Walk your way to healthy joints

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Regular walking when part of a healthy lifestyle can keep your heart and bones strong, as well as your joints mobile and functioning.

Walking is the preferred exercise by people with joint problems such as arthritis and osteoarthritis as it can help to improve your symptoms and quality of life. Walking for just 30 to 60 minutes every day can bring all sorts of health benefits. If you are new to exercise, be sure to take it easy and work up to a length of time that suits you. Be sure to consult with your GP who may be able to help you devise a walking workout plan.

Counting your steps can be a great way to make walking part of your daily routine. Most people aim for 6,000 steps per day and it’s worth keeping in mind that most people already walk 3,000 to 5,000 steps, just doing normal activities throughout the day.

Walking is free and almost everyone can enjoy this form of exercise. From walking in your local park to walking to work, it is something that can be easily added to your daily routine.

Here at Nutrabiotics we highlight some of the positive ways in which walking can help benefit your health:

Rebuilds joints

If you suffer from joint pain or stiffness when moving, exercise such as walking can help to rebuild the joint. Joint cartilage is like a sponge, and it gets nutrients from the compression and decompression of your body weight as you walk.

Helps to lose weight

Walking can help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. For every pound you lose, there’s four times less pressure and stress on your knees. This will help to lessen the stress on your joints and improve arthritis symptoms.

Strengthen legs

Walking helps to build muscle, which can in turn take the pressure of your joints and handle the weight themselves.

Reduces stress

Walking can help to reduce your stress levels by improving circulation, which in turn provides nutrients and oxygen to the cells. It can also stimulate the nervous system receptor and decrease the production of the stress hormone.

Strengthens bones

As we age, our bones tend to become weaker, but walking regularly can help to strength bones. This low-impact exercise can help to prevent loss of bone density, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis, fracture and injury.

Regulates blood pressure

Walking can help to lower blood pressure. Even if you are unable to complete 6,000 to 10,000 steps per day, you should try to walk at least 60 minutes per day to help keep your blood pressure levels in check.

Improves heart health

Irish scientists have reported that walking’s the best exercise for an inactive individual, especially adults to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases.

Improves your mood

Several scientific studies have proven that physical activity can help to prevent depression. Walking is highly recommended by physicians and psychiatrists to help uplift your mood. So, if you are feeling low or sad, you should take a walk and get some fresh air to feel better.

If you are new to exercise and walking, be sure not to walk too far or at a fast pace. Start by breaking up your walking routine, try 10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes per day. You should then be able to increase this to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Be sure to take necessary breaks and remember to keep yourself hydrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best exercises for joint problems

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If you suffer with joint pain and joint stiffness, exercise and adding stretching into your daily routine could be particularly helpful to reduce the symptoms.

Exercise not only helps to relieve these symptoms but could also reduce any unwanted weight and improve your mood. Though some people may think that exercise will aggravate joint pain and stiffness, that’s not the case. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles surrounding your joints strong is crucial to maintain support for your bones. Not exercising can weaken those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.

As well as improving your mood and fitness, exercise can also:

  • Strengthen muscles around your joints
  • Help you maintain bone strength
  • Give you more energy
  • Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
  • Help you to control your weight
  • Enhance your quality of life
  • Improve your balance

Exercises that can help reduce the symptoms of joint problems such as arthritis can include:

Stretching

Not only can stretching improve flexibility, it can also reduce stiffness and increase the range of motion of your joints. Stretching daily can help to relieve joint pain and stiffness. A typical stretching routine may consist of:

Warming up by walking on the spot or pumping the arms while sitting or standing for 3 to 5 minutes. Holding each stretch for 10-20 seconds before releasing it. Repeating each stretch 2-3 time.

Walking

Walking is a low impact form of exercise that can help with aerobic conditioning, heart and joint health, and mood. It is sensible to walk slowly initially and then increase the pace when possible.

Tai Chi or Yoga

Both Tai Chi and yoga combine deep breathing flowing movements, gentle poses and mediation. They increase flexibility, balance and range of motion whilst also reducing stress.

