9 Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

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Fasting has been around for many years.

Say you were a caveman living in the paleolithic era. Your body would go through cycles of feast and famine…out of necessity.

But, in fact our bodies are designed to live this way.

When we live in constant “feast mode” our bodies don’t benefit from the natural repair and rejuvenation they are designed for.

Have you ever been told you should eat frequent, small meals to keep your metabolism fire burning? This actually keeps you in “feast mode” and can make you feel hungrier than an intermittent fast (IM).

I lived this way for years….until I learned the truth.

I realize this may sound counterintuitive, but just try it for yourself a few times and see what you think.

Intermittent fasting can not only help you feel full longer, it also has many health benefits, that are backed by science.

Proven Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

  1. Cellular Repair

    Although our bodies are constantly working to cleanse and detox, when our diets are poor or we are eating round the clock, it doesn’t work as efficiently as needed. This wears out our cells, especially the mitochondria, and they need to be replaced. This process is called autophagy. Most of all intermittent fasting allows the body time to focus exclusively on repairing the cells. Also of note, recent research shows the benefits of fasting for Alzheimer’s patients (1).

  2. Lose Weight And Belly Fat

    IF can boost the metabolism and help you lose weight and belly fat (2). It’s especially interesting that losing weight this way causes less loss of muscle than straight up calorie restriction.

  3.  Hormone Regulation

    IF causes an increase in human growth hormone levels (3). Consequently, this facilitates fat burning and muscles gains.

  4.  Lowers Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

    IF can lower blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance (4).

  5.  Increased Longevity

    Studies in rats have shown intermittent fasting extends the lifespan (5).

  6. May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease. Currently, there is no cure. However, animal studies show that intermittent fasting may give protection against neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s (6).

  7. Reduces Oxidative Stress And Inflammation

    Studies show that intermittent fasting can protect the body against the harmful effects of oxidative stress and inflammation (7).

  8. Reduces Cholesterol Levelsbenefits of intermittent fasting

    IF was shown to decrease triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (8).

  9. May Prevent Cancer

    Cancer is a horrible disease characterized by an uncontrolled growth of cells. Several studies have indicated that IM may help prevent cancer (9). Evidence also suggests it may cut the side effects of chemotherapy.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, intermittent fasting is an easy way to get some pretty amazing health benefits for your body and brain.

For the basics on how to get started with IM-ing please check out

Have you tried intermittent fasting? Please share in the comment section below. 

Also, if you liked this, you may want to read


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Top 20 Best Healthy Snacks

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Who can deny that snacking is an American tradition (at least in my family it is)? What we graze on during the day has a big impact on our health.

Do you have a favorite snack food? Chips, Oreos, Cheetos or Twinkies perhaps? No judgement here. My snack choices haven’t always been perfect either.

Just some food for thought….

As you probably guessed, the best snacks are those packed with nutrients and protein, which fuels the body until the next meal. These snacks are full of flavor, and dare I say, even fun to eat!

I used to teach preschoolers, what can I say? 🙂

20 Healthy Snacks

  1. Nut Butter

    Peanut butter, peanut butter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….but, I digress.

    Seriously, who can resist the creamy, nutty confection that is peanut butter?! And don’t forget the lesser known nut butters: hazelnut, cashew, almond and walnut.

    According to the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source, several large studies over the past few years “have shown a consistent 30 to 50 percent lower risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week.”

    Plus, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein and 180 mg of potassium. Just make sure to check out the ingredient list and avoid added sweeteners and trans fats, especially “partially hydrogenated oil”. Also, don’t bother buying the “low-fat” nut butters. Manufactures of these products simply replace the fat with sugar.

  2. Cottage Cheese

    Once considered a “diet food”,  cottage cheese is now a fan favorite of weight lifters, other athletes, and health foodies alike. This is no surprise considering the whopping 28 grams of casein protein in each cup of cottage cheese.

    A summer favorite of mine is eating a sliced tomato, straight from the garden, topped with cottage cheese and plenty of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Sounds weird, tastes great! You also might like to try cottage cheese with fresh pineapple. Delish!

  3. Berries

    healthy snacks
    Berries are a low-sugar, antioxidant-rich snack.

    Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, gooseberries and elderberries just to name a few…They are colorful, juicy, sometimes sweet, and full of vitamins and antioxidants (1).

