5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Immune System

5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Immune System
  1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and herbal teas throughout the day. Drinking enough water is essential for optimum health! Water helps to flush out toxins, keeps you hydrated, and can aid in digestion. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water each day to ensure you are getting the proper amount of hydration.
  2. Eat nutrient-rich foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, such as leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds - Eating a balanced diet that contains a variety of micronutrients is an important component of boosting your immune system. Foods rich in Vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach, as well as Vitamin C, found in oranges, bell peppers, and kiwis, are excellent sources of micronutrients that can help your body fight off infection. Zinc, found in nuts and legumes, has also been shown to have positive effects on the immune system. Eating a balanced diet of micronutrients will help your body become stronger and better able to fight off infection. If you are unable to eat all the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables try supplementing with concentrated fruits, vegetables and berries with Juice Plus+. Juice Plus+ is clinically shown to support the normal function of the immune system and support upper respiratory health. 
  3. Get regular exercise like walking, running, or yoga to boost your circulation and help your body fight infection. Not only will it help you stay fit and healthy, but it can also help reduce stress, improve your mood, and give you more energy throughout the day. Try incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine, and you'll be sure to notice the benefits!
  4. Reduce stress levels by engaging in activities you enjoy and getting plenty of rest. Resting is an essential part of keeping your immune system in optimal condition. Getting enough sleep each night helps reduce stress, which can weaken your immune system. Additionally, taking regular breaks throughout the day to relax and unwind can help give your body the rest it needs to stay healthy and fight off infection.
  5. Take natural supplements like vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea to give your immune system an extra boost. Probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for maintaining a healthy gut, which is essential for a strong immune system. Herbal supplements like echinacea, elderberry, and ginger can also help boost your body's natural defense system.
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Holiday Binging - How To Avoid Weight Gain

Holiday Binging - How To Avoid Weight Gain
The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration. There are holiday parties, holiday dinners with family and overall, it's holiday treats galore!

It's practically inevitable that you will gain some weight during the holiday season - especially if you're not careful!

In this blog post, we'll discuss how to avoid weight gain during the holidays so that your hard-earned progress doesn't go down the drain!

How Do You Gain Weight, Actually?

Alright, if we try and get down to the core of it all with fundamental analysis, we can conclude that there is a specific reason why you gain weight...

Okay, okay maybe that was a too complex way to say "overeating causes weight gain" ... But the point is this - If you manage the amount of food, you can eat any food type you want.

So essentially, if you consistently go way above your daily needs for maintenance, you will gain weight.
And though that happens, one must remember that just a small percentage of the weight gained during the holidays is fat.

You also gain:
  • Muscle and liver glycogen (stored carbs)
  • Water
  • Food weight
So here’s for a mental checkpoint - Don’t stress out for a couple of pounds gained. 
Focus on long-term habits!
 

Let Your Soul Loose

There is a tendency for people to fall so seriously into diets and nutrition plans that their entire perspective on food is warped.

This is exactly when one may be worried about overeating for a couple of days during the holiday.
However, if you give your soul some more food than what your body needs and you are mentally okay with that and don't feel guilt, you can, in fact...

Leverage The Binge!

Yes, that's right - Binging on food doesn't necessarily have to mean gaining a bunch of unhealthy weight.
Think of the binge as an abundance of energy, which can be used for physical activities that will stimulate the body in a good way.

In short - Stay active and train intensely during the holidays, when your food intake is higher.
 

Here Are 5 More Tips To Control Binging

If you have a really big problem with self-control, holiday binging can truly get out of hand...
And though that is true, there are ways to manage your cravings!

