Christine Yu – Life by Daily Burn https://dailyburn.com/life Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:21:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating https://dailyburn.com/life/health/meal-prep-tips-healthy-eating/ Mon, 26 Feb 2018 12:15:44 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65952

[caption id="attachment_65956" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

The meal prep secret is out. Everywhere you look, chefs, dietitians, food bloggers and the Insta-famous have all embraced the #mealpreplife. After all, this ultimate healthy eating habit can save time and money, and with healthy food ready and accessible, you’re less likely to make a poor meal choice. “If we don’t plan or prep, it’s much easier to fall into the rut of eating the same few things over and over or to become less mindful of our choices and how we enjoy food,” says Cara Harbstreet, RD of Smart Street Nutrition.

Your weekly meal prep routine is also a great opportunity to rev up the nutritional profile of your meals, making it easier to stick to your health goals — whether that’s cutting back on sugar, calories or processed ingredients. “If you’re making it at home, it’s already healthier than what you can buy out at a restaurant,” says Talia Koren of Workweek Lunch. “You control each ingredient and can tailor your food to your preferences and restrictions.”

Ready to step up your meal prep to slim down your plate? Here are 10 pro tips on how to meal prep for better health — and flavor — in every bite.

RELATED: 20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know

Create Healthier Dishes with These Meal Prep Tips

1. Mix and Match

Meal prep doesn’t have to mean prepping the same meal for the entire week. Instead, Harbstreet recommends focusing your meal prep efforts on prepping the main elements of a meal — grains, protein, veggies, sauces — so you can mix and match ingredients and create well-balanced, nourishing dishes you’ll enjoy. “This erases the boredom and burnout that many meal preppers report experiencing,” she says.

“I like to cook a big pot of beans and grains to throw into salads, wraps, and grain bowls all week,” says Andrea Nordby, Head Chef of Purple Carrot. “Stick to basics like brown rice and chickpeas, or cook a big batch of faro, wheatberries or barley.” When you have these ready, you just might skip that store-bought mac and cheese or pre-made pizza.

2. Create Your Own Secret Sauce

Nordby recommends prepping a stash of versatile sauces too so you can create a completely different meal from the same stash of ingredients. You can drizzle sauce over pasta, salads and stir-fries. One of her favorites? “Pesto for drizzling on everything,” she says. Making a sauce at home also eliminates the extra ingredients in packaged sauces that often skyrocket the sugar and calorie count in a dish.

RELATED: 3-Ingredient Sauce Recipes to Spice Up Your Meals

[caption id="attachment_65957" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Swap Wheat for Veggies

Try replacing half of your white or brown rice with cauliflower or broccoli rice, suggests Lindsay Cotter, author of Nourishing Superfood Bowls: 75 Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Meals to Fuel Your Day (out March 2018). Not only will you get more fiber and vitamins and minerals, you’ll also save a few calories.

Pasta, whether pasta salad or your favorite noodles with sauce, is a go-to meal prep option. But next time you make it, opt for zucchini or sweet potato noodles, says Cotter. The veggie noodles will add more color and texture to keep your palette entertained, not to mention extra fiber and vitamins — and fewer calories too!

A general rule: Focus less on limiting food groups and more on swapping out low nutrient-dense foods with those loaded with vitamins and minerals, Cotter says. You’ll eat healthier, still feel satisfied and most likely cut back on calories in the meantime.

4. Go Spice Crazy

Spices are every cook’s secret weapon. You can create an endless variety of good-for-you meals featuring a mix of different flavors. “Look to international flavors for inspiration,” says Koren. “If you take chicken, asparagus and sweet potato, you can make that an Indian-inspired dish by turning it into a curry or a Mexican-inspired dish by adding in cilantro, some jalapeños, and lime.” The best part: Herbs and spices are very low in calories. So while you up the flavor, you don’t up the energy count.

RELATED: 19 Ways to Add Flavor for 10 Calories or Less

5. Overload on Veggies

We all need to eat our veggies, right? So why not sneak in some extra into your prepped meals? “You can typically eat a lot of it and not have to worry about packing in a lot of unwanted calories,” says Alex Torres aka @mealprepmondays. Opt for sweet potatoes or cauliflower, which are both filling and nutrient-dense. Or swap cabbage into a hearty stew instead of noodles, says Cotter.

6. Pack for Portion Control

Not only do good food containers keep your refrigerator neat and organized, they can also keep you honest about portion sizes to help you avoid overeating. Torres prefers glass Bentgo containers, which are divided into sections — one for your main meal and one for a side of veggies or fruit.

RELATED: Bring on the Cheese! 7 Portion Size Rules for High-Fat Foods

7. Make Your Appliances Work for You

Instant Pot, slow cooker, multi-cooker — chances are you have one (or all) of them in your cabinets. Instead of letting them collect dust, put them to use! Cotter suggests making a big batch up oatmeal in an Instant Pot spiked with fruit, spices, nuts and seeds and you’ll have nourishing breakfast for the entire week. It’s a healthier choice than the pre-packaged, processed breakfast options out there.

8. Organize and Declutter

“Decluttering can set up your environment for meal prepping and make for a more efficient process,” and make mealtimes less stressful, says Harbstreet. “We can then enter a meal with a more positive or relaxed mindset,” and be more aware of hunger signals, making it less likely you’ll eat past the point of fullness, says Harbstreet. “This is one of the things that supports a healthy, balanced relationship with food.” So throw out or repurpose containers that don’t have matching lids. Invest in stackable containers and other commonly used items like a good chef’s knife and cutting board. And then get to prepping — your daily sugar and calorie counts just might drop by your next meal time.

