10 Things You’ve Been Doing Wrong Since You Started Lifting

Without the right know how you can seriously hurt your body while lifting weights. Here are 10 common mistakes you have been making every since you started.

Without the right know how you can seriously hurt your body while lifting weights. Below, are the 10 most common mistakes you have been making every since you started lifting.

1. Jerking Your Neck and Head While Doing Crunches

Most people complain about neck pain while doing crunches. This can happen if you find yourself yanking your neck and head instead of lifting your body using your abdominal muscles. To help you avoid jerking, place your thumbs and fingertips behind your head, without lacing them together.

You should also work on keeping your shoulders calm while keeping your elbows out wide. While you curl, maintain this posture, your lower back should feel weightless. As you lift your body, you short exhale through your mouth and inhale through your nose.

2. Using a Pull Down Bar the Wrong Way

A pretty common mistake that many lifters make is using the pull-down bar the wrong way. Most people mistakenly pull the bar directly down, rather than towards your chest and torso. This mistake can take mere seconds to do and can put you at risk of injury. Another error that people
make is rocking your body with the bar as you lift. This technique uses your body, rather than your muscles while lifting the bar.

Arching Your Back While Doing a Bench Stress

3. Arching Your Back While Doing a Bench Stress

Most weight lifters do anything they can to try and add on weight, such as squirming and arching their backs. However, what many people don’t realize is that the amount of weight you raise above your chest doesn’t mean anything to how strong your chest muscles will become. The more you arch your back, the more you are at risk of injury.

To bench press correctly, you should try keeping your back as straight as possible while lifting.

4. Taking Your Hips Off Support Pads While Doing Leg Curls

Try watching other people use a leg-curl machine, you’ll notice that their legs will kick toward their butts, their butts stick up two inches, and their hips come off their support pads. Even though this is a simple mistake, it’s an easy way of taking work from your hamstrings and putting it on your hip muscles. In order to prevent this, raise your upper thighs only a small amount off the ground before you kick upwards. This way, you can make your hamstrings work harder.

5. Dropping Weights

One of the most important rules when lifting is to never drop weights. Not only can you damage the weights themselves, but you can also hurt yourself and other people.

When you’re zoning out, make sure you have a spotter or someone that can help you. If you don’t have a spotter or lifting buddy, you can end up severely injuring yourself, or you can accidentally hit someone with your weight set and injure them.

6. Sitting Up Too Fast

Sitting up too fast is a common mistake after a workout on the floor. Getting up too quickly can make you dizzy and affect your blood pressure. The main reason why you want to avoid this type of movement is if you’re holding weight, you can lose balance and create too much momentum, which may make you fall over and injure yourself.

Bad Posture While Rowing

7. Bad Posture While Rowing

Another common mistake that people make when lifting is having bad posture while rowing, such as drooping your neck and shoulders while rounding your back. Poor posture can damage your body, as well as your workout.

People also tend to lean back while rowing, which can damage your back. In order for the exercise to work and limit your risk of injury, you should work on keeping good posture. A rule of thumb to follow is: training with good posture leads to good posture. In order to row more properly, sit up tall and pull in your abdominal muscles.

Your knees should be bent and your upper body should be directly perpendicular to the ground. You should also allow your arms to stretch out in front of you without losing your posture. This way, when you pull the bar towards your chest, you can sit up taller and bring your hands in closer to your body.

8. Dropping Your Arms Much During Chest Exercises

During chest exercises, most people drop their elbows too far to the point that they nearly touch the ground. Even though your chest muscles may feel good doing this, your shoulder ligaments and chest muscles are at risk of snapping due to being stretched out too far. Additionally, when you lower your arms too much, you are at risk of pushing the head of your large arm bone into your shoulder socket.

Even though you may not feel pain now, the more you do it, the more you are at risk of causing, even more, pain to your body. Instead, yours should work on stop lowering your arms or elbows and keep them at chest level.

9. Leaning Too Far While Squatting

When you squat, if you put your knees past your toes, you can put too much pressure on your cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, which may cause a knee injury. In order to squat properly, make sure that your feet are hip width apart and your toes are pointed straight.

While squatting, you should also make sure that your knees bend down and up in a straight line. However, while you are squatting, you should make sure that you don’t squat too low and make sure that you press through your heels when you stand up. Snapping up from a squat too quickly can send too much pressure on your lower back.

Wrongly Performing a Lat Pull Down

10. Wrongly Performing a Lat Pull Down

Some lifters try choosing a weight that’s either too easy or too challenging. It’s important to choose a weight that’s in the middle, that’s not necessarily easy to lift, but at least poses as some sort of challenge. Make sure that while you’re sitting down, you wedge your thighs under the bar. Keep your abdominal muscles to help support your lower back and lean backward a few inches.

While you lift, make sure you keep the bar level and reduce swaying as much as possible. After your set is done, gently put the bar back without dropping it. If you immediately drop the bar, you can startle other lifters or cause injury to yourself and others.

Build Bigger Legs: 5 Training Tips for Massive Quads

Legs can be the most difficult to train. Here we list five helpful tips on training legs to get massive quads and walk into any place like you own it.