Pilates

Pilates is a low impact activity that stabilises the muscles around them. People new to Pilates should begin with a routine that uses a mat rather than a machine to build muscle safely.

Water exercises

Water helps to support body weight, which means that water exercises do not impact heavily on the joints. Swimming or water aerobics and other gentle water exercises can increase flexibility, range of motion, strength and aerobic conditioning. They can also reduce joint stiffness.

Cycling

Riding a stationary bike can be a safe way to get the joints moving and improve cardiovascular fitness. In addition to improving aerobic conditioning, cycling can reduce stiffness, increase range of motion and leg strengthen and build endurance.

Strength training

Strengthening the muscles around the affected joints can help to increase strength as well as reduce the symptoms that come with joint problems.

Gardening

As well as being a form of exercise, gardening offers the benefit of improving your mood. People should be gentle with their body, work slowly and avoid overstraining the muscles and joints.

You might notice some pain after you exercise, if you haven’t been active for some time. In general, if you are sore for more than two hours after you exercise, you were probably exercising to strenuously. Trust your instincts and don’t exert more energy than you think your joints can take. Take it easy and slowly increase your exercise length and intensity as you progress.

Before starting a new exercise routine, it is best to consult your GP, or a fitness expert who will be able to offer advice on the best exercises and routine to meet your needs.

 

7 Reasons To Exercise

diet and exercise

Diet and exercise: getting the right balance

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We all know the hard slog of wanting to shed a few extra pounds that might have crept on over Christmas or whilst on holiday. It’s important to understand that diet and exercise go hand-in-hand when you’re trying to lose weight.  For some however, getting that balance right between nutritional meals and sufficient activity can be tricky. Being on a diet doesn’t mean that you need to starve yourself or follow some fly-by-night fad diet. It simply means you should eat smaller portions, and your meals should be balanced, consisting of healthy foods from every food group.

You might try only cutting down on all the high-calorie foods and skip the exercise.  You may cut down on your portion sizes and, the weight will eventually might come off.  However, if you also include exercise in your weight loss program, you’ll discover that not only will the weight come off, but your metabolism will improve, and your fat will be replaced by lean, muscle tissue. You will also feel more energetic and mentally alert, and keeping the fat off will be more manageable.

The human body was created to be active.  Unless your health prohibits you from getting some sort of exercise each day, you should make an attempt to focus on the amount of physical activity you engage in.  After all, most of us don’t get nearly enough physical exercise during the course of a day, as we’re all too busy sitting at our desks or in front of our televisions. Even small changes can make a big difference, such as walking to work or getting off the bus an extra stop from home, even taking the stairs instead of the lift can help.

By the same token, if you’re like the average Joe Bloggs, who thrives on fast food or other high-fat, high-calorie meals, a change in eating habits is advised.  You can still enjoy eating! But, if you’re serious about losing those extra pounds and keeping them off, you’re going to have to replace the greasy chips with some healthy, fresh veggies.  Instead of fizzy carbonated drinks, try to drink more water. Experts suggest that we should be drinking between 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. If you’re not keen on plain water, you could add a slice of lemon or lime to your water, or drink hot water infused with a fruit tea.

Try to include more fish in your diet, which is full of essential nutrients such as protein and vitamin D. Fish is also the best source of omaga-3 fatty acids, which are essential for both your body and brain.  You’ll be surprised at how much better you look and feel, when you replace those heart-clogging, fat-producing calories with better, healthier food choices. Don’t skip meals!  Although fasting has been suggested to work in some diets, regularly skipping meals leads to your metabolism slowing down, you’ll feel sluggish, and your body is more likely hang onto those extra pounds as protection against starvation. Skipping meals could also lead to binge eating in order to reduce hunger. By eating regularly, your metabolism works better, and helps you to better manage your weight loss.