    Enjoy a cup of berries with a splash of cream for a decadent treat.

  4. Whey Protein Shake

    Whey protein can help you gain muscle, lose fat, and increase strength (2). I sometimes drink one as a meal replacement and I’m amazed how long it satisfies my hunger. You might like to try My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake.

    Most people tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, but if you have digestive symptoms you might find that isolate or hydrolysate is better suited for you.

  5. Hard-Boiled Eggs

    Eggs are incredibly nutritious (3). Like, the perfect food. They are high in protein, healthy fats and amino acids.

    They’re also high in cholesterol, but despite what you may have heard in the past, eating high-cholesterol foods does not increase cholesterol for the majority of people (4).

  6. Plain Greek Yogurt

    It’s creamy and rich in protein and probiotics. It can also cut the appetite and help with weight loss (5).

    You may want to add berries, other chopped fruit or nuts to raise the vitamin and fiber content.

  7. Cheese

    Cheese has many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc and vitamin K2. Eating it can help prevent osteoporosis and heart disease (6). And the fat in cheese can help you feel full longer, preventing cravings and helping you make it to the next meal.

  8. Jerky

    Jerky is meat, such as veal, beef, turkey or venison which is dried and cut into strips. It is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.

    The healthiest kind is made at home. But the kind you see at the grocery store has all sorts of added preservatives and sugar so please keep this in mind.

  9. Dark Chocolate

    healthy snacks
    Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and makes the perfect snack.

    Are you surprised chocolate made it to this list of healthy snacks? Pretty cool, huh?

    Studies have shown that dark chocolate eaters have a lower risk of heart disease (7). Eating chocolate can also improve brain function.

    Choose dark chocolate with a 70-85% cocoa content (minimum). Any less and you’re looking at a lot of sugar.

  10. Deli Rollups

    Simply take a slice of meat, such as turkey and a slice of cheese. Roll it up, and voila! Another favorite is spreading cream cheese on the turkey and wrap it around a dill pickle. You can slice it first, or simply eat it like this.

  11. Canned Tuna

    Another high-protein snack, tuna is a great choice if you’re on the go. Just be sure your office buddies are cool with the smell if you decide to pop open a can in the afternoon.

  12. Veggies And Hummus

    If you’ve never tried hummus I encourage you to give it a try. Some might say it’s an acquired taste, but I’ve loved it from my first taste and make my own from home.

    I throw some white beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and olive oil in the blender and it makes the most delicious hummus in no time.

    Here’s a similar recipe you might like to try:  Super Easy Hummus

  13. Protein Bar

    Homemade ones are the best, in my humble opinion. But if you like to have prepackaged ones on hand I recommend you try the Luna, Kind and Quest ones.

  14. Kefir Smoothie

    Kefir (pronounced like “Kiefer Sutherland” the actor in 24, love that show) is full of tummy-loving probiotics and protein.

    On its own, kefir is tart (and perhaps a little “gloppy”), and many prefer to drink it in a smoothie.

    I love this handy Mix-And-Match Kefir Smoothie Chart for creating tasty smoothies, chock full of delicious flavor and nutrition.

    (You can read more on probiotics in What Are Probiotics And Where Can I Find Them? and 7 Reasons To Take Probiotics)

  15. Seeds

    Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, flax and chia seeds give you quick, long-lasting energy and satiety. They can be eaten by themselves or in smoothies, oatmeal or granola. One serving of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) has 7 grams of protein.

  16. Bean And Cheese Mini Quesadilla

    Smash 1/3 cup of black beans and spread it on a small tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of salsa. Warm in a skillet or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds just until the cheese melts.

    This is a tasty mini-meal/snack that stays with you.

  17. Milk (2% Or Whole)

    Milk is a great source of high-quality protein, as well as vitamin D, calcium and B12. It is linked to higher bone density in humans (8).

    Do not, I repeat, do not worry about the fat in whole milk. As long as you drink a serving size you’ll be fine. The fat keeps you satisfied longer. More importantly, growing research shows a myriad of health benefits of consuming full-fat food versus low-fat (10).

    According to Dr. Mercola, “Accumulating research is showing, however, that this switch to low-fat has not only caused rates of chronic disease to skyrocket; it’s also been making people fat.”