Most people involve almost all parts of their bodies during exercises except the legs. They usually come up with the most creative excuses as to why they do so. Some will say that nobody ever sees their legs, while some might claim that they already exercise them every time they run. But the
real reason why people don’t prioritize exercises targeting leg muscles is that they are painful. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut, if you want to build massive quads, you have to endure the pain.

There are many benefits associated with training legs the most obvious being enhancing your aesthetic appearance. But other than promoting a symmetrical physic, bigger leg muscles increase the lower body power enabling you to run faster and jump higher. It is especially beneficial to
athletes. But building monster squads is not as easy as doing the right exercises; sometimes even these fail to work. The following are five tips and tricks that will eliminate your tooth-pick leg syndrome.

1. Start With Squats

Almost all workouts will begin with free-weight squats. It is not surprising because no exercise can rival the squat when it comes to thigh building. Although it might not be possible to focus on the quads in isolation, the squats are still essential for anyone looking to build big legs.

Some people will squat on a heel board in an attempt to elevate their heels. However, it is merely a Band-Aid solution. Not only will it fail to solve the problem but it will also put unnecessary strain on the knees. You are likely to generate the most power with a shoulder-width stance while slightly turning you’re your feet outwards. Positioning your feet a few inches in or out will mildly change the muscle-recruitment pattern.

Don’t shy away from using challenging weights. Adding more weight and doing a few low-rep sets will help build your strength. Incorporating a spotter to push you beyond your limit during these difficult sets is also advisable.

Leg Press

2. Leg Press

The leg press has often been discouraged by many for the simple reason that it is not the squat. The thinking was occasioned by the many attempts made to substitute the leg press for the squat. The leg press was, therefore, censored to stop this habit. But this blanket censoring of the leg press is not a smart move.

The exercise can still be useful when applied at the right time. If you do it adequately, it will force the quads to work a little bit harder. It will increase not only their strength but also their muscular endurance.

3. Partial Reps, Full Gains

When you carry heavy weight during a squat and only descend a couple of inches, you are doing partial reps. They may not seem beneficial on the surface, but they can be instrumental in building your squads. If you combine them with full-range reps, they can become a crucial component of your quad workout routine.

It is important to note that partial squats will not build your hamstring or glute. These muscle groups become engaged more the deeper you go. Your posterior muscles will not also be involved unless your thighs are parallel to the floor. Therefore, the shallow squats will only target the quads.

By choosing to concentrate your efforts on partial squats and combining them with full-range ones and heavy weights, you are slowly building your quad size. This exercise is useful because it limits your training to a particular range of motion solely focused on achieving a single objective. You should add thirty percent more weight than you can support during full-range motion when doing the partial hacks.

4. Pre-Exhaust Your Quads

Leg extensions are usually warm-up exercises done during leg day. But nobody ever does these sets to a point where the muscles get overworked. What would happen if you were to do leg extensions to the point of muscle exhaustion? The standard practice is to do warm-up leg extensions before embarking on exercises such as leg presses and multi-joint squats. The reverse of this order is what we are calling pre-exhaust. Because leg extensions focus on quads, pre-exhaust would mean that while the quads are somewhat worked up, the glutes and hamstrings are not.

Pre-exhausting your quads right off the bat ensures that the glutes and hamstrings will not get quickly fatigued when you embark on a set. You will, therefore, not be forced to end your set prematurely because the muscles will still be fresher compared to the quads.This technique allows you to push your quad muscles to their physical limit. It ensures that you will not be forced to stop on account of the other muscles. If you can’t do more, it will be because your quads cannot take it any longer but not because your hamstring or glutes have refused to toe the line.

Go Beyond Failure

5. Go Beyond Failure

Training until your muscles can’t stand it any longer is already hard. Attempting to go beyond this point may, therefore, seem impossible to some people. That is why you should consider bringing in a training partner to help you get through it.

Training beyond the limit will pay massive dividends. We have already seen what pre-exhaust and partial reps can do to your quads. This particular technique works even better. When you feel like your muscles can’t take anymore, your training partner should help you lift a few more weights. When the muscles become exhausted, reduce the weight by a few pounds and keep going.

Final Say

Leg muscles are just as important as the other body muscles. You should never neglect them during your workout exercises. Building big monster quads is not by any means and easy task. You will have to endure a lot of pain before you get there.

However, learning the tricks outlined above is the first step in the long journey. It is up to you to implement them. But remember they are just but tools in your possession. Start small, but do not be limited to only one.

Traps are the New Abs: Here’s How to Build Them

The new trend is building stronger trapezius muscles. The bulk of the focus in the modern fitness world is trending towards a toned back.

You have all been informed on the quickest methods to obtaining rock-hard abs. There are belts that produce contractions to tighten your core. There are fitness machines specifically designed with the abdominal in mind. There are multiple programs and fitness routines that promise the core of your dreams with a time commitment and a consistent diet.

This is all fine and dandy, but it leaves out a key piece of information: abs no longer host the hype they once did. The new trend is building stronger trapezius muscles. The bulk of the focus in the modern fitness world is trending towards a toned back. The process involved with successful molding of this area of the body is a lot more time consuming and a greater challenge.

None the less, it is the area of the body that is currently garnishing the most attention, so it is time for you to get on board. Below are a few select methods used to obtain stronger traps and tone your back.

Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder Shrugs

The best part about the different trapezius exercises is that they come with different variants. You do not have to switch up the weight training in favor of a different element. If you are used to using free weights, such as dumbbells, continue doing so for traps exercises. If you are a resistance trainer, modifications can be made to cables to suit this exercise.

The number one rule in shoulder shrugs working with the traps is to ensure you are toting the proper weight. The goal is to fatigue the muscles, without involving too much pulling or other inarticulate movements. You should be participating in fluent shoulder movements and should be targeting a higher repetition number in the starting process. This will help you attain the proper movements and ensures the proper form of the exercise. The weight can be added once you start to gain some strength in your traps.

The movement itself offers little assistance from parts of your body. Try to limit the effort being admitted from your biceps, triceps, and shoulders. The shoulders are the component part in this exercise, but they are not the main attraction. Let your arms dangle as you pick up the weights
and place them by your sides. Once you pull the shoulders upward, flex your trap muscles. Once you start repeating this up and down process, with the shoulder rolling, you will feel the burn in your traps. This is helpful information for those who do not necessarily know how to flex their traps. Once you find the target area of the workout, you will be able to progress in due time.

As stated previously, the method of weights or resistance do not matter in the scheme of things. This process can be repeated with a barbell, which offers greater stability needs for the user. The resistance training methods will put pressure on the target trap area if done correctly. This is a key
exercise in the results path and form is the primary area of concern for these exercises.

Weighted Cable Face Pull

One can do only so many different shoulder shrug variations. Thankfully, there are a few other options for the user to build their trapezius muscles. The weighted cable face pull is an exercise that requires the correct machinery for effective operation. These cable machines often allow you
to attach different face-outs for your workout. There are a couple different face-outs that would be optimal for this form of training.

The thick rope element that has two different gripping areas will work for this exercise. The user can also choose to use a metal grooved or flat bar, preferably one that doesn’t extend too far beyond the length of shoulder to shoulder width. These machines often come with a push-pin or an adjuster, relocate this fixture so that it meets the middle of your chest. Attach your desired element and you are ready to perform the exercise.

The exercise requires you to pull your element of choice towards your face, placing your contraction attention on your back and trapezius muscles. This motion should be fluent and should be constant. Relying on a stopping technique will only trick your muscles and could lead to tears and injury. Keeping the motion fluid and constant will help your body recognize the necessary force and flex amount to emit per repetition. Practice this exercise until fatigue and use a weight amount
that proves to be enough.

Heavy repetitions at a lower weight do not increase the benefits you stand to gain from this exercise. Find a weight that makes you somewhat uncomfortable and challenges you during your set. The best burn and progress comes from the sets you muster up the strength to complete. Challenge yourself with this exercise and you will achieve the results you wish to obtain.

The Upright Row

The Upright Row

The last exercise comes from the power lifting achieves. Olympic lifters have used rows to showcase their talents in competitions for years. The row also offers some amazing benefits to the trapezius muscles. This exercise is performed in an upright, standing position. The focus is on the
upper back, so it is important to know which areas should be involved in the effort and repetition stream.

Tighten your glutes and your core. This will take the pressure off of your lower back and focus the attention on your upper back. The row movement involves using your traps to pull the weighted bar towards your chin. During the upward movement, slowly tighten your traps. On the descend, relax these muscles to prepare for a second repetition.

Repeating this process will help you gain the proper form and will help your feel the desired burn. If you find yourself facing aches and other shoulder problems from this exercise, refine your form. When done correctly, this exercise will only affect your upper back, trapezius muscles, and will also peak at your deltoidmuscles.

6 Muscle Building Tips to Go from Average Joe to Swole!

Physical training and workout sometimes can be annoying, but here are six muscle building tips to get you from average Joe to swole with training.

Physical training and exercise have a huge impact on the body and soul of everyone that regularly participates in it. The human body is not designed to be static but to always be on the move, so that vital body organs and cells are energized and provided with all the nutrients needed to make
them perform well.

Physical training and workout sometimes can be annoying, but if you have the proper knowledge on handling things, you can make progress quickly and efficiently. Here are 6 of the best-kept secrets to turn an average Joe into a physically fit person.

Have a Workout Routine

Workout is like building a house, planning for college, or starting a business; you need a method or plan that will guide you. Any idea you want to create must start with a goal that is well defined and properly articulated to ensure that you know what you are doing. Be careful not to overload yourself from the beginning.

Take baby steps. It is grossly unrealistic to include 10 miles run a day on your exercise schedule when you are just starting out. Work within your limit and track your progress. There are many mobile phone application you can use to teach yourself to adhere to the dictates of your exercise plans if you wish to succeed.

Eat Well

Proper nutrition and consuming a balanced diet is essential for ensuring that your body gets all that is needed to grow stronger. Your muscles need to be fed plenty of protein without which they will not perform at optimum levels and then jeopardize your training and exercise. A balanced diet must include eating the right amount of calorie and nutrients needed to maintain a healthy weight.