Read More
21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram
9 Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes
21 Low-Calorie Snacks You’ll Want to Eat Every Day

The post 8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_65956" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption] The meal prep secret is out. Everywhere you look, chefs, dietitians, food bloggers and the Insta-famous have all embraced the #mealpreplife. After all, this ultimate healthy eating habit can save time and money, and with healthy food ready and accessible, you’re less likely to make a poor meal choice. “If we don’t plan or prep, it’s much easier to fall into the rut of eating the same few things over and over or to become less mindful of our choices and how we enjoy food,” says Cara Harbstreet, RD of Smart Street Nutrition. Your weekly meal prep routine is also a great opportunity to rev up the nutritional profile of your meals, making it easier to stick to your health goals — whether that’s cutting back on sugar, calories or processed ingredients. “If you’re making it at home, it’s already healthier than what you can buy out at a restaurant,” says Talia Koren of Workweek Lunch. “You control each ingredient and can tailor your food to your preferences and restrictions.” Ready to step up your meal prep to slim down your plate? Here are 10 pro tips on how to meal prep for better health — and flavor — in every bite. RELATED: 20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know

Create Healthier Dishes with These Meal Prep Tips

1. Mix and Match

Meal prep doesn’t have to mean prepping the same meal for the entire week. Instead, Harbstreet recommends focusing your meal prep efforts on prepping the main elements of a meal — grains, protein, veggies, sauces — so you can mix and match ingredients and create well-balanced, nourishing dishes you’ll enjoy. “This erases the boredom and burnout that many meal preppers report experiencing,” she says. “I like to cook a big pot of beans and grains to throw into salads, wraps, and grain bowls all week,” says Andrea Nordby, Head Chef of Purple Carrot. “Stick to basics like brown rice and chickpeas, or cook a big batch of faro, wheatberries or barley.” When you have these ready, you just might skip that store-bought mac and cheese or pre-made pizza.

2. Create Your Own Secret Sauce

Nordby recommends prepping a stash of versatile sauces too so you can create a completely different meal from the same stash of ingredients. You can drizzle sauce over pasta, salads and stir-fries. One of her favorites? “Pesto for drizzling on everything,” she says. Making a sauce at home also eliminates the extra ingredients in packaged sauces that often skyrocket the sugar and calorie count in a dish. RELATED: 3-Ingredient Sauce Recipes to Spice Up Your Meals [caption id="attachment_65957" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Swap Wheat for Veggies

Try replacing half of your white or brown rice with cauliflower or broccoli rice, suggests Lindsay Cotter, author of Nourishing Superfood Bowls: 75 Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Meals to Fuel Your Day (out March 2018). Not only will you get more fiber and vitamins and minerals, you’ll also save a few calories. Pasta, whether pasta salad or your favorite noodles with sauce, is a go-to meal prep option. But next time you make it, opt for zucchini or sweet potato noodles, says Cotter. The veggie noodles will add more color and texture to keep your palette entertained, not to mention extra fiber and vitamins — and fewer calories too! A general rule: Focus less on limiting food groups and more on swapping out low nutrient-dense foods with those loaded with vitamins and minerals, Cotter says. You’ll eat healthier, still feel satisfied and most likely cut back on calories in the meantime.

4. Go Spice Crazy

Spices are every cook’s secret weapon. You can create an endless variety of good-for-you meals featuring a mix of different flavors. “Look to international flavors for inspiration,” says Koren. “If you take chicken, asparagus and sweet potato, you can make that an Indian-inspired dish by turning it into a curry or a Mexican-inspired dish by adding in cilantro, some jalapeños, and lime.” The best part: Herbs and spices are very low in calories. So while you up the flavor, you don’t up the energy count. RELATED: 19 Ways to Add Flavor for 10 Calories or Less

5. Overload on Veggies

We all need to eat our veggies, right? So why not sneak in some extra into your prepped meals? “You can typically eat a lot of it and not have to worry about packing in a lot of unwanted calories,” says Alex Torres aka @mealprepmondays. Opt for sweet potatoes or cauliflower, which are both filling and nutrient-dense. Or swap cabbage into a hearty stew instead of noodles, says Cotter.

6. Pack for Portion Control

Not only do good food containers keep your refrigerator neat and organized, they can also keep you honest about portion sizes to help you avoid overeating. Torres prefers glass Bentgo containers, which are divided into sections — one for your main meal and one for a side of veggies or fruit. RELATED: Bring on the Cheese! 7 Portion Size Rules for High-Fat Foods

7. Make Your Appliances Work for You

Instant Pot, slow cooker, multi-cooker — chances are you have one (or all) of them in your cabinets. Instead of letting them collect dust, put them to use! Cotter suggests making a big batch up oatmeal in an Instant Pot spiked with fruit, spices, nuts and seeds and you’ll have nourishing breakfast for the entire week. It’s a healthier choice than the pre-packaged, processed breakfast options out there.

8. Organize and Declutter

“Decluttering can set up your environment for meal prepping and make for a more efficient process,” and make mealtimes less stressful, says Harbstreet. “We can then enter a meal with a more positive or relaxed mindset,” and be more aware of hunger signals, making it less likely you’ll eat past the point of fullness, says Harbstreet. “This is one of the things that supports a healthy, balanced relationship with food.” So throw out or repurpose containers that don’t have matching lids. Invest in stackable containers and other commonly used items like a good chef’s knife and cutting board. And then get to prepping — your daily sugar and calorie counts just might drop by your next meal time. Read More 21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram 9 Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes 21 Low-Calorie Snacks You’ll Want to Eat Every Day

The post 8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-belly-fat/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-belly-fat/#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:15:23 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=44274 The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

[caption id="attachment_63815" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You’ve tried them all in your pursuit of flat abs: crunches, reverse crunches, planks, bicycles and even the ab roller. After all, it seems logical. To increase muscular definition and lose fat, you should workout your stomach muscles more. But will that really lead to a trim belly?

RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism

“You can do 50,000 crunches a day, but it will still only be toned muscles under your belly fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN and owner of Nutrition Starring You. “The truth is, unless the weight comes off, you’re not going to get a six-pack.”

So how do you get rid of the stubborn cushion around your midsection? Read on to get the real scoop on how to lose belly fat.

RELATED: 5 Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Your Deep Abs

Stomach Fat 101

“You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise.”

First things first, everyone has fat, both the layer of subcutaneous fat just under our skin that helps insulate the body and the deeper visceral fat that surrounds and protects the organs. That’s right: You’re supposed to have belly fat. But just how much fat you have and how it’s distributed has more to do with genetics than your core workout.

Men and women squirrel away fat differently, according to Harris-Pincus. On average, women have six to 11 percent more body fat than men. That extra fat typically gathers lower on the body (especially before they hit menopause) around the hips and thighs, creating a pear-shape. Men, on the other hand, tend to accumulate fat around the belly (hence, the beer gut).

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises

Thanks to the hormone estrogen, the female body likes to hold on to fat, too. A study in Obesity Reviews shows that women store fat more efficiently than men in an effort to prepare the body for pregnancy. But while it seems like women may have drawn the short-end of the stick, the stereotypical pear-shape is actually considered healthier than boasting a beer gut, because belly fat is a red flag when it comes to your health. “Visceral fat is associated with increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome,” says Harris-Pincus.

[caption id="attachment_44281" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Lose Belly Fat - Eat The Right Things Photo: Pond5[/caption]

How to Lose Belly Fat and Keep It Off

Doing ab workouts might strengthen your core, but it won’t actually decrease fat or shrink those love handles — and that’s why you need to eat healthy. “You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise. You need to eat the right things,” says Harris-Pincus.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

Repeat after us: It’s time to start eating clean. She recommends a combination of veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, low-fat dairy and lean protein like poultry, eggs and fish for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. And drop the added sugar while you’re at it. “Studies show that when you have a diet rich in whole grains — and calorie-controlled — that you can reduce the belly fat,” she says. But remember to watch your portions, too. “A lot of people eat very healthy and don’t eat junk, but their portions are too large.”

If you’re smart about the foods you choose and limit your intake, eventually you’ll start to lose body fat and drop pants sizes. But sorry: There’s no way to get it to disappear from only your belly — you'll likely reduce your overall body fat percentage and lose it in your face, hips, butt and chest, too.

RELATED: The Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Weight Loss Diets

Luckily, exercise can help spur things along when it comes to that pesky stomach fat. “Visceral fat responds well when… [you] start exercising and watching your calories and what you eat,” Harris-Pincus says. And while endless crunches aren’t your ticket to a flat stomach, it is still important to train your ab muscles. “Everything radiates from the center of your body – your balance, your posture, your functional movement,” says Joe Ardito, founder of Fit Crush NYC. “You can perform better when you have a strong core.”

Research also shows that workouts involving high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help reduce excess fat around your middle. Besides working your core, try incorporating a day or two of more vigorous exercise into your weekly schedule. (You can start with these three beginner routines.) Keep in mind that you can lower your total body fat percentage even by moving around more at work, according to another study.

The Bottom Line

There isn’t one magic trick or quick fix that will melt the fat around your midsection and give you those coveted abs we all see on the newsstands. Decreasing belly fat — and all body fat for that matter — is about making changes over the long-term.

Originally published October 2015. Updated February 2018.

Read More
12 Things Nobody Told Me About Losing Weight
The 10 Biggest Diet Mistakes, According to Experts
Here's Why Your Ab Workouts Aren't Working

The post The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

[caption id="attachment_63815" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You’ve tried them all in your pursuit of flat abs: crunches, reverse crunches, planks, bicycles and even the ab roller. After all, it seems logical. To increase muscular definition and lose fat, you should workout your stomach muscles more. But will that really lead to a trim belly? RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism “You can do 50,000 crunches a day, but it will still only be toned muscles under your belly fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN and owner of Nutrition Starring You. “The truth is, unless the weight comes off, you’re not going to get a six-pack.” So how do you get rid of the stubborn cushion around your midsection? Read on to get the real scoop on how to lose belly fat. RELATED: 5 Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Your Deep Abs

Stomach Fat 101

“You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise.”
First things first, everyone has fat, both the layer of subcutaneous fat just under our skin that helps insulate the body and the deeper visceral fat that surrounds and protects the organs. That’s right: You’re supposed to have belly fat. But just how much fat you have and how it’s distributed has more to do with genetics than your core workout. Men and women squirrel away fat differently, according to Harris-Pincus. On average, women have six to 11 percent more body fat than men. That extra fat typically gathers lower on the body (especially before they hit menopause) around the hips and thighs, creating a pear-shape. Men, on the other hand, tend to accumulate fat around the belly (hence, the beer gut). RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises Thanks to the hormone estrogen, the female body likes to hold on to fat, too. A study in Obesity Reviews shows that women store fat more efficiently than men in an effort to prepare the body for pregnancy. But while it seems like women may have drawn the short-end of the stick, the stereotypical pear-shape is actually considered healthier than boasting a beer gut, because belly fat is a red flag when it comes to your health. “Visceral fat is associated with increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome,” says Harris-Pincus. [caption id="attachment_44281" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Lose Belly Fat - Eat The Right Things Photo: Pond5[/caption]