    Please keep in mind, some people are allergic to the sugar in milk, lactose. If you’re lactose-intolerant you’ll want to stay away from milk and other dairy products. There are dairy-free milks on the market, such a coconut, soy and cashew milk which should be fine for you to drink.

  18. 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites

    Liv over at Healthy-Liv.com posted this easy recipe for these incredibly yummy energy bites.

    I just made them for my family to enjoy. But let me warn you, it’s hard to eat just one!

  19. Frozen Grapes

    The perfect sweet treat!

    The anthocyanins and resveratrol in grapes reduce inflammation and lower your risk for disease (9)

  20. Homemade Guacamole And Tortilla Chips

    My personal favorite. 😉 I can eat an entire bowl of freshly made guacamole all by myself…it’s that’s good! (Not that I’m recommending you do this, just keepin’ it real.)

    Here’s my favorite recipe:

Quick And Easy Guacamole

Quick And Easy Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 medium avocados
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 firm tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the avocados open lengthwise. Remove the pit with a large knife. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
  2. Mash the avocado flesh with a fork, to your liking.
  3. Chop and stir the other ingredients.
  4. Enjoy the guacamole right away.
  5. Store in the fridge, tightly covered with plastic wrap to help prevent browning (if you have any leftover)
http://www.lorigeurin.com/top-20-best-healthy-snacks/

The Takeaway

There are so many delicious snacks to choose from. And the best ones are those that help you become the healthiest, strongest version of yourself.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? Please share below in the comments.

Also, you may want to check out this video below for more great healthy snacking ideas.


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22 Essential Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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Many people experience weight gain during the holidays.

With colder weather, comfy sweaters and family gatherings it’s easy to pack on a few pounds.

Please tell me I’m not alone here.

But you can still enjoy the holidays and avoid holiday weight gain by following these essential tips.

22 Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

1. Eat a protein-rich snack before you go out.

If you arrive at a holiday party famished you’re likely to overeat. Avoid mindless snacking by choosing a healthy snack, such as the one of the following:

  • Greek yogurt and berries
  • a handful of healthy fat-rich nuts, such as almonds, pecans, cashews, or walnuts
  • an apple with peanut butter, or other nut butter
  • a protein shake, like My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • string cheese
  • jerky
  • hummus and veggies

2. Stay active.

Many families enjoy sitting around and watching parades, Christmas music specials or ballgames during the holidays.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these traditions, all this inactivity can lead to weight gain. This is especially true if we’re also eating too much rich food (1)

Rather than lounging around all day, consider:

  • taking a family walk, either outside or inside a mall
  • going ice skating
  • building a snowman with your kids
  • going sledding

These activities will burn calories while giving you the opportunity to bond with loved ones.

3. Pay attention to portion sizes

With all the delicious foods prepared during the holidays, it can be tempting to overeat.

But, people who eat larger portion sizes tend to gain weight more than those who don’t (2).

Makes sense, right?

Read food labels to discern correct portion sizes. Use measuring cups and spoons to measure your food.

4. Get adequate sleep.

Did you know that not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain and a slowed metabolism (3, 4)?

When we don’t sleep enough we tend to eat more and exercise less. Our hunger hormone levels increase and this raises calorie intake.

5. Don’t hang out by the food at a party.

If you linger by the delicious dishes and desserts, the temptation to indulge is greater.

But if you step away from the food and focus more on talking to people you’ll save calories, and you just might have more fun. 😉

I’m reminded of the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind”.

The same thought applies to your pantry at home. Throw out the junk food so it’s not there tempting you to eat it.

avoid holiday weight gain
Shake it off! Reduce holiday stress.

6. Keep stress under control.

The holidays are stressful sometimes.

There are people to see, presents to buy and wrap and recipes to make.

But it’s important to keep our stress levels under control.

When we are chronically stressed, our levels of cortisone go up. This can cause us to eat more and gain weight (5).

Focus on activities that reduce stress, such as exercise and deep breathing techniques.

I found an app that helps you focus on reducing stress. It’s called Calm.

7.  Prep a healthy dish to share.

Bringing a healthy dish to holiday gatherings can give you something healthy to eat even if everything else is rich or sugar-laden. This can help you keep your healthy eating goals in check.

It also gives others the opportunity to try a delicious and healthful recipe!