Experts suggest that, for you to have the proper capacity to attain the height of your workout routine, you should consume a diet rich in vegetables, whole grain, and fruits. You should also eat legumes and green tea, or any natural food that supplies you with vitamins, minerals, and other elements.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drink Plenty of Water

Apart from eating nutritious meals you also need to drink plenty of water. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will keep your body hydrated and allow you achieve greater success in your exercise plans.

Drinking water for exercise also help you:

  • Maintain healthy body function during and after physical training
  • Replenish the water you have lost through sweating, to prevent your body from dehydration
    after an extended period of working out.
  • Prevent the adverse effects of dehydration which can lead to so many issues like muscle cramps, heat illness, loss of coordination, and the inability to regulate your body temperature.
  • Achieve a proper digestion so you don't have to deal digestive issues that could slow you down

Take Part in a Competition

When it comes to physical exercise, no one can do it alone. You need to get yourself into different competitions to help you keep a focus on your goals of becoming well-toned and physically fit. Taking part in competition keeps you accountable by helping you see the end of yourself. You can
measure your progress and growth based on the performance of other people and find ways to improve.

The competition also drives you to become creative. There are workout routines that can deliver better results if you imbibe them into your plans. Learning through trial and errors is part of the whole workout process. By taking part in competitions, you get to learn about what works and what doesn’t work, which can help improve your overall performance. Competition is also an excellent way to track your fitness goals and make sure you are in line with your plans.

Give Yourself Break

One of the best rewards for your physical training plan is to give yourself break. If you think working out every day of every week of every month without time for relaxation will do you good, you are mistaken. Taking a break will help your muscles relax and your entire body to heal in preparation for the next phase of your exercise.

Rest periods will also help you regain your strength and desire to come back stronger and better, to achieve your goals. Your muscles will thank you for it, and you get better results in your exercise. Take breaks during your strength training, get at least one day of rest during the week, and have plans for a long week of no-exercise, once a year.

Sleep Well

Sleep Well

Sleep is one of the most overlooked items when listing tips for physical fitness and exercise. No matter how many weights you push in a day, you won't make considerable progress if your body is not put in a place of relaxation. Sleep does a lot for your body including recharging your brain, repairing muscles and tissues, and replacing weak, dead, or damaged cells. Sleep is also essential for regulating your immune system to keep you active and energized the next day. Every professional athlete knows how important it is to have a good night’s sleep so they can have the energy, mental capacity, and desire to carry out their regular exercise routine.

Parting Words

Regular exercise is important for your general health. You need to come up with a plan and goal to be able to achieve success in your physical training. You also need to get your mind, body, and soul in proper shape, so that all your efforts will yield results.

5 Muscle-Building Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Here are five of the most common and easily avoidable mistakes that people make when trying to build muscle.

Some people like to think that building muscle is easy. All you need to do is spend enough time lifting weights in the gym, eat plenty of protein, and avoid fatty foods, right? Sadly, anybody who has tried to bulk up knows that it’s a lot harder than that. Making any amount of progress with an
exercise regimen takes a lot of time and hard work, and that is especially true about putting on muscle.

There are some muscle-building mistakes that are easier to make than others. Luckily, they are just as easy to avoid. Here are five of the most common and easily avoidable mistakes that people make when trying to build muscle.

1. Following the Wrong Diet

If you don’t eat the right foods, it won’t matter what you are doing in the gym. You won’t build the muscle that you want, and you might end up gaining weight in all the wrong ways.

In order to gain muscle mass, you need to have a calorie surplus. This means taking in more calories than you burn. You’ll definitely lose fat if you don’t have this surplus and you keep going to the gym, but you will lose muscle mass too. The trick to eating to gain muscle mass is finding the right ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Everybody is a little different when it comes to what they can and should be eating, but a good ratio to start with is 25 to 35 percent protein, 40 to 45 percent carbohydrates, and 15 to 25 percent fat. You can make adjustments as your body adjusts to your new diet.

Relying Too Much on Supplements

2. Relying Too Much on Supplements

Some people think they can have the perfect muscle-building diet if they just take the right supplements, but even the "best" supplements are poor substitutes for eating the right foods. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on different weight loss and muscle-building supplements, invest in buying better foods and getting all of your nutrients and protein from natural sources. Save the supplements for when you actually have a deficiency that you cannot fix any other way.

3. Pushing Yourself Too Hard

While it’s important to work hard when you’re in the gym, your body does need to rest. If you don’t take a day off from your intense workout regimen, your workouts will start to have a detrimental effect on your body. This is known as adrenal fatigue, and it can quickly derail your exercise program before you know it.

Instead of buying into the “no pain, no gain” philosophy, take a day off once in a while to let your body rest and recover from what you are putting it through. Your “growth” hormone will be released while you sleep, and you will be that much healthier thanks to your much-needed break.

4. Having Poor Range-Of- Motion

Many amateur bodybuilders make the mistake of ignoring their flexibility in favor of simply getting bigger muscles. Sacrificing your range-of- motion so you can lift heavier weights and have larger muscles is a bad idea that can result in serious injuries. Simply put, you won’t do your body any good if you can barely move, even if you have gigantic muscles. Focus on flexibility and stretching so your muscles won’t tear as they grow.