Check out these tips below
  •  Eat sequentially - The human stomach was made to digest almost anything and everything, but nevertheless, the different nutrients get chemically digested in different parts of the digestive system. For this reason, eating your nutrients sequentially in each meal may improve the feeling of satiety, as well as overall digestion and gut health. Simply - Whatever holiday food you are eating, eat first the carbs and veggies and then move on to protein and fat sources. If the foods on the table mix all nutrients together, however, fear not! Just chew the food longer, as that will ease the work of your stomach.
  • Eat plenty of protein and fats - If you want to avoid overeating, you NEED to be satiated and not think about food. And well, that is only possible through quality proteins and fats, mainly from animal sources. However, though animal sources do provide proteins and fats that are satiating... the most satiating food you can eat is...
  • Potatoes! - Yes, you heard it here first - If the holiday dinner table has potatoes to offer, don't be afraid to combine them with anything else you have on your plate. In doing so, you will increase satiety and make it far less likely to overeat and gain excess weight as an end result.

To Wrap It Up

Managing your holiday eating habits doesn't have to be difficult, nor do you have to gain excess weight.
Stay active, stay mindful, and if you happen to eat more food - Use that energy!

5 Tips for A Short and Effective Workout

5 Tips for A Short and Effective Workout
Getting fit doesn’t mean you need to spend countless hours in the gym each day. You want to work out, but life always gets in the way, and you never manage to squeeze a workout or two by the end of the week. Don't worry. I got you covered. In this article, you'll learn how to manage your workouts to make them as time-efficient as possible.

Will My Workouts Stay Effective?

Cutting your workouts shorter won’t kill your gains. In fact, sometimes shortening them might make them more optimized, as working out for more than 75 minutes drops your testosterone and increases cortisol.
Although some drawbacks are present, there is a ton of benefits of working out in a time-efficient manner. Your workouts will be more intense, you'll improve your cardiovascular health, and save some time!

1. Full-Body Workouts

People mistake full-body workouts as a workout split for beginners, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Legendary bodybuilders like Arnold, Leroy Colbert, George Eiferman, and others used this split to get jacked. If it worked for them, why wouldn't it work for you? This will be your bread and butter when it comes to spending less time in the gym.
There are a few key things you need to keep in mind in order to get all of the benefits regarding time efficiency. 
First of all, exercise only 2 or 3 times per week, having at least one rest day in between your sessions. You should do one exercise per muscle group. When it comes to the reps and sets, keep the reps anywhere from 6 to 10 and the sets from 2 to 4. The rest time in between sets should stay below 3 minutes. 

2. Multi-Joint Exercises

Compound, or multi-joint exercises, are done by moving at least two joints at a time. Unlike isolation exercises, they target multiple muscle groups and offer more bang for your buck. They also allow you to use more weight than their isolation counterpart, making them more effective for gaining strength. 
The big 6 compound exercises include the pullups, bench press, squats, deadlifts, rows, and the overhead press.
For example, the bench press works your chest, triceps, and front delts, making them a great multi-joint movement. 

3. Supersets

Supersets basically mean that you’re doing two or more exercises, one after the other, with little to no rest in between them.
The most effective way of doing this is called antagonistic supersets. This method involves supersets alternating between exercises that work opposing muscle groups—for example, biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings, chest and back, etc. 
You should rest for 30 seconds between exercises and around 2 minutes after each superset. While the more traditional way meant you didn't rest at all in between exercises, we now know that resting for 30 seconds is superior.

4. Circuit Workouts

Circuit workouts aren’t as focused as traditional workouts, but they do the trick when it comes to time efficiency.
This is a style of workout out where you cycle through numerous exercises, one after the other, primarily targeting different muscle groups, with minimal rest in between exercises. Circuits can be timed or rep-based. In the timed version, you'll do an exercise for, let's say, 30 seconds, while in the rep-based version, you'll do the exercise until you complete a certain number of reps.
The number of exercises in a circuit can vary from 4 to 10. You can rest in between circuits, or you can keep on going until you finish all of the sets. It all depends on your goals.

5. HIIT

High-Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT, consists of short bursts of explosive and intense exercising, where the rest times are kept to a minimum.
One of the most well-known HIIT workouts is called Tabata. A Tabata workout involves 20 seconds of really high-intensity work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. You should repeat this for 8 rounds for each exercise. 
You can alternate between exercises after each round, or you can complete 8 rounds of one and then go to the next exercise.

Conclusion

Considering all this information, what would the perfect time-efficient workout look like?
It would contain around 4 to 6 exercises, all done in a superset or circuit fashion to save time. 