8. Use a smaller plate.

Using large plates often leads us to consume more calories. If not kept in check, this can lead to weight gain (6).

Using a small plate helps you control portion sizes and reduce overeating.

9. Avoid processed food.

This includes most foods packages, boxes or bags of food.

Processed foods are often stripped of nutrients. And most have added unhealthy fats, sugar and preservatives.

10. Keep a food diary.

Write down everything you eat, or use an app to help you.

If you’re like me, I often underestimate how much I eat in a day.  Keeping a food diary helps me stay on track with my goals and be more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth.

My favorite app is MyFitnessPal. You might like to try it.

11. Weigh yourself weekly.

Okay, so there are conflicting viewpoints when it comes to weighing yourself. Some people weigh a few times a week. Some never.

It’s good to keep in mind that weight fluctuations are normal day-to-day.

But, many people find it helps them stay accountable and makes them more aware of their progress if they weigh weekly (7).

12. Watch your beverage and alcohol intake.

Soda, juice, alcohol and other beverages are full of empty calories and sugar. These factors contribute to weight gain (8).

The best thing to drink?

You guessed it….water!

13. Take smaller bites and chew your food thoroughly.

Eliminate distractions, such as electronics, and eat mindfully, savoring each delicious bite (9).

14. Keep a consistent workout routine.

Stick to your regular fitness routine as much as possible. Consistent training produces better results.

And that leads me to tip, #15.

15. Stay positive even if you get off track.

Don’t beat yourself up or stress about it. Simply restart your commitment a healthy life and get back on track.

Simply focus on your health and fitness goals and keep moving forward with your plan.

It might help to use Motivational Quotes And Power Phrases.

16. Drink a glass of water before meals and snacks.

Sometimes we think we’re hungry when our body just needs water. Drinking water fills us up and helps prevent overeating (10).

17. Leave a few bites of food on your plate.

Are you a member of the “clean plate club”?

It’s okay to admit it, I used to think I had to clean my plate too.

Try leaving a few bites of food on your plate. You probably won’t even miss them and the calories you’ve saved add up and can help prevent weight gain.

18. Eat loads of veggies.

Filling up on plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits can help prevent obesity (11). They’re filled with vital nutrients and vitamins as well as healthy fiber.

19. Lift weights.

Building muscle is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism and burn more calories.

A great way to build muscle is by doing a kettlebell workout.

You may want to check out 20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout to learn more.

20. Fill up on fiber.

Eating more fiber fills you up faster which can prevent you from eating as much and gaining weight (12).

Fiber-rich foods include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • legumes
  • whole grains.

21. Buddy up.

Find a friend who has similar health goals and give each other accountability.

Having someone to work out or swap health recipes can help you stay on track.

22. Avoid sugar and simple carbs.

Eating too much sugar is a common cause of weight gain and obesity (13).

When you come face to face with the desserts this holiday season, focus on selecting only your favorites and leaving the rest.

This will save you from sugar overload and help keep your blood sugar in a manageable range.

The Takeaway

What are ways you try to stay healthy during the holidays?

Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this, you may want to read:


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The Health Benefits Of Rebounding On A Mini Trampoline

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* This post may contain affiliate links.

What’s airborne and wears a big smile?

You…jumping on a mini trampoline!

Corny jokes aside, rebounding is one of the healthiest (and most fun) activities you can do.

It improves lymph flow, is easy on the joints, increases strength and bone mass and is great for detoxing.

The NASA Rebounding Study

Astronauts lose muscle and bone mass in space due to the weightlessness they experience in the zero gravity environment.

NASA was looking for an exercise which would help astronauts regain bone and muscle mass. As you probably know, weight-bearing exercise increases bone mass.

In 1980 NASA studied the benefits of rebounding. They learned it is a highly effective weight-bearing exercise which is easy on the skeletal system and joints.

When rebounding the pressure, or G-force, is more evenly distributed throughout the body. In contrast, when you’re running almost all of the pressure is at the ankles, which can lead to injuries.

These findings were recorded in The Journal Of Applied Physiology.

And more good news for those of you who despise running — NASA’ s research showed that rebounding can be twice as effective as running on a treadmill! (1) 😉

Benefits Of Rebounding

1. Improves balance

In a study of elderly women, significant improvements in postural balance were recorded after the women completed trampoline workouts for 12 weeks. (2).