How to Lose Belly Fat and Keep It Off

Doing ab workouts might strengthen your core, but it won’t actually decrease fat or shrink those love handles — and that’s why you need to eat healthy. “You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise. You need to eat the right things,” says Harris-Pincus. RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet Repeat after us: It’s time to start eating clean. She recommends a combination of veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, low-fat dairy and lean protein like poultry, eggs and fish for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. And drop the added sugar while you’re at it. “Studies show that when you have a diet rich in whole grains — and calorie-controlled — that you can reduce the belly fat,” she says. But remember to watch your portions, too. “A lot of people eat very healthy and don’t eat junk, but their portions are too large.” If you’re smart about the foods you choose and limit your intake, eventually you’ll start to lose body fat and drop pants sizes. But sorry: There’s no way to get it to disappear from only your belly — you'll likely reduce your overall body fat percentage and lose it in your face, hips, butt and chest, too. RELATED: The Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Weight Loss Diets Luckily, exercise can help spur things along when it comes to that pesky stomach fat. “Visceral fat responds well when… [you] start exercising and watching your calories and what you eat,” Harris-Pincus says. And while endless crunches aren’t your ticket to a flat stomach, it is still important to train your ab muscles. “Everything radiates from the center of your body – your balance, your posture, your functional movement,” says Joe Ardito, founder of Fit Crush NYC. “You can perform better when you have a strong core.” Research also shows that workouts involving high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help reduce excess fat around your middle. Besides working your core, try incorporating a day or two of more vigorous exercise into your weekly schedule. (You can start with these three beginner routines.) Keep in mind that you can lower your total body fat percentage even by moving around more at work, according to another study.

The Bottom Line

There isn’t one magic trick or quick fix that will melt the fat around your midsection and give you those coveted abs we all see on the newsstands. Decreasing belly fat — and all body fat for that matter — is about making changes over the long-term. Originally published October 2015. Updated February 2018. Read More 12 Things Nobody Told Me About Losing Weight The 10 Biggest Diet Mistakes, According to Experts Here's Why Your Ab Workouts Aren't Working

The post The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills https://dailyburn.com/life/health/weight-loss-supplements-garcinia-cambogia/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 12:15:16 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65539 The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements

[caption id="attachment_65549" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

We’ve all seen the ads: Supplements promising to help you lose weight, build lean muscle, rev your metabolism and turn you into a fat-burning machine. We admit — the idea of popping a pill to lose weight sounds pretty enticing. After all, it’s so much easier than cleaning up your diet and regularly sweating it out at the gym.

Despite the rise and fall of weight loss pills (remember Fen-Phen, Dr. Oz’s green coffee bean extract debacle?), supplements still line the shelves of most health food and drug stores. Georgia Rounder, RDN, says, “For many individuals seeking to lose weight, weight loss supplements provide a ‘quick fix’ approach to meet their desired weight goals, especially products that are marketed in a flashy, convincing manner.” But do they actually work?

RELATED: 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight

Weight Loss Supplements: Animal vs. Human Studies

The short answer is there’s no clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of weight loss supplements. Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, says, "There are no real clinical trials to show that they work in humans."

While researchers have investigated the ingredients in diet pills, most studies are on animals. “Animal studies are done when initially researching a specific supplement, but human studies are necessary for confirming the effectiveness of the supplement in the body’s physiological makeup,” Rounder says.

For example, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a supplement touted as a fat burner. “Some research has shown that CLA may be beneficial in decreasing fat mass in animals,” Rounder says. But according to Rounder, human studies are inconclusive and have an overall minimal effect on total body weight and body fat.

RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

Garcinia Cambogia: Decoding Diet Pill Claims

For other supplements, the findings have been inconclusive. Garcinia cambogia is a supplement that comes from the pulp and rind of a fruit-bearing tree of the same name. “Many weight loss benefits have been proposed for this supplement, including the suppression of food intake throughout the day. But short-term clinical trials completed up to this point reveal next to no effect on total body weight,” Rounder says.

Another example is raspberry ketones, a natural phenolic compound found in raspberries that's believed to make it harder for your body to store fat. “However, this particular supplement was primarily studied in combination with other ingredients. This prevents us from making conclusions about using it as a weight loss supplement,” Rounder says.

Industry partners or the supplement companies also sponsor some of the research on weight loss pills. “This can lead to a bias within the research and ultimately favor the industry’s product or aim in some way,” Rounder says. Plus, Ditkoff says some diet pills can have the opposite effect of wrecking your metabolism and causing weight gain.

RELATED: Help! Why Did I Suddenly Stop Losing Weight?

Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Contrary to what you might think, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate weight loss supplements. Unlike drugs, which go through rigorous clinical trials, manufacturers don't need to prove that dietary supplements are safe.

So for advertisements that claim to help you burn fat 10 times faster than normal, the manufacturer doesn’t actually have to demonstrate that those claims are true. What’s promised on the packaging isn't always in the pills, so there's a risk you don't get what you buy.

“Since they’re not approved by the FDA, you don’t even know what’s in them, which is pretty scary,” Ditkoff says. “They can have fillers and additives. You don’t know what else is in there.”

In fact, Vox investigated current dietary and weight loss supplements on the market and found that many contained hidden drugs, including ones that have been pulled from the U.S. market. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20,000 emergency room visits each year are from adverse reactions to dietary supplements. Think: palpitations, chest pain and increased blood pressure. Nearly 72 percent of those cases are from weight loss or energy products.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Supplements

A Smarter Weight Loss Solution

The truth is there isn’t one pill that’s going to fix everything. But if you want to introduce a new supplement to your regimen, talk to a professional. “If you’re seriously considering taking any of these supplements on a routine basis, first consult your physician to get the final OK,” Rounder says.