5. Being Inconsistent with Your Exercise Program

It’s easy to get excited about a new exercise program and hit the ground running only to give up after a few weeks. Keeping a regular workout schedule is hard, especially with everything else you have going on in your life. You start to skip few sessions here and there, and before you know it you’ve undone nearly all the progress that you’ve made. This is arguably the most common mistake people make with any workout plan.

As much as we would like to say that there is a magical cure to keep yourself from slacking off, there really isn’t. This really comes down to your own discipline, although there are some things you can do to make it a little bit easier. First of all, talk to a personal trainer to develop a program that works well within your own schedule. Building muscle in the gym is only part of your life, so accept that other commitments can and will get in the way of your fitness goals and work around them as much as possible. Second, tell yourself that you will stick to a training program for at least two months.

That’s enough time to comfortably work your program into the rest of your life in a way that it becomes part of your regular routine. Slowly increase the intensity of your workout during those two months without pushing yourself too hard, and you will start to notice some change in your muscle mass. It won’t happen overnight, but your new routine will eventually give you the body you want if you stick to it.

4 Ways Exercise Improves Your Mental Health

Here are four ways exercise improves you mental health and well being. When you exercise, you not only prevent physical diseases, but also mental ones too.

Everyone knows that exercise is good for the overall physical health. But exercise is also good for the mental health. For the past few decades, scientists have carried out numerous studies on how exactly exercise boosts brain function. We carried out an extensive research and rounded up four tested and scientifically proven ways exercising can help your brain.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

1.  Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can greatly interfere with enjoyment of life. According to American Psychological Association, one in seven adults report physical and emotional symptoms associated with stress. Fortunately, you can reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety through exercise.

Exercise reduces stress in two distinct ways. First, it reverses the damage caused to the brain during stressful events by lowering the levels of circulating cortisol, a hormone that rises when we experience stress. Second, it enhances the production of hormones that are associated with
improved cognitive function and elevated moods.

There are several exercises you can do when you are stressed. You can do high-energy exercises such as dancing, running and roller skating. You can lift weights, swim and do Tai Chi. For effective results, combine these exercises with activities that take your mind off the stressful situation.
These include some reading, listening to music or watching TV.

2. Slows Down Cognitive Decline

Mental decline is a common condition among the older generation. Symptoms of mental decline may include trouble remembering names, poor coordination and balance, lack of concentration and increased irritability. More than 16 million people in the US have symptoms associated with cognitive mental decline.

Exercise can actually slow the rate of mental decline by up to 10 years. Exercising, especially between the age of 20 and 50, enhances the production of chemicals that prevent the degeneration of the hippocampus, a component of the brain that plays a key role in memory and learning.

Simple exercises such as walking in a park or riding a bicycle can make a big difference. Weight- training and endurance exercises can also bring positive results. These exercises should be done on a regular basis for optimum outcome. We recommend at least 20 to 30 minutes of continuous exercise three to four times a week.

3. Eliminate Depression

Depression is a common yet serious mental condition. It interferes with how a person thinks, feels and acts. One may feel very sad, lose interest or pleasure in activities he normally enjoys or feel guilty and unworthy. Some people may experience changes in appetite, develop thoughts of death and suicide or increase purposeless physical activities such as slowed speech, hand-wringing and fast movements.

When you are experiencing these symptoms, exercising is often the last thing on your mind. But once you get the motivation, exercise can change things for the better. Regular exercise helps in the production of feel-good chemicals that will change how you feel. These chemicals include
endorphins, neurotransmitters and endocannabinoids. Exercise reduces the chemicals within the immune system that are known to worsen the symptoms of depression. It also increases the heart rate and body temperature, which are known to have calming effects.

Apart from enhancing moods and reducing unwanted chemicals in the immune system, achieving exercising goals and overcoming challenges will boost your self-confidence and change how you feel about yourself. It will also take your mind off worries and help you cope with depression in a healthy way.

Not all exercises will yield the best results. We recommend yoga, running, hiking, dancing, strength-training and Tai Chi. Yoga is known for creating a calming effect. Strength-training will boost your self-esteem, make you feel better and improve the quality of your sleep. Dancing will help you express yourself physically and share with others your feelings. Running and hiking will trigger the production of endorphins, natural feel-good chemicals that make you a happy person.

Better Thinking

4. Better Thinking

Most people report that they tend to think more clearly after exercising. This is not far from the truth. According to scientists, when you exercise, your blood pressure and blood flow increase throughout your body. Due to the increased blood flow, your brain will get more oxygen and more
energy, improving its function and effectiveness in the process. Not to mention, the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for thinking, learning and memory, will get highly active during exercise.

Exercising can also improve your thinking skills indirectly by enhancing your moods and quality of sleep. It also reduces chronic stress and anxiety, which are known to cause or contribute to cognitive impairment. You can do almost any exercise to improve your thinking skills. But aerobic exercise can yield better results. We recommend intensive aerobic exercises for one hour at least three times a week and light exercises at least five times. Stay with your exercise routine for about 12 weeks for
effective results.

Parting Shot

Exercising on a regular basis is something you don’t want to ignore as a person who values himself. When you exercise, you not only prevent physical diseases, but you also create a conducive environment for a healthy brain.

7 Techniques for Dealing With Stress That People Often Ignore

Learning how to handle stress is paramount in ensuring proper health. Here are a few strategies on how to get there.