Yes, diet and exercise are important ingredients to successfully lose weight but it doesn’t have to be a miserable process. Here are a few tips to remember if you want to shed those pounds and keep them off:

  • Don’t starve yourself.
  • Eat regularly to ward off hunger.
  • Focus on eating smaller portions (perhaps several small meals each day would work best for you).
  • Make sure that the calories you consume are nutritious and include foods from each food group.
  • Find an activity or two that you enjoy, so that exercise time isn’t dreaded.  If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be more likely to stick with your exercise routine.

You don’t have to make big changes, just a few healthy lifestyle changes can make all the difference to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is advised that before beginning any diet or exercise program you should consult a medical professional.

3 simple ways to excercise

Exercise should be a used as an important part of any weight loss program. But remember to consult your physician before starting an exercise program to avoid hurting yourself!

An exercise program will not only help you lose weight, but will ideally help build muscle and stamina. You also want to design a exercise program that is balanced and exercises all parts of your body.

If you’re a member at your local gym you can easily do a complete body workout with just a few machines. However, If you don’t have access to a gym like many people dont’, or you prefer to work out other ways, you’ll want other exercise options.

Biking

Biking is an excellent exercise for losing weight, especially if you’re not in good shape to start with. If you choose a relatively flat route and start with short distances, you can begin very easily and work up to more strenuous rides. Be sure that you are properly fitted with an appropriate bike and equipment – visit your local bike shop for help and advice.

Swimming

Swimming is another excellent exercise for weight loss. It’s not hard on the body, but provides an excellent workout. If you don’t know how to swim, swimming lessons are available pretty cheaply at most leisure centers.

Running

Running is a great way to get in shape, but it is harder on your body than swimming or biking. If you need to lose weight, you should probably start out with one of the other exercises until you get into better shape. Keep in mind that running and biking both work the legs, but they do work different primary muscles.

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Exercise for your complexion

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We all know (and hear all the time) that exercise is good for you.  It can help you to stay trim, tone muscles and help to boost your energy levels too. But what you probably don’t know, is the fact that exercise can actually help improve your complexion too.

It’s true that regular exercise will nourish the skin all over the body with fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients. As well, the increased blood flow and circulation that comes with working out will also help to draw toxins out of your body and improve the condition of all your vital organs, including the epidermis.

Many people believe that sweat can trigger acne flare ups. But the fact is, sweating is great for any type of congested skin, as it helps promote the flushing of impurities from the epidermal layer and will clean out the pores. As well, vigorous exercise can actually correct the hormonal imbalances that can trigger blemishes, thus reducing the likelihood of outbreaks.

Any kind of physical exercise that you like to do, such as yoga, running, biking, spinning, pilates, boxing etc, will help to lessen the stress that you encounter on a daily basis and help to prevent stress related acne.

Do keep in mind that exercise may not be a miracle cure for everything though, as you may still experience breakouts from time to time although your acne is likely to be less severe and last for a much shorter time frame.

Exercise is also great for other skin conditions that may or may not have to do with the presence of acne. Your skin losing its elasticity or becoming thin and less resilient is something that we all encounter.  This is a problem for many of us as we get older, because as we all get older, we start to lose collagen, which will make us look tired. As many of us don’t know, physical activity can actually help to promote the growth of collagen in your skin cells, which will plump up your facial skin and make you look younger and more vibrant.

If you are worried about wrinkles, you should consider relaxation that comes after you exercise. This has the effect of making your muscles, facial muscles included, soften up. What this means is that your lines will appear less pronounced thus helping to contribute to the youthful look that you’re trying to achieve.

Exercise can help you achieve a smaller waist, better muscle tone, softer skin, fewer blemishes, and an overall younger, more fresher look. If you’ve wanted to add or change to your complexion, you shouldn’t hesitate to start exercising. Exercise will help you feel more positive as well as improve your body.

All you need to do is take a little time out of your schedule to start exercising and it’s as simple as that.

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Workout without working out

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Good news, for those people who want to watch their weight without watching television. There are things you can still do to workout even if you are a couch potatoes or think your are too busy to find the time to keep fit.

With time being so hard to come by these days, many people are turning to innovative forms of exercise. For example using the stairs rather than the lift at work, parking the cars further away in the car park and even walking while on the phone.