Taking a weight loss pill can sometimes do more damage than good. “Depending on the supplement and your medical history, the side effects of these supplements may include GI distress, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog and headaches. They may even interfere with the absorption of key vitamins and minerals,” Rounder says. Ditkoff says the key to weight loss is lifestyle change. That means committing to eating a balanced diet and getting more exercise. And be patient. While you may wish for instant, healthy weight loss is a long-term affair.

Read More
How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You
7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism
The Beginner’s Guide to Using Protein Powder

The post Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements

[caption id="attachment_65549" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements Photo: Twenty20[/caption] We’ve all seen the ads: Supplements promising to help you lose weight, build lean muscle, rev your metabolism and turn you into a fat-burning machine. We admit — the idea of popping a pill to lose weight sounds pretty enticing. After all, it’s so much easier than cleaning up your diet and regularly sweating it out at the gym. Despite the rise and fall of weight loss pills (remember Fen-Phen, Dr. Oz’s green coffee bean extract debacle?), supplements still line the shelves of most health food and drug stores. Georgia Rounder, RDN, says, “For many individuals seeking to lose weight, weight loss supplements provide a ‘quick fix’ approach to meet their desired weight goals, especially products that are marketed in a flashy, convincing manner.” But do they actually work? RELATED: 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight

Weight Loss Supplements: Animal vs. Human Studies

The short answer is there’s no clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of weight loss supplements. Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, says, "There are no real clinical trials to show that they work in humans." While researchers have investigated the ingredients in diet pills, most studies are on animals. “Animal studies are done when initially researching a specific supplement, but human studies are necessary for confirming the effectiveness of the supplement in the body’s physiological makeup,” Rounder says. For example, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a supplement touted as a fat burner. “Some research has shown that CLA may be beneficial in decreasing fat mass in animals,” Rounder says. But according to Rounder, human studies are inconclusive and have an overall minimal effect on total body weight and body fat. RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

Garcinia Cambogia: Decoding Diet Pill Claims

For other supplements, the findings have been inconclusive. Garcinia cambogia is a supplement that comes from the pulp and rind of a fruit-bearing tree of the same name. “Many weight loss benefits have been proposed for this supplement, including the suppression of food intake throughout the day. But short-term clinical trials completed up to this point reveal next to no effect on total body weight,” Rounder says. Another example is raspberry ketones, a natural phenolic compound found in raspberries that's believed to make it harder for your body to store fat. “However, this particular supplement was primarily studied in combination with other ingredients. This prevents us from making conclusions about using it as a weight loss supplement,” Rounder says. Industry partners or the supplement companies also sponsor some of the research on weight loss pills. “This can lead to a bias within the research and ultimately favor the industry’s product or aim in some way,” Rounder says. Plus, Ditkoff says some diet pills can have the opposite effect of wrecking your metabolism and causing weight gain. RELATED: Help! Why Did I Suddenly Stop Losing Weight?

Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Contrary to what you might think, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate weight loss supplements. Unlike drugs, which go through rigorous clinical trials, manufacturers don't need to prove that dietary supplements are safe. So for advertisements that claim to help you burn fat 10 times faster than normal, the manufacturer doesn’t actually have to demonstrate that those claims are true. What’s promised on the packaging isn't always in the pills, so there's a risk you don't get what you buy. “Since they’re not approved by the FDA, you don’t even know what’s in them, which is pretty scary,” Ditkoff says. “They can have fillers and additives. You don’t know what else is in there.” In fact, Vox investigated current dietary and weight loss supplements on the market and found that many contained hidden drugs, including ones that have been pulled from the U.S. market. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20,000 emergency room visits each year are from adverse reactions to dietary supplements. Think: palpitations, chest pain and increased blood pressure. Nearly 72 percent of those cases are from weight loss or energy products. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Supplements

A Smarter Weight Loss Solution

The truth is there isn’t one pill that’s going to fix everything. But if you want to introduce a new supplement to your regimen, talk to a professional. “If you’re seriously considering taking any of these supplements on a routine basis, first consult your physician to get the final OK,” Rounder says. Taking a weight loss pill can sometimes do more damage than good. “Depending on the supplement and your medical history, the side effects of these supplements may include GI distress, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog and headaches. They may even interfere with the absorption of key vitamins and minerals,” Rounder says. Ditkoff says the key to weight loss is lifestyle change. That means committing to eating a balanced diet and getting more exercise. And be patient. While you may wish for instant, healthy weight loss is a long-term affair. Read More How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism The Beginner’s Guide to Using Protein Powder

The post Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 IT Band Stretches Every Runner Needs https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/it-band-stretches-for-runners/ Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:15:00 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64815 5 IT Band Stretches for Runners | Daily Burn

[caption id="attachment_64821" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 IT Band Stretches for Runners Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Two words most runners have heard throughout their training: IT band. That’s because running easily irritates this thick piece of fascia (aka connective tissue), which runs from your hip to your knee. In fact, the telltale tenderness is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners — and a dreaded reason for taking a break from the sport.

“The main purpose of the IT band is to resist the bowing of the femur [or thigh bone] that occurs whenever we run,” says Cameron Yuen, DPT, CSCS, and senior physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments. Experts suspect “the pain is due to compression and tightening of the IT band [as the knee bends and extends] between zero and 30 degrees,” he explains. This is the typical range of motion during your easy, long runs, says Yuen.