From unreasonable clients and bosses to natural disasters, the life of an everyday American is filled with stressors. Short bursts of pressure can be good for you. However, according to research by Ohio University, persistent stress can change your genes.

The result is amplified inflammation and increased susceptibility to various health issues. Learning how to handle stress is paramount in ensuring proper health. Here are a few strategies on how to get there.

1. Get enough sleep

Between busy work schedules and family life, it is not uncommon to skip sleep once in a while. We forget that regardless of how important signing in a new client is, our bodies require high quality and quantity sleep to keep us on the move. If you do not get sufficient sleep, your health,
creativity, and productivity are bound to deteriorate.

When one is sleeping, the body uses its natural mechanisms to reinstate its energy reserves and control stress levels. Thus, when one does not get enough sleep, stress accumulates to the extent that maintaining a healthy body and mind becomes challenging. On the other hand, if you get enough sleep, you keep high tolerance levels throughout the day, and your alertness is high.

2. Quit doing stuff you dislike

If you are in an emotionally draining relationship, working a job you do not enjoy, or you are involved in any other thing that brings negativity to your life, it could be the reason for your high-stress levels. Healing from your current situation will require you to deal with the cause. Walking
away takes a lot of courage, but it is worthwhile.

Quit doing stuff you dislike

3. Consider rituals

Human bodies crave routine. When stressful moments drive all strength out of you, following a routine will help you get back in control. Whether it is listening to your favorite playlist while going to work, exercising in the morning or taking a bath before going to bed, during stress periods
creates a comforting routine that aids in combating stress. When you focus on these rituals and perform them consistently, you help boost your body’s capacity to handle the physical aspects of stress. Extra tip: a consistent routine can also help you sleep better.

4. Work out between work schedules

The gospel of the importance of exercising having been so well preached, more people work out nowadays as opposed to those who did so in the past. Most people prefer working out in the morning and evening hours, probably because they are unaware of the benefits of exercising in-
between work shifts.

Jobs are among the top stressors, and burning a few calories in between your workload might help manage your stress levels. If you are self-employed, getting an extra 30 minutes in between will not be very difficult. Those working 9 to 5 jobs can squeeze a quick work
out session during lunch hour.

Take care of your stomach

5. Take care of your stomach

Although persistent stress levels affect your body entirely, some organs might suffer the effects more than others. One of these organs is the stomach. While under a lot of pressure, one of the body’s mechanisms for handling the extra strain is constricting your stomach into a ball. Ambitious individuals who are working too hard to attain their life’s goals are more vulnerable to this effect than the less ambitious ones.

One would wonder what techniques are most effective for taking care of their stomachs. Several plants and herbs have been found to have a soothing effect on the stomach. Using essential oils is an effective technique of cleansing the stomach. Some of the useful oils include peppermint, lemon, and lavender. You can search for the various blends you can make.

6. Connect to your spiritual side

Since the ancient times, spirituality has been known to cure the soul; an effect that boosts happiness when faced with stressful situations. One of the practical spiritual practices is the use of beads for guidance during prayer. Get a set of these beads if you do not have one.

Decide on a mantra that resonates with you – it should be positive. It can either be religious or inspirational. Then, repeat the mantra on every bead. The more sets of beads you cover, the more you regain your sense of power and detachment from the cause of anxiety. That is the influence of meditation.

7. Appreciate more

Research has proven that expressing gratitude brings forth positive effects. The National Institute of Health Researchers carried out a study on brain activity and discovered that those who were more appreciative had higher hypothalamus activity. Hypothalamus is a section of the brain that
has a significant influence on stress levels. Being grateful also activated a feel-good neurotransmitter known as dopamine.

To benefit from this act, develop a strategy of appreciating the little things in life. For instance, you can write down the good things that happened to you during the day, every evening, and then put them in a tin. At the end of the year during the festivities, open the tin and read these notes. Also,
remember to be grateful to your friends, workmates, clients, and family as often as you can.

6 Important Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally

Here are six important ways to increase testosterone naturally. Level of testosterone fluctuates throughout the day, so do multiple check-ups.

Testosterone hormone is produced by the testicles. It is often associated with the strength of manhood although women also have it. It plays a vital role in the sexuality of men and reproductive factors. Testosterone contributes to hair and muscle growth in men. Also, it helps in maintaining the level of blood cell and bone density. However, when people reach around 30 years, the standard of testosterone starts to decline and continue subsequently as one age.

Many factors cause the level of testosterone to drop. For example drugs like statins and chemical exposures. Also the standard of estrogen increase due to broad exposure to estrogen related compounds such as;

  • water,
  • food, and
  • Environmental pollutants

When someone experiences signs such as depressed mood, decrease sex drive, difficulty in memory and concentration and erectile dysfunction, then testosterone level might not be sufficient enough. It is important to seek thorough check up from a doctor to ascertain the same. Level of
testosterone fluctuates throughout the day, so it is important to do multiple check-ups. They are many options to increase the level of testosterone.

