’t want to go to the gym or for a quick run when you’re tired. You crave more sugar and caffeine when you’re sleep deprived.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: Top 10 Weight Loss Exercises

Losing weight can be a difficult prospect. With so much information out there, it can be tough to find the right method. In this article, I’ll be talking about some fantastic weight loss exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime, and can help increase your metabolism so your body will burn off fat like butter.

There’s a common belief that only long distance or cardiovascular endurance type of exercises are good for weight loss. While you do lose weight while doing those exercises, they don’t increase your metabolism very much, because they don’t build much muscle mass. By doing some strength training, you will increase your muscle tone, and this will increase your metabolism. This can dramatically help you lose weight.

Squats

Squats are a great way to strengthen your upper legs, calves, stomach, and lower back. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Take a deep breath in. Pull you arms back behind you, and begin to swing them forward as you squat down. Put the weight on the balls of your feet. Swing your arms so they tips of your fingers barely touch the floor. Inhale as you stand up. Repeat as many times as you can. At first, you’ll be able to do ten or twenty, but you’ll be able to increase over time.

Push ups

Push ups are another great way to increase your lean muscle mass. They work pretty much every muscle above the waist. Start in the push-up position, and then raise your backside so that you are in an upside down V. As you lower your midsection, sweep your chest and face forward, and then lift them up. Your legs and waist should be just above the floor, and chest and face should be pointed forward. Return to the V position and repeat. This is fairly difficult, so don’t expect to do more than a couple the first time. Just keep at it, and be prepared to be amazed at the changes in your upper body.

Sit up

Build good looking abs with sit ups. There are countless variations, so just choose one that you are familiar with. A common one, which works plenty of muscles, is called the mummy sit up. Lay down on your back, like you are getting ready to go to sleep. Then sit up without bending your legs, or lifting them off the floor. When you can do twenty-five of these, consider yourself to have stronger stomach muscles that pretty much anybody you meet.

Walking

Walking makes the best exercises list not because it is extraordinary but because you do it every day. It is extremely easy to stick to a workout plan when it includes walking because it’s something you do anyway. Simply making yourself walk more or further is much easier task than keeping that New Year’s resolution to go to the gym three times a week!

Planks

A plank is a variation of a push up and really works the core muscles. It includes pushing up off the ground as if you’re going to do a push up, but instead holding the pose for at least one minute. A repetition of ten to twenty planks per day will shed the pounds quicker than with 500 pushups a day! It is a good idea to start out slow as just one of these can really make a difference in your overall weight loss.

Dance

Dancing is an incredibly fun and easy way to shed pounds quickly. It also falls into the category of walking in that it is something that is easy to do when you are cleaning house or just lazing around on a Saturday morning. Remember it is always the things that are enjoyable that help you lose weight fast and that is because you are more likely to stick to the regimen if you aren’t bored or feel like you are punishing yourself.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings are a safe and effective exercise for most people. It’s a great full body workout that recruits several different muscle groups. Kettlebell swings not only improve muscle definition, but they’ll work on your cardiovascular endurance as well. If you have back pain, these are a great low impact exercise to improve endurance and strengthen the muscles of the back without a lot of risk for injury.

Strengthening Exercise

Strengthening exercise builds muscular strength and is a great complement to aerobic exercise. Lifting weights or utilizing resistance training machines are a great way to build muscle strength, but you can also successfully build muscle in the comfort of your own home by doing sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts or taking a 2-5 pound weight with you when you go for a walk. Resistance bands can be purchased and used in the comfort of your home, as well.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility training is important because as we age, the full range of motion of our muscles and joints can decrease, and stretching can prevent this from happening. It’s easy to incorporate stretching into your exercise routine by stretching for at least 5-10 minutes before and after aerobic and strength-training exercise programs. And be sure you don’t overstretch, as this can injure your body.

Combo Workout Regimens

Combo workouts are quicker ways to lose weight. Doing the same workout every day can not only be boring but it can also prevent you from seeing true results. Once your body becomes conditioned to a workout it begins to slow down in way of progression due to muscle memory. But this is only one reason that combo workouts make such difference in your weight loss success.

These ten exercises should be enough to get you started. Don’t push yourself too hard, and add repetitions only when you feel comfortable. Give yourself a couple of months, and prepare to be amazed at how well these simple exercises will burn fat and dramatically change the way your body looks.

Kelly is the founder of RegularityFitness, where she and associates blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and healthy. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter

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