VR: Motivating Exercise in the Elderly

In Copenhagen, Denmark, researchers test virtual reality in a nursing home to help create motivational experiences that drive exercise among the elderly.

A new research project from Aalborg University in Denmark shows Virtual Reality (VR) can get the elderly in nursing homes to be happier about exercising.  It seems that a big problem in nursing homes is that the denizens don’t move about enough. In Denmark, all nursing home provide access to fitness facilities and physical therapists but that hasn’t done much to get the blood pumping through the hearts of the residents.
 

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Can Meditation Really Cure Disease?

A growing body of research now links the Eastern practice to improved conditions for serious ailments from diabetes, to heart disease, to cancer. How? By "treating the whole person … so they can live in greater health and joy," says Shauna Shapiro, a clinical psychologist and professor at Santa Clara University. And from that so-called "joy", some remarkable things have

This article originally appeared on www.mensjournal.com: Can Meditation Really Cure Disease?

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Lower Body Power: VRT vs Plyometrics vs Olympic Lifts

All strategies are proven to be effective, but when is one more appropriate than the others?

Variable resistance training (VRT), plyometrics, and the Olympic lifts are three popular means of developing power in athletes. All strategies are proven to be effective, but are there periods when one is more appropriate than the others? These are the essential differences:
 
  • VRT places low demand on technical proficiency, but lacks triple extension.
  • Plyometrics develop triple extension power under light loads, and are highly specific to most sports.

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Trust Your Training

The race itself is just the expression of what you have already accomplished.

Less than two miles into my half marathon, I was sure I had made a huge mistake. For a few seconds, I started to get down on myself, because it’s a mistake I’ve made a half dozen times before, and one I’ve spent most of the year trying to correct. I was convinced I had gone out too fast, and that I had set myself up for a miserable second split. My pacer was gapping me, my legs were starting to burn, and my mindset was sliding from calm confidence into discouraged despair.

 

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You Can Get Fit in a Quarter Hour

All-out effort is the secret ingredient to making the most of a 15-minute session.

I know a personal trainer who owns a very successful personal training business that trains clients in fifteen minute sessions. Yes, 15:00 of high intensity, all-out, balls-to-the-wall effort. He obtains positive results from these sessions. That approach works if you use the minimal time wisely—minimal exercise prescriptions that target major muscle groups and the cardiovascular system.

 

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How Plant Protein Differs from Animal Protein

Learn why plant protein may be a great alternative for you.

Plant protein has gained a ton of popularity lately and for good reason. More active people are opting for plant-based diets and are reaping healthier rewards for the intentional dietary shift. Plant protein has also begun to take on a life of its own as more pure, chemical-free formulas hit the market.  
 

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Best Warm Up Stretches For Cold Weather Running

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best-stretches-for-cold-weather-running-main

It’s that time of the year again – days are getting shorter, leaves are starting to fall off the trees, and the weather is starting to turn colder. While I do hate to see summer and all of its activities go, there is still plenty you can do in the winter time to stay active! In fact, running outdoors is actually one of my favorite activities to do in the fall and winter! If done properly you can still enjoy many months of healthy running all season long. Today I want to share with you 5 of my favorite lower body stretches you should be doing before every cold-weather run this year. Here we go! 

A quick word about static vs dynamic stretching: “Static stretching” is what most of us think of when we think of stretching. It consists of getting in to a position and holding for 20 – 30 seconds. While this is great to increase range of motion and decrease tension, static stretching is not the best prior to running/exercising. We want our muscles in more of a “primed” and “ready” state – not one of relaxation.

“Dynamic stretching” on the other hand is “stretching with movement”; it’s taking your joints to their end range for only a brief period of time, but doing that repeatedly to stretch the area out. This has been proven to promote better blood flow into an areas which should lead to improved performance.

Here are 5 of the best stretches to keep your next cold-weather run fast, in peak condition, and injury-free…

1. Alternating Toe Touches – (hamstrings and hip flexors): Keep your left leg straight as you kick it out straight in front of you. Bring your right hand out to touch your left toes, then alternate with your right leg/left hand. Perform 20 reps on each side.

alternating-toe-touch-hamstring-stretch

 

2.  Standing Leg Swing (hip abductors and groin): Steady yourself on a pillar/tree/pole in front of you. Kick your right leg up as high to your right side as possible and then let it swing back down in front of you crossing your left leg. Repeat 20 times on each side.

standing-leg-swing-hip-stretch

 

3. Butt Kickers (hamstrings): Take off on a slow jog, but really try to bring your heel all the way up to your glutes with each stride. Perform 30-40 on each leg.

butt-kicker-warm-up-stretch

 

4. Alternating Walking Lunge (hamstrings, glutes, and quads): Take a large step forward with your left leg. Drop your right knee down towards the ground so that it almost touches the ground but not quite. Return to the upright position and repeat on the right side. 10 reps on each side.

alternating-walking-lunges

5. Heel Raises (Achilles tendons): Stand on the edge of a stair/curb/gutter/bench with your heels hanging down below your toes. Use your calf muscles to pull yourself up on to your tip toes and then slowly return to the staring position. Perform 30 reps.

standing-heel-raise-stretch-exercise

With any cold weather activity it’s vital that you dress appropriately. I’m loving my new Champion Power Blend fleece this year! Whether I’m out for a jog or headed to the gym – these clothes are the perfect blend of fit, style, and comfort. I love that it’s so plush and soft but doesn’t add a lot of extra bulk. Some of my other favorite features include…

  • It’s super comfortable! Soft to the touch but tough enough to put up with any activity you throw at it!
  • Anti-pill and shrink resistant; wash after wash after wash! This fabric is anti-pill and resistant to shrinking! How many fleece’s do you have that can do that?!
  • Wider cuffs and hems for added comfort – even when working out.
  • A percentage of the fabric is made from recycled material.

Check out Champion’s website RIGHT HERE  and for more info about their Power Blend Fleece products CLICK HERE!

Be sure to follow Champion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest and greatest on fitness apparel!

Questions or comments for Jared? I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below or email me at jared{at}toneandtightenfitness.com

Make it happen,

Jared

5 great warm up stretches for cold-weather running! From Tone-and-Tighten.com

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Champion. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Digestibility, Whey Protein, and Hypertrophy: Finding Balance

Research sounds good but then you have to validate the source’s credibility as a consultant to the dairy industry.

According to Dr. Stuart M. Phillips, Professor in Kinesiology at MacMaster University, protein quality plays a big role in determining resistance exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy. In a recent article in Nutrition and Metabolism1, Dr.

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When Sex Lube Goes Bad: What’s Safe, What Works, and What to Avoid

It ought to be gospel by now that any sex can benefit from using lube. For women experiencing dryness, whether due to age, the use of contraception or another medication, anxiety, a lack of sleep, dehydration or a host of other reasons, it’s vital to prevent painful sex. For men using condoms, it decreases the risk of breaks — and for men suffering from erectile dysfunction

This article originally appeared on www.mensjournal.com: When Sex Lube Goes Bad: What’s Safe, What Works, and What to Avoid

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