Lose weight

If one is overweight, it is important to shed off excess weight to raise the level of testosterone. There is much research that shows that obese men have a low level of testosterone, so this is an important trick to start shedding off excess weight. During the process of losing weight, one should strictly limit processed sugar in the diet. Excess sugar especially fructose is the primary factor that contributes to obesity. Also, one should cut down soda and its related products. Total fructose consumption should be less than 25 grams per day.

Also, one should avoid milk and grains in the diet. Milk has an ingredient called lactose which contributes to increased insulin resistance. So it is important to avoid it at all costs to lose weight. Other things that one should cut down is refined carbohydrates. Example of refined carbohydrates include waffles, bagels, breakfast cereals, and pretzels. Healthy substitutes contain healthy fats and vegetable. Amount of vegetables should be more than the intake of carbohydrates. Getting plenty of high quality and restful sleep

Having enough sleep is essential just like exercise and diet. It also has significant positive impact on testosterone levels. The ideal sleep varies from one person to another. Those individuals who sleep less than 5 hours in a night was linked to a high reduction in the level of testosterone. Many
types of the research argue that for every one hour of sleep that level of testosterone rise by 15%. The best number of hours that is recommended is 7-10 hours.


Consuming plenty of Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that has been proven to increase the level of testosterone. Zinc should be supplemented with diet every day. Many studies show that those who have low levels of testosterone and consume a diet with plenty of zinc for consecutive six weeks, the level of
testosterone increases gradually. Zinc also protect men from exercises that are known to reduce testosterone level. People`s diet should be rich in zinc along with protein rich foods like beans, meat, yogurt and raw cheese. If one prefer zinc supplement, then it is important to stick to a
dosage that is less than 40 mg a day.

Strength training

Strength training is known to boost testosterone. One should intensively train to produce maximum results. One should focus on exercises that work on a large number of muscles such as squats and dead lifts. Starting from slow movement to a high-intensity movement will strengthen the muscles. The Super slow movement will allow the muscle at the little level to offer a maximum number of bridges between protein filaments.

Optimising vitamin D levels

Vitamin D is known as a steroid hormone that is important in the development of sperm cell nucleus. It also helps in maintaining sperm count and quality of semen. It also increases levels of testosterone in boosting libido. There is research which shows that when overweight men are given Vitamin D supplements, there will be a tremendous increase of testosterone level within one year. There is a lack of vitamin D in many parts of the world especially the USA because people spend most of the time indoors working. The natural way is to get exposure to the sun at least 2 hours in a day.

reducing stress

Reducing stress

The best natural way to increase testosterone in the body is to reduce stress at all cost. When the body is put under stress, it releases a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol will block the reproduction of testosterone. The best way to manage stress is to use Emotional Freedom
Technique. Other ways to reduces stress include meditation, yoga, and laughter. Testosterone is not only important in mating but also in activities such as concentration and memory. Keeping it to the desired level is important.

5 Powerful Bodybuilding Tips from Old School Legends

To take your training to the next level, here are five of the most powerful bodybuilding tips from the sport’s old school legends.

If your goal is to build the best physique possible, then there is no better source of advice than the men who have etched their names in bodybuilding history. And while the modern bodybuilder has all kinds of information at his disposal thanks to the internet, old school bodybuilders only had word of mouth and magazines. It was a different era, and the results those bodybuilders obtained are a testament to their knowledge.

To take your training to the next level, here are five of the most powerful bodybuilding tips from the sport’s old school legends.

frank zane

1. “Quality muscle takes time to develop.” – Frank Zane

Zane won quite a few bodybuilding competitions in his day, and the pinnacle of his career was his run of three Mr. Olympia titles from 1977 to 1979. Unlike some of the hulking behemoths you see in the bodybuilding world, Zane was known for having an aesthetically pleasing physique. He was very muscular, but also well-proportioned.

In a world of magazines talking about how a movie star gained 20 pounds of muscle in three months for his latest role, it’s easy to expect fast results. But that’s unrealistic, and if you gain weight too quickly, most of it will just be fat and water that you need to lose later. Zane believed 5
pounds of muscle in one year was a much better result than 30 pounds of fat, muscle and water.

2. “From the moment you enter the gym you should visualize what you are going to do.” – Franco Columbu

Columbu is perhaps the most accomplished bodybuilder in history at his height, as he stood just 5’4. He won the Mr. Olympia title in 1976 and 1981. He was also an accomplished amateur boxer, winning a championship in his native Italy, and he competed in the World’s Strongest Man competition.

Columbu knew what it took to succeed, and he said that people went to the gym to either socialize or become champions. He obviously fell in the latter category, and that’s the mentality you need to get the best results. Columbu was a big believer in visualization, and his fellow bodybuilder and friend, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was the same way.

Sergio Oliva

3. “If you train hard, eat well with quality protein, and take a good vitamin and mineral, then you can achieve a good physique.” – Sergio Oliva

Oliva was known as “The Myth,” and he took home the Mr. Olympia title from 1967 through 1969. That 1969 contest was notable in that Schwarzenegger took second, and Oliva would end up being the only man to ever defeat Schwarzenegger in a Mr. Olympia competition.

It’s important to remember that what you eat is just as important, if not even more important, than what you do in the gym. Oliva understood that, which is part of the reason he built a 52-inch chest with just a 29-inch waist at his peak. His advice here is simple, but it’s really all you need to
build a good body.