2. Relieves stress

Turn on some upbeat jams and jump your worries away!

Once your blood starts pumping you’ll forget about your to-do list.

3. Circulates oxygen to the tissues

Oxygen is vital for survival and strengthens our cells.

In one study, participants jumping on a trampoline showed increased oxygen uptake. Because of gravity changes that take place when rebounding, more oxygen is able to get to the cells. (3)

4. Improves lymphatic circulation and detoxification

Our lymph system is in charge of moving the “junk” out of our bodies.  And exercise encourages this full-body detox.

The up-down movement of rebounding is one of the best ways to increase lymph flow, helping move toxins out.

Many holistic doctors recommend it for their patients.

You may want to read more about the lymph system here.

5. Improves the resting metabolic rate

As your muscles grow stronger, your body burns more energy when it is at rest. This can help if you’re trying to lose weight.

6. Strengthens the heart and other muscles

Rebounding provides cardiovascular benefits and strengthens the heart muscle.

According to James White, Ph.D., director of research and rehabilitation in the physical education department at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), jumping offers many benefits to other muscles as well:

Rebounding allows the muscles to go through the full range of motion at equal force. It helps people learn to shift their weight properly and to be aware of body positions and balance.

7. Increases bone mass

As I mentioned above, the NASA study showed astronauts returning from space had improvements in bone density after doing rebounding workouts.

8. Strengthens the immune system

The rebounding movement stimulates the body’s immune system due to the increased G-force.

The immune cells include the macrophages and T-lymphocytes. Their job is to rid the body of harmful bacteria, viruses and cancer cells.

How To Do A Rebounding Workout

If you’re just starting out, I suggest taking it slow.

Rather than jumping too high, you can start with small bounces, keeping your feet in contact with the trampoline or mini trampoline.

As you get used to the feeling of being on the trampoline you can jump a little higher, increase the intensity, or try a variety of different moves such as high knees, jumping jacks and trampoline squats.

But if you like to keep it simple, feel free to do a basic bounce.

I usually rebound 5-15 minutes a day for detox.

The Takeawaybenefits of rebounding

Rebounding on a mini trampoline has some pretty impressive health benefits. These include increased muscle and bone mass, enhanced digestion, detox and lymph drainage.

Purchasing a mini trampoline is a small investment. I bought mine through Amazon.com and it only cost $27.22 (with Prime shipping). I’m really happy with it.

You can see the one I bought here.

Academy Sports has a good selection of trampolines also.

Do you own a trampoline? Can you think of more benefits to add to this list?

If you enjoyed this article, you might like to read:

Here’s a beginner’s rebounding workout you might like to try.

 

 


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20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout

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Are you a part of the kettlebell revolution?

Yep, it’s a real thing.

Although it may seem like a fitness fad, it’s been around for years and has research-backed benefits for strength, balance and flexibility.

Kettlebells look like cannonballs with a handle on top.

They are made of cast iron or vinyl-coated and filled with sand, concrete, or gravel.

Kettlebell training focuses on whole-body functional training, not just the isolated muscle movements you get with weightlifting. No one is knocking weight training here at all, because it is beneficial too.

But if you want to see amazing strength gains and you’re short on time,  you may just want to try a kettlebell workout for yourself.

It’s my new favorite!

20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout

1. It’s Functional Strength Training

Training your body this way can help you do everyday activities.

2. Doesn’t Take Up Much Space

Kettlebells are compact and portable.

Compared to a weight bench and a set of free weights, they take up minimal room. You can stick them in the closet when they’re not being used.

3. Improved Posture

Did you know having poor posture can actually steal your body’s energy?

When your posture is out of alignment it stresses your body by trying to keep it upright. This can cause back pain.

When using a kettlebell focus on your hips, core and shoulder movements to correct your posture.

4. Great For Busy People

They give an intense workout in much less time than most others. Some people see incredible results with as little as 10 to 20 minutes twice a week!

Although many of us are busy, most people can carve out 10 minutes in a 24-hour day.

5. They’re For Everyone

Anyone can do it.

Whether you’re a muscled-up weightlifter or a 50-year-old couch potato (no judgement here), you can learn the proper form and train with kettlebells.