While regularly foam rolling and doing IT band stretches may be your go-to for pain relief, it’s not the only — or even the best — solution. “We now know that we can only stretch the IT band two to three millimeters at most. Most of what we experience following foam rolling is relaxation of the nervous system,” says Yuen. “Rolling the IT band will temporarily make the spot feel better, but will not change it much for future runs.”

Luckily, there are effective exercises to calm your cranky IT band. If you’re experiencing pain from your hip to you knee, Yuen suggests cutting back on mileage and the intensity of your workouts as the first line of defense. Then, do these IT band stretches and strength exercises to soothe what ails you.

RELATED: 15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day

5 Best IT Band Stretches and Strength Exercises

[caption id="attachment_64822" align="alignnone" width="620"]IT Band Stretches: TFL Foam Rolling Photos courtesy of Bespoke Treatments[/caption]

1. TLC for Your TFL

Your TFL, or tensor fascia latae, is a small muscle just in front of your hip and is one of the muscles that attaches directly to your IT band. Giving it a little tender loving care can help relieve some of the tension in your IT band.

How to: To find your TFL, place your foam roller directly on the side of your hip. Then, rotate slightly forward so that your pelvis is at a slight angle towards the floor. Gently roll out this area for 30 seconds to one minute and switch sides. Using a lacrosse or tennis ball will also help you get deeper into the muscle.

RELATED: Got Tight Hip Flexors? How to Stretch and Strengthen Them

IT Band Stretches: Glute Medius Foam Rolling

2. Roll Out Your Glutes

Your gluteus medius and gluteus maximus are particularly important to get loose. These are two other muscles that insert directly onto the IT band.

How to: To locate your gluteus medius, sit on the foam roller with one knee bent, ankle placed on the opposite knee. Lean over toward the bent leg so the foam roller is directly on the side of your hip and rotate backwards slightly so your pelvis opens up towards the ceiling. Slowly roll out this area for 30 seconds to one minute before switching sides.

Your gluteus maximus is the large muscle on your rear. Sit on top of the foam roller and cross one ankle over your knee. Stay facing upright (instead of rotating slight to the side, as shown above) and gently massage this area for 30 second to one minute and switch sides.

IT Band Stretches: Ankle Dorsiflexion Mobilization

3. Ankle Dorsiflexion Mobilization

What’s below your knee matters, too. “Your ankle needs a certain range of motion when running, and if you don’t have it, your knee will tend to collapse inward,” contributing to IT band pain, says Yuen.

How to: Fix a resistance band to an anchor point that will not move. Loop the other end of the resistance band around your ankle, just below your ankle bone, and place your foot on an elevated surface (like a bench). Keep the foot flat as you push your shin forward over your toes until you feel resistance. Repeat 15-20 times.

Don’t have a resistance band? You can still perform this movement, focusing on moving your shin further and further over your toes.

RELATED: 6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip

IT Band Stretches: Standing Fire Hydrant

4. Standing Fire Hydrant

A healthy IT band depends on strong hips. “Without these muscles, the knee tends to collapse inwards, which can place even more stress on the IT band,” says Yuen. This exercise isolates and strengthens the hip abductors and external rotators, which are the muscles that control hip and knee position.

How to: Place a resistance band around your knees. Stand on your left leg, with a slight bend in your knee. Bend your right knee to form a 90-degree angle. Hinge from the hips and lean your torso forward. Lift your right leg up, maintaining the 90-degree bend in your knee, and then bring the knees back together. Try to keep your hips and torso steady and maintain a long spine. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each leg.

IT Band Stretches: Standing Wall Squat

5. Standing Wall Squat

Running is essentially a single leg sport, which means hip and core control are essential, says Yuen. This is a great functional strength training exercise for runners, working the thigh and hip muscles.

How to: Stand next to a wall with your feet parallel and hip-width distance apart. Position a foam roller between your right hip and the wall. Transfer your weight to your left foot and lift your right foot off the floor. With a neutral spine, engage your core and perform a single-leg squat, driving your hips back while maintaining pressure into the foam roller. Don’t let your left knee fall inward. Complete three sets of 10 reps on each side.

Read More
6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing
The 5 Hip Stretches You Need to Relieve Tightness Now
Get Sculpted Shoulders With These 5 Exercises

The post 5 IT Band Stretches Every Runner Needs appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 IT Band Stretches for Runners | Daily Burn

[caption id="attachment_64821" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 IT Band Stretches for Runners Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Two words most runners have heard throughout their training: IT band. That’s because running easily irritates this thick piece of fascia (aka connective tissue), which runs from your hip to your knee. In fact, the telltale tenderness is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners — and a dreaded reason for taking a break from the sport. “The main purpose of the IT band is to resist the bowing of the femur [or thigh bone] that occurs whenever we run,” says Cameron Yuen, DPT, CSCS, and senior physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments. Experts suspect “the pain is due to compression and tightening of the IT band [as the knee bends and extends] between zero and 30 degrees,” he explains. This is the typical range of motion during your easy, long runs, says Yuen. While regularly foam rolling and doing IT band stretches may be your go-to for pain relief, it’s not the only — or even the best — solution. “We now know that we can only stretch the IT band two to three millimeters at most. Most of what we experience following foam rolling is relaxation of the nervous system,” says Yuen. “Rolling the IT band will temporarily make the spot feel better, but will not change it much for future runs.” Luckily, there are effective exercises to calm your cranky IT band. If you’re experiencing pain from your hip to you knee, Yuen suggests cutting back on mileage and the intensity of your workouts as the first line of defense. Then, do these IT band stretches and strength exercises to soothe what ails you. RELATED: 15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day

5 Best IT Band Stretches and Strength Exercises

[caption id="attachment_64822" align="alignnone" width="620"]IT Band Stretches: TFL Foam Rolling Photos courtesy of Bespoke Treatments[/caption]