At the same time, however, many people describe themselves as couch potatoes – a major factor to being overweight. Many adults say they have given up working out in order to do other activities, such as watching television, sleeping in, doing household chores or working.

An estimated three in four adults say they would do more exercise if they could fit it into their daily routines and a majority of adults also say they would exercise more often if they could do it at home. And even the non couch potatoes would like to get more exercise, but say they don’t have the time.

It’s important to find time to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. So in addition to things such as climbing stairs and parking farther away, there are a number of excellent ways to make your daily tasks opportunities to exercise:

Feet Alphabet

This exercise can be done anywhere you are sitting (except while driving). It shouldn’t be hard to find a somewhere. Simply write the alphabet in the air with each of your feet and ankles. You can do the letters in capitals or lowercase and in any language you would like. Doing this two or three times on each ankle will begin to strengthen the ankle and maintain or improve motion.

Doing the Dishes Neck Circles.

This exercise is easily done while for example washing the dishes. As you are standing at the sink, slowly rotate your neck in a clockwise position, trying to extend the tip of your head out as far as possible. After three or four rotations, repeat the exercise in a counter-clockwise position. Remember, these rotations should be done slowly and in a pain-free range of motion. This will increase the flexibility of your neck.

Remote Wrist Lifts.

This can be done while watching the TV. Simply take the remote control (use the biggest one you have) and, while sitting watching your favorite team or movie (and with your arm pointing toward the TV) aim the remote at the ceiling, moving your wrist only. Hold it there for 10 seconds, then aim it at the floor, again  moving only the wrist. Repeat this three to four times during every commercial.

These three ideas are just a few of the ideas from the book “The Couch Potato Workout: 101 Exercises You Can Do At Home!” by Joel M. Press, “The Couch Potato Workout” describes numerous practical and functional exercises people can do to build balance, strength and flexibility as part of their normal daily routine.

 

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The benefits of regular exercise

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It’s fair say that most people realise that there are many benefits of exercising on a regular basis. However most of these people still choose not do so.

It’s a strange situation, the thought of starting exercise; it’s like a choir, but afterwards you feel a lot better for it and despite this it’s likely to be hard to begin exercising again on the next day.

Finding the inspiration to exercise can be difficult at the best of times. So finding a fitness routine that you enjoy will be a good start.

The benefits of exercise:

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  • Can help lower levels of stress
  • Can help to improve posture
  • Can help with sleep
  • Helps you to gain stronger muscles
  • Increases heart & lung efficiency
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease and lung disease
  • Will help overall circulation
  • Will help reduce blood pressure
  • Helps people to lose weight
  • Can helps to reduce depression
  • Can helps to reduce cholesterol levels
  • Helps to reduce symptoms of arthritis

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As the above list suggests there are many reasons as to why people should start to exercise and this list is only a few out of many health benefits that could be mentioned. However often the reason for starting an exercise routine is purely down to losing weight to improve self esteem.

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Weight Loss Plan: Setting a goal

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It is well recognised that excess weight puts you at risk for many health problems. Therefore it makes sense to set some weight loss plans to help avoid those risks associated with being over weight and prevent such problems occurring.

But what should your long-term goal be? And what short-term goals should you set to help you get there? You’ll have a better chance of attaining your goals if you make sure that the weight loss plans you use are sensible and reasonable right at the beginning.

Here are some guidelines from the experts in choosing weight loss plans and goals.

1. Be realistic
Most people’s long-term weight loss plans are more ambitious than they have to be.

For example, if you weigh 190 pounds and your long-term plan is to weigh 130, even if you’ve not weighed 120 since you were 16 and now you are 45, that is not a realistic weight loss goal.

Your body mass index (BMI) is a good indicator of whether or not you need to shed some pounds. The ideal BMI range, according to the national Institutes of Health, is between 19 and 24.9. If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you are considered overweight. Any number above 30 is in the obesity range.

From this point of view, you’ll need a sensible weight loss plan that will correspond to the required BMI based on your height, because this is the primary factor that will affect your BMI.