(Please check out the instructional video at the end of this article for help with your form.)

kettlebell
Kettlebells are filled with a variety of materials and come in different weights.

6. Increased Strength

The strength gains are quite impressive! (1)

And because it gives you a whole-body workout your entire body gets stronger.

This can help you do everyday tasks such as housework, yard work and lifting boxes. Being strong can also protect against injury.

7. Fat Loss And Calorie Burn

By increasing muscle mass, your body will burn more fat, even when it is at rest.

Some say you can burn up to 20 calories or more per minute training with kettlebells.

8. Combines Strength, Cardio And Flexibility For A Full-Body Workout

The strength and cardio gains are real! And the fluid full range of motion movements increase flexibility.

This is one of the best quick workouts you can do for your health!

9. It’s Fun!

If you’re like me, you get bored doing the same workouts all the time. But, I’ve never been bored with my kettlebell.

There are so many different types of workouts you can do.

10. Saves Money

I spent around $40 for my vinyl-coated kettlebell. You can easily find them on Amazon and in sporting good stores.

Compared to a gym membership or purchasing a weight bench and dumbbells, they’re much more cost-effective.

11. Ladies Won’t Bulk Up

Some of you girls might be concerned if you do any form of weight training you’ll end up looking like the Hulk. I used to have this same concern.

Fortunately, kettlebelling (my made up word) builds long, lean muscles, not bulky ones. 😉 So, never fear, your kettlebell is here! (You get the point.)

12. Easy On Your Joints

The ballistic physics at work when you perform different kettlebell movements actually protect your joints from injury. They encourage natural movements.

13. Simplicity

If you’re into simplicity and minimalism the kettlebell is perfect for you!

With just one simple movement, such as the swing, you can experience amazing strength and cardio improvements.

14. Great For Core Strength

When you do kettlebell movements correctly your core stays engaged. This results in a stronger, shredded core.

15. Engages The Entire Body

When you lift weights isolated muscles are used. But with kettlebells your entire body is activated and involved.

16. Can Help With Lower Back Pain

This is a big one for many people who suffer with low back pain.

Your back was not intended to compensate for weak hips and glutes. When it does your back hurts.

By strengthening your core (not to mention all the other muscles in the body) kettleballing engages the hips and glutes. This trains the body how to correctly lift objects and do everyday tasks more efficiently.

17. Relieves Body Pain And Stiffness

Kettleballing is my go to when I’m dealing with chronic pain. If you have ongoing pain you might try it and see if it helps you too.

18. Boosts Weight Loss

Because so many muscles are involved you can get a serious calorie burn.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin‚ La Crosse have studied how many calories are burned during a workout. They equate it to running a 6-minute mile!

19. Improves Balance

A recent study conducted by ACE Fitness experts found that training with kettlebells significantly improved balance. (1)

20. Superior Results

kettlebell
INFOGRAPHIC: 20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout

Because training with kettlebells involves the entire body, results are impressive. It’s a fierce cardio-respiratory workout which involves all the major muscle groups.

People often see faster gains doing a kettlebell workout twice weekly than doing just about anything else.

Kettlebell Weight?

Depending on who you talk to, here are some general recommendations:

  • For men, start with a 16-kg (35lb) kettlebell
  • For women, start with an 8-kg (18 lb.) kettlebell.

Please keep in mind that everyone is different. These weights are merely suggestions, but if you are already strong and fit you may want to start with more weight.

Alternatively, if you are chronically ill or have recovered from an illness or injury you might need to start with less weight. Use your judgement.

Special Considerations

If you haven’t exercised in a while you may want to consult with your physician before training with kettlebells.

Please watch the instructional videos below to learn proper form and prevent injuries.

kettlebellThe Takeaway

Kettlebell workouts offer an intense workout and incredible results for the entire body. They increase overall body strength, burn calories and deliver impressive cardiovascular improvements.

Have you tried working out with a kettlebell? Please leave your comments and questions below. I love hearing from you!

Kettlebell Swing Tutorial

This short video shows how to do the basic swing move with proper form.

 

Beginners Kettlebell Workout

If you enjoyed this, (you health nut, you) you might like to check out:


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9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water

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Lemons have some pretty amazing health benefits.

They contain Vitamin C, which is like a turbo-booster for the immune system. They are also high in fiber and antioxidants.