1. TLC for Your TFL

Your TFL, or tensor fascia latae, is a small muscle just in front of your hip and is one of the muscles that attaches directly to your IT band. Giving it a little tender loving care can help relieve some of the tension in your IT band. How to: To find your TFL, place your foam roller directly on the side of your hip. Then, rotate slightly forward so that your pelvis is at a slight angle towards the floor. Gently roll out this area for 30 seconds to one minute and switch sides. Using a lacrosse or tennis ball will also help you get deeper into the muscle. RELATED: Got Tight Hip Flexors? How to Stretch and Strengthen Them IT Band Stretches: Glute Medius Foam Rolling

2. Roll Out Your Glutes

Your gluteus medius and gluteus maximus are particularly important to get loose. These are two other muscles that insert directly onto the IT band. How to: To locate your gluteus medius, sit on the foam roller with one knee bent, ankle placed on the opposite knee. Lean over toward the bent leg so the foam roller is directly on the side of your hip and rotate backwards slightly so your pelvis opens up towards the ceiling. Slowly roll out this area for 30 seconds to one minute before switching sides. Your gluteus maximus is the large muscle on your rear. Sit on top of the foam roller and cross one ankle over your knee. Stay facing upright (instead of rotating slight to the side, as shown above) and gently massage this area for 30 second to one minute and switch sides. IT Band Stretches: Ankle Dorsiflexion Mobilization

3. Ankle Dorsiflexion Mobilization

What’s below your knee matters, too. “Your ankle needs a certain range of motion when running, and if you don’t have it, your knee will tend to collapse inward,” contributing to IT band pain, says Yuen. How to: Fix a resistance band to an anchor point that will not move. Loop the other end of the resistance band around your ankle, just below your ankle bone, and place your foot on an elevated surface (like a bench). Keep the foot flat as you push your shin forward over your toes until you feel resistance. Repeat 15-20 times. Don’t have a resistance band? You can still perform this movement, focusing on moving your shin further and further over your toes. RELATED: 6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip IT Band Stretches: Standing Fire Hydrant

4. Standing Fire Hydrant

A healthy IT band depends on strong hips. “Without these muscles, the knee tends to collapse inwards, which can place even more stress on the IT band,” says Yuen. This exercise isolates and strengthens the hip abductors and external rotators, which are the muscles that control hip and knee position. How to: Place a resistance band around your knees. Stand on your left leg, with a slight bend in your knee. Bend your right knee to form a 90-degree angle. Hinge from the hips and lean your torso forward. Lift your right leg up, maintaining the 90-degree bend in your knee, and then bring the knees back together. Try to keep your hips and torso steady and maintain a long spine. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each leg. IT Band Stretches: Standing Wall Squat

5. Standing Wall Squat

Running is essentially a single leg sport, which means hip and core control are essential, says Yuen. This is a great functional strength training exercise for runners, working the thigh and hip muscles. How to: Stand next to a wall with your feet parallel and hip-width distance apart. Position a foam roller between your right hip and the wall. Transfer your weight to your left foot and lift your right foot off the floor. With a neutral spine, engage your core and perform a single-leg squat, driving your hips back while maintaining pressure into the foam roller. Don’t let your left knee fall inward. Complete three sets of 10 reps on each side. Read More 6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing The 5 Hip Stretches You Need to Relieve Tightness Now Get Sculpted Shoulders With These 5 Exercises

The post 5 IT Band Stretches Every Runner Needs appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-breakfast-ideas-clean-eating/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64774 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Eat Cleaner Today

6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean

If you’re trying to eat clean, breakfast can be a minefield. Standard fare is often grab-and-go choices like bagels and muffins, or sugary options like waffles and doughnuts. The bad news is these processed, starchy foods can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and metabolism.

That’s why it’s important to eat a wholesome meal packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to start your day. “It literally breaks the fast of not eating overnight,” says registered dietitian Emily Kyle. “Eating a high-quality breakfast helps to jump start your metabolism in the morning, while nourishing your body for the day’s activities,” she says.

Sarah Koszyk, registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, adds that people who consume a well-balanced breakfast tend to have “increased energy, better regulation of their blood sugars, increased consumption of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and better hunger control throughout the day.” Need help cleaning up your breakfast options? We asked Kosyzk and Kyle for simple and healthy swaps to rethink your first meal of the day.

RELATED: 13 High-Protein Breakfasts to Start Your Day Strong

Breakfast Ideas to Make Clean Eating Easy

[caption id="attachment_64778" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Sweet Potato Pancakes Photo: Alexa Schirm[/caption]

1. Instead of waffles or pancakes…

Sure, waffles and pancakes are the picture-perfect idea of Sunday brunch. But they are packed with simple carbohydrates, so your blood sugar levels will crash fast — and hard — soon after consuming them. Plus, they lack protein and heart-healthy fats that help keep you full longer, says Kyle.

Go homemade. While pre-made mixes are convenient, skip them. “Make your own at home using whole-wheat flour. This will increase the dietary fiber and offer more nutrients than traditional white flour,” she says. “Consider topping your waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit and a dollop of Greek yogurt. This will help you to consume more nutrients, heart-healthy fats, and protein without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction.”

[caption id="attachment_64779" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Greek Yogurt Parfaits Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

2. Instead of a yogurt parfait…

While yogurt may be a healthy choice, a parfait can be a sugar bomb in disguise, especially if you buy one from the store. When you add a sweetener on top of fruit, granola and jam, the sugar content quickly adds up.