Lou Ferrigno

4. “You need to train like a bodybuilding, hitting all body parts equally, and know what your safety limit is.” – Lou Ferrigno

Standing 6’5 and weighing 285 pounds, Ferrigno was the young bodybuilding prodigy thought to have the potential to dethrone Schwarzenegger. He never captured the Mr. Olympia title, with his
best finish being second place, but he won other titles and ended up playing the Incredible Hulk in a TV series.

Ferrigno mentioned the importance of building a balanced physique, and this is key if you want to be a bodybuilder. You need to perform the right exercises to keep your body symmetrical in its muscularity. Ferrigno’s advice on knowing your limits is also wise to avoid the injuries that can
occur from lifting heavy weights.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

5. “If you can go through this pain barrier, you may get to be a champion. If you can’t go through
it, forget it.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger won an incredible seven Mr. Olympia titles, and with his success in bodybuilding, acting and politics, he needs no introduction.

Schwarzenegger understood the importance of intense training, and his weightlifting sessions in his prime are the stuff of legend. Although you can’t go 100 percent all the time, Schwarzenegger is right in that you need to push farther than you think you can manage if you want the best results.


The five men above all put in countless hours of blood, sweat and tears to hone their impressive physiques, and the results speak for themselves. In their primes, they all had some of the best bodies on the planet. Each of the tips listed above, if taken to heart, can help you get more out of
your training sessions and bring your body to the next level.

3 Simple Ways to Gain More Weight Smartly

Attaining a healthy body weight can open you up to a whole new universe of happiness and wellness. It can help you say hello to more energy and vitality.

Weight problems can affect people in many different ways. Some people are overweight and need to lose. There are also people who are underweight who need to gain. It doesn’t matter what your specific issue is. Your goal should always be to attain a healthy weight for your height and age group. Being overweight comes with all sorts of risks and negative consequences. Being underweight comes with just as many potential problems, too. Excessively low body weight can sometimes negatively interfere with the strength of your immune system.

That can make you a lot more vulnerable to the flu and common cold. Low body weight can also often lead to nutritional shortages, hormone troubles, low energy and even confidence issues. If you want to free yourself of all of the negative effects of low body weight, you should learn how to gain the safe and smart way. Attaining a healthy body weight can open you up to a whole new universe of happiness and wellness. It can help you say hello to more energy and vitality. It can help you say hello to better confidence levels as well.

Remember, you need to focus on safe weight gain. That means that you need to steer clear of junk food. It’s never a good idea to try to pack on more pounds by indulging in greasy fast foods, sweets and sodas.

Consume More Calories Than You Actually Burn

1. Make Sure You Consume More Calories Than You Actually Burn

Weight gain is a science. If you want to gain weight, you have to consume more calories. It’s as simple as that. Focus on achieving a caloric surplus. If you’re looking to gain in a gradual manner, you can strive to consume anywhere between 300 and 500 more total calories than you actually
burn on a daily basis.

People who want to take smart and safe approaches to weight gain should never try to do things overnight. Abrupt weight gain attempts are never the best idea. If you want to play it safe, doing things gradually is your best bet. It’s also critical to consult with your doctor prior to making any caloric changes or dietary adjustments in general. He or she can provide you with additional insight that can help you make safe and healthy choices.

Consume Significant Amounts of Protein

2. Consume Significant Amounts of Protein

If you want to gain weight like a champion, protein is one of your greatest assets. Protein is vital for people who want to gain weight with intelligence. Muscles consist of protein. If you lack sufficient protein in your diet, your excess calories may become body fat. People who want to gain weight and look and feel fit as a fiddle should prioritize routine protein consumption. Make a point to consume foods that are chock-full of the nutrient. Examples of protein-rich foods are eggs, fish, meat, Greek yogurt, nuts and legumes. Dairy items in general are often rich in protein.

It can also be a smart idea to go for protein supplements. Whey protein can do wonders for people who want to up their protein intake considerably. Supplements can be terrific for people who are having
problems squeezing sufficient amounts of protein into their daily meal plans. It’s important to understand that protein is essential for successful muscle development. If you consume enough protein, you won’t simply gain fat. You’ll also gain vital muscle weight. This is imperative.

3. Consume Meals on a More Frequent Basis

Frequent food consumption can be a great option for people who are looking to gain weight the right way. People who are underweight tend to get full quickly. If you want to protect yourself from the pitfall of stopping eating prematurely, frequent meal consumption may be the way to go. If
you’re underweight and looking to gain, refrain from the typical "three meals a day" plan most people adopt.

Try to consume between five and six meals on a daily basis. Frequent meals with comparatively small portions can do the trick. Underweight people often respond better to small portions. Big portions can often be extremely overwhelming to them.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you’re looking to gain weight the healthy and smart way, you have to make sure to give yourself plenty of time. Weight gain shouldn’t be a race. If you want to make your health a focal point during the weight gain process, you need to consume foods that have lots of nutrients. It can be
wise to go for whole grain cereals, pastas and breads.

It can be smart to consume lots of fresh vegetables and fruits on a regular basis. Seeds, nuts and lean protein can all also be great for people who want to gain weight healthily. If you give yourself plenty of time, you should be golden.