Lemon Water Nutrition Facts

benefits of lemon water
Drinking lemon water is refreshing and healthy.

One cup of fresh lemon juice in a glass of water has:

  • 61 calories
  • 6 grams sugar
  • 3 grams protein
  • 0 grams fat
  • 1 gram fiber (4 percent DV)
  • 112 milligrams vitamin C (a whopping 187 % DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams thiamine (5 percent DV)
  • 303 milligrams potassium (9 percent DV)
  • 31.7 micrograms folate (8 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams vitamin B6 (6 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams copper (4 percent DV)
  • 14.6 milligrams magnesium (4 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligrams vitamin E (2 percent DV)

Health Benefits Of Lemon Water

1. Healthy Weight

Lemons contain a type of soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin is found in fruit and can help you feel full longer because it expands in your stomach.

Some animal studies show that plant compounds in lemon extracts may prevent weight gain (1).

2. Prevent Kidney Stones

Citric acid is a plant compound found in lemons which may help prevent kidney stones from forming (2).

3. Healthier Skin

The antioxidants in lemons fight damage caused by free radicals, which gives the skin an incredible glow from within. If you’ve ever used a vitamin C serum on your face, you know what I’m talking about.

The vitamin C also helps the body produce collagen, which helps smooth out wrinkles (3).

4. Protect Against Anemia

benefits of lemon water
9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water Infographic

Anemia is often related to an iron deficiency. Drinking lemon water can help enhance the body’s ability to absorb iron from food (4).

If you have iron deficiency anemia, you may want to try drinking lemon water when eating iron-rich foods.

5. Improve Digestive Health

D-Limonene is a plant compound found in lemon peel. It is what gives lemons their delightful, fresh scent.

It also helps calm an upset stomach, and can relieve reflux and heartburn symptoms (5).

6. Reduce Risk Of Cancer

The d-limonene and hesperidin plant compounds found in lemons may help reduce the risk of many types of cancer (6, 7).

7.  Heart Health

The most common cause of death throughout the world is cardiovascular disease. This includes both strokes and heart attacks.

Did you know low vitamin C levels in the blood are a risk factor for stroke (7)?

But, consuming fruits high in vitamin C can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (8).

In addition, the fiber in citrus fruits was shown to decrease cholesterol levels (9).

8. Boosts The Immune System

The vitamin C found in lemons was shown to enhance the immune system (10).

9. Boosts Energy Level And Mood

Lemons are known as a natural energizer. Who (with the exception of a small child), couldn’t use more energy?

Vitamin B6 includes a group of vitamins which help convert food to energy (11).

Plus, lemon essential oil can ease stress and boost your mood (12). You can simply smell the oil or apply it to your neck, wrists or hands to experience the effects.

  • Please note, if you have sensitive skin you may want to dilute the oil (with olive, coconut, or another favorite carrier oil) to prevent irritation.

Drinking Lemon Water

Drinking lemon water is a simple way to enjoy the health benefits of lemons.

I typically add the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon to a large glass of water. You can also add a bit of honey if you like.

You can drink lemon water lukewarm, or even cold if you prefer.

Special Considerations

Lemons are highly acidic and can eat away at the tooth enamel. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help prevent this from happening.

  • Always dilute lemon juice by adding water.
  • Drink lemon water first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth. The bacteria present on your teeth will help protect the enamel. (Sounds gross, but it works!)
  • Consider drinking it through a straw to lessen contact with teeth.
  • After drinking lemon water, rinse your teeth with baking soda.

Other Uses For Lemons

Lemons are great for cleaning and deodorizing your kitchen. And who doesn’t love that all-natural fresh, clean scent?

Or clean your tarnished silverware with a drop of lemon essential oil on a rag.

Whiten your teeth using a mixture of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, baking soda and coconut oil. Apply the mixture to your toothbrush or simply use a clean finger to apply to the teeth. Leave this on your teeth for 2 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

(For more about natural teeth whitening you may want to read 81 Uses For Coconut Oil.)

benefits of lemon waterThe Takeaway

Considering all the health benefits of lemon water, is any wonder so many of us are using lemon essential oil or drinking lemon water?

Please let me know if you’ve noticed any of these benefits of lemon water. You can leave your comments below. I love hearing from you!