1. Squats and Hamstring Curls, 3 sets of 8 reps
2. Bench Press and T-Bar Row, 3 sets of 10 reps
3. Overhead Press and Pull-ups, 3 sets of 8 reps

Rest 30 seconds in between exercises and 2 minutes in between supersets.

What Does A Healthy Breakfast Look Like?

What Does A Healthy Breakfast Look Like?
So you’ve finally decided to put in the work and get fit. Congrats! 

But now that you’re in the swing of things, you might be wondering what a healthy breakfast looks like. 

Granted, how you start your day will greatly define how you continue… But this can be tricky territory, because there are so many options and opinions out there on the best way to start your day. 

Today we’re going to take a look at some of the most common breakfast foods and see how they stack up nutritionally. 

Armed with this knowledge, you can make better choices for your own breakfast routine. Let’s go!

The Typical Breakfast

A typical breakfast for most people consists of coffee, juices, and fruits.
This meal is a great way to start the day as it provides energy and important micronutrients.
Coffee is a great source of caffeine, which helps to improve focus and concentration.
Juices are packed with vitamins and minerals, while fruits provide some quality carbohydrates.
This typical breakfast is widely recognized as “healthy” especially by people on a weight loss plan, BUT… it has one fatal flaw - It’s full of sugar and it’s not satiating!
If your breakfast only consists of fruits, juices and coffee, you will be left starving just some 60-90 minutes after the meal.
This is simply because sugar is easily digestible and has a generally low satiety index, meaning it isn’t really filling/satiating.

The Solution

Now you may ask “Why would I want to be satiated in the first place?” and that’s a good question.

But think about it - Because it helps you stop thinking about food, satiation, or the feeling of being full and satisfied after eating, is an important part of a healthy diet.
The solution to the poorly-satiating typical breakfast options, is… consumption of quality protein and fats!
Protein and fat-rich foods are more satiating than carbohydrate-rich foods, meaning that they can help you feel fuller for longer.
This is because protein and fat take longer to digest, and in addition to that, they stimulate greater production of appetite suppression hormones.

Breakfast Examples

The chemistry of protein and fat digestion goes much deeper and becomes way more complex, but really, you don’t need to know all of the science, in order to apply it!

All you need is to know that you have to include a bit more protein in your meals, and find the right food sources to do so!

So without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the best, and most nutrient-dense breakfast options.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict are a perfect option for a satiating breakfast because they are filling and taste great.
The eggs, ham, and hollandaise sauce all combine to create a delicious, satisfying and nutritious meal.
If you are looking for something tasty and satisfying to start your day, eggs benedict are a great option!

Steak, Potatoes & Avocado

When it comes to a great breakfast, the things that come to mind the least are steak and potatoes.
But these two foods are nutrient-rich and provide plenty of energy for a morning start, meaning they might actually be great breakfast options.
The steak is a good source of protein, while the potatoes are packed with carbohydrates and make the meal even more satiating.
And who can resist the creamy, delicious taste of avocado? Pack these 3 together in your breakfast and feel how you are satiated for hours to come!

Yogurt, Oats & Boiled Eggs

If you are usually having boiled oats for breakfast, you can add a twist by using yogurt, instead of hot water!

The protein from yogurt will keep you a tad bit more satiated and when you pair that with the preserved protein structure of boiled eggs, you won’t really think about food for quite some time!

Add some fruits to your oatmeal, and you’re good to go!

Final Thoughts

So, the next time you’re reaching for a breakfast that will help you lose weight and keep you feeling full and focused all morning long, don’t forget about the importance of quality protein and fats. 

Your body will thank you! Do you have a go-to healthy breakfast recipe that includes both protein and fat? 

Share it in the comments below – we’d love to give it a try!

Practical Ways to Resume Working Out After a Long Lapse

Practical Ways to Resume Working Out After a Long Lapse
Congratulations on deciding to exercise again. If you're returning from a long lapse, there are practical adjustments you can make to rev yourself up and avoid injuries. These techniques will help your body and your mind...

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