2. Set appropriate objectives
Using a weight loss plan just for vanity’s sake is psychologically less helpful than losing weight to improve health.

If you decide to undergo a weight loss plan that includes exercise and eating right you will feel better and have more energy to do something positive in your life.

3. Focus on doing, not losing
Rather than saying that you are going to lose X this week, say how much you are going to exercise this week. Keep in mind that your weight within a span of a week is not completely in your control, but your behavior is.

4. Bit by bit
Short-term weight loss plans should not be “pie-in-the-sky”. This means that when you have never exercised at all, your best weight loss plan for this week should be based on finding three different one-mile routes that you can walk next week.

5. Self-encouragement
An all-or-nothing attitude will only set you up to fail. Learn to evaluate your efforts objectively. If you fall short of some goals, just look ahead to the following week. You do not need to have a perfect record. Self-encouragement should definitely be a part of your weight loss plans. Otherwise, you will just fail in the end.

6. Use measurable measures
Saying that you are going to be more positive this week or that you’re going to really get serious this week is not measurable goal and should not be a part of your weight loss plan.

This is another reason why you should incorporate exercise in your weight loss plan and focus on it. You should be able to count up the minutes of exercise in order for it to be successful in your plan.

The bottom line is, people should make weight loss plans by incorporating goals that will motivate them to succeed.

 

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Exercise and Eating

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Whenever you exercise, you do so to try and maintain good health. You also know that you have to eat as well, so your body will have the energy needed to exercise and maintain the everyday tasks. For making the best of your exercise, what you eat before and after you workout is very important.

It doesn’t matter if you are going to be doing a cardio or a resistance workout, you should always make it a point of eating a balanced mix of protein and carbohydrates. What makes that determining percentage of carbs and protein you consume is whether or not you are doing cardio or resistance exercise and the level that you plan to work at.

The best time for you to eat your pre-workout meal is about an hour before you start. If you plan to work at a low intensity level, you should ideally keep your pre-workout meal down to about 200 calories. And if you plan to exercise at a high level of intensity, you’ll probably need your meal to be between 4,000  and 5,000 calories.

For those who are doing a cardio session you’ll need to consume a mix of 2/3 carbs and 1/3 protein. Doing so will give you longer sustained energy from the extra carbs with enough protein to keep your muscle from breaking down while you exercise.

For resistance exercise, you’ll need to eat a mix of 1/3 carbs and 2/3 protein, as this will help you get plenty of energy from the carbs to perform each set you do and the extra protein will help keep muscle breakdown to a minimum while you  exercise.

Eating after you exercise is just as important as your pre-workout meal. Whenever you exercise, whether its cardio or resistance, you deplete energy in the form of glycogen. The brain and the central nervous system rely on glycogen as their main source of energy so if you don’t replace it after you exercise, your body will begin to break down muscle tissue into amino acids, and then convert them into usable fuel for the brain and the central nervous system.

Keep in mind that mainly during resistance exercise, you’ll break down muscle tissue by creating micro tears. What this means is that after a workout, your muscles will instantly go into repair mode.  Protein is the key for muscle repair, as you don’t want muscle breaking down even further to create fuel instead of lost glycogen.

Once you have finished a cardio session, you’ll need to consume mainly carbohydrates, preferably those with high fiber such as rice, oatmeal and whole wheat pasta. Also, try to consume 30 – 50 grams of these types of carbs after exercise. After your cardio workout, it is fine to eat within 5 – 10 minutes.

Once you’ve finished a resistance workout, you’ll need to consume a combination of carbs and protein. Unlike cardio workouts, resistance workouts will break down muscle tissue by creating micro tears.

You’ll need protein as this happens to build up and repair these tears so that the muscle can increase in size and strength.  The carbs will not only replace the lost muscle glycogen, but will also help the protein get into muscle cells so it can synthesize into structural protein, or the muscle itself.

After your resistance exercise, you should wait up to 30 minutes before you eat, so that you won’t take blood away from your muscles too fast.  The blood in your muscles will help the repair process by removing the metabolic waste products.

 

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