Also, if you liked this article, you may enjoy reading:

Finally, you may want to watch this brief video about more of the health benefits of drinking lemon water:


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The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting
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Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern. It is not a diet.

It’s not about what you choose to eat. But it’s all about when you eat (or don’t eat).

It’s eating, or not eating, in a strategic way.

Though it has recently gained a huge following it has been around for ages. We were once hunters and gatherers who might go for days without food. Our bodies are well-oiled machines, designed to withstand feast or famine.

Modern day eating often centers around a fast-paced life. Eating frequent meals and snacks of highly processed and fast foods is the norm for many of us.

But this doesn’t give our bodies time to rejuvenate and repair the damage these chemicals can do over time.

So in many ways IF is a more natural way of eating.

Anyone can do it. It’s especially popular with weightlifters and elite athletes, likely because it allows you to retain and even gain muscle while losing fat.

The Most Popular Methods Of Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting
It’s all in the timing!

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work? (The Sciencey Stuff)

When you eat a meal your body spends several hours processing and digesting the food. During this time, the body takes energy from the food you’ve eaten.

When you’re eating, or in a feeding state, insulin production tends to be high; This prevents your body from burning stored fat.

But, when our body is in a fasting state the blood sugar and insulin levels are reduced dramatically. There is a sharp increase in human growth hormone.

All these physiological changes turn the body into a fat burning machine…and benefit we love!

Will I Be Hungry While Intermittent Fasting?

Some people experience hunger pangs the first few days while the body is adjusting to the new eating pattern.

Like anything else, when your body becomes accustomed to doing something for so long, it takes a little time to re-calibrate and adjust to the new schedule.

Initial hunger may be stronger in some people and not obvious to others.

If you decide to try IF I urge you to stick with it for a week or more before you make up your mind. Once the initial adjustment to the calorie restriction is over you may find yourself wishing you’d found it sooner. (This has been my experience!)

Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

There are several impressive benefits of IF:

  • weight loss (1)
  • fat loss, especially in the belly (2)
  • stronger insulin sensitivity (3)
  • increased human growth hormone (HGH) production (4)
  • increased metabolic rate (5)
  • changes in gene function related to longevity (6)
  • cellular repair (7)
  • may reduce inflammation (8)
  • better brain health (9)
  • may protect against cancer (10)

Other Benefits of IM

  • less time-consuming because you spend less time preparing food and eating meals
  • less expensive because you eat less
  • simplifies your life and gives you more time to do the things you love (or need to do)

Special Considerations

Certain people should consult their physician or avoid intermittent fasting altogether. This includes:

  • people with eating disorders or anyone who is underweight
  • people with blood sugar issues, such as hypoglycemia (personal note about this below)
  • women who are having problems with fertility – Some women who do IF experience amenorrhea. Their menstrual period stops temporarily, but typically resumes after they return to an ordinary eating schedule.

Please keep in mind that every one is different and there are exceptions.

For example, although I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia two years ago I’m loving IF (the 16/8 schedule). I’ve found it is beneficial for my blood sugar issues. During the fasting periods, I’m cognitively sharper, have more energy and find it easier to concentrate.

If you’re not sure if it’s right for you it’s always best to check with a medical professional.

intermittent fasting
If you’re a weightlifter make sure to eat plenty of protein.

A note to weightlifters and gym rats: Keep in mind that you’re probably eating fewer calories overall. Make sure you’re consuming plenty of protein so you don’t run the risk of losing muscle mass (which I’m sure is the last thing you’d want to happen).

Supplements such as caffeine (pre-workout), BCAAs, Glutamine and Creatine are good ones to look into.

You might like to try this Healthy Coffee Drink Recipe before your training sessions.

If you’re not sure whether IM is a good choice for you, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional who can help you figure out what’s best for your unique self.

Please keep in mind it does not take the place of eating a healthy diet of fresh, whole foods and plenty of protein to fuel your body.

Wrap-Upintermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has some pretty impressive health benefits including increased longevity, fat loss and weight loss, blood sugar regulation and brain health.

You may want to try it yourself and see if you like it.

IM is an eating pattern which can help people health-wise.

Have you tried IM? Do you have questions about it that weren’t answered here. Please leave your comments and questions below. I love hearing from you!


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