Grab Greek yogurt. Construct your own parfait using plain Greek yogurt, Koszyk suggests. “This will cut down on the added sugar from flavored yogurts and provide you with extra protein than regular yogurt,” she says. For one-half cup of yogurt, add one cup of fresh fruit for natural sweetness, not to mention vitamins and fiber. And granola? “Choose one with less than six grams of sugar per serving,” she says. Just don’t overdo it — sprinkle a handful on top.

RELATED: 10 Yogurt Parfaits That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

[caption id="attachment_64780" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Overnight Oats Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Instead of cereal…

Cereal can be a tricky breakfast choice. While convenient, it’s often highly processed and packed with sugar — not exactly the ideal clean breakfast. But if you can’t give up your Snap, Crackle and Pop, be sure read the nutrition label, says Kyle. “Choose an option that has less sugar and more protein. Then pair that cereal with a serving of fresh fruit and a glass of your favorite milk, plant-based or traditional dairy, for a more wholesome meal,” she says.

Opt for overnight oats. Simply mix some dried oats with some milk or water in a jar and allow them to soak overnight in the fridge. Letting the oats sit in the liquid allows them to soften and become a pudding-like texture. Flavor with vanilla extract and spices, and top with some fruit for natural sweetness. For a warmer choice, oatmeal or oat bran bowl topped with cinnamon and fresh fruit.

[caption id="attachment_64781" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: English Muffin Egg Sandwich Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Instead of an egg sandwich…

From the corner deli to your greasy spoon diner to McDonald’s, egg sandwiches are a breakfast staple. But typical ones may be overloaded with fat from butter and oil. Then, there’s the bread, which is usually an oversized sub, bagel or croissant.

Make an English muffin sandwich. Prep your own sandwich with a high-fiber English muffin, says Koszyk, which offers five or more grams of fiber per serving. Cook one egg with olive oil cooking spray and skip the butter. “Since cheese and bacon are both higher in fat, choose one or the other to add to the sandwich,” she says. Add a side of fruit for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

RELATED: 8 Quick and Easy Egg Sandwich Recipes

[caption id="attachment_64782" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Whole-Grain Bagel Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Instead of bagels...

OK, we love bagels, too. “The challenge with bagels is the portion size and quantity of carbohydrates. One entire bagel has the same amount of carbohydrates as four slices of bread, about 60 grams of carbs,” says Koszyk.

Stick with half a serving. To cut down on your carb intake, enjoy half of a high-fiber bagel. “Add lox or smoked salmon for protein and tomato for vitamins and nutrients,” she says. You can also top with sprouts, capers and radishes for more fiber.

[caption id="attachment_64784" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Homemade Muffins Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6. Instead of scones or muffins…

“Most traditional baked goods come in extra large serving sizes these days, which can add a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugar to your morning,” says Kyle.

Bake your own batch. Kyle suggests swapping out heavier ingredients like butter or eggs for applesauce, chia seeds, pureed bananas or Greek yogurt. “A simple swap like this can help you save up to 100 calories and add in some additional nutrients as well,” she says. “Add in fruits or veggies for your fillings instead of nuts or chocolate chips.”

And remember, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a scone or muffin for breakfast once in a while, even if you’re eating clean.

Read More
10 Healthy Ways to Get on the Egg Muffins Trend
What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner
9 Veggie-Packed Breakfast On-the-Go Recipes

The post 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Eat Cleaner Today

6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean
If you’re trying to eat clean, breakfast can be a minefield. Standard fare is often grab-and-go choices like bagels and muffins, or sugary options like waffles and doughnuts. The bad news is these processed, starchy foods can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and metabolism. That’s why it’s important to eat a wholesome meal packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to start your day. “It literally breaks the fast of not eating overnight,” says registered dietitian Emily Kyle. “Eating a high-quality breakfast helps to jump start your metabolism in the morning, while nourishing your body for the day’s activities,” she says. Sarah Koszyk, registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, adds that people who consume a well-balanced breakfast tend to have “increased energy, better regulation of their blood sugars, increased consumption of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and better hunger control throughout the day.” Need help cleaning up your breakfast options? We asked Kosyzk and Kyle for simple and healthy swaps to rethink your first meal of the day. RELATED: 13 High-Protein Breakfasts to Start Your Day Strong

Breakfast Ideas to Make Clean Eating Easy

[caption id="attachment_64778" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Sweet Potato Pancakes Photo: Alexa Schirm[/caption]

1. Instead of waffles or pancakes…

Sure, waffles and pancakes are the picture-perfect idea of Sunday brunch. But they are packed with simple carbohydrates, so your blood sugar levels will crash fast — and hard — soon after consuming them. Plus, they lack protein and heart-healthy fats that help keep you full longer, says Kyle. Go homemade. While pre-made mixes are convenient, skip them. “Make your own at home using whole-wheat flour. This will increase the dietary fiber and offer more nutrients than traditional white flour,” she says. “Consider topping your waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit and a dollop of Greek yogurt. This will help you to consume more nutrients, heart-healthy fats, and protein without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction.” [caption id="attachment_64779" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Greek Yogurt Parfaits Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

2. Instead of a yogurt parfait…

While yogurt may be a healthy choice, a parfait can be a sugar bomb in disguise, especially if you buy one from the store. When you add a sweetener on top of fruit, granola and jam, the sugar content quickly adds up. Grab Greek yogurt. Construct your own parfait using plain Greek yogurt, Koszyk suggests. “This will cut down on the added sugar from flavored yogurts and provide you with extra protein than regular yogurt,” she says. For one-half cup of yogurt, add one cup of fresh fruit for natural sweetness, not to mention vitamins and fiber. And granola? “Choose one with less than six grams of sugar per serving,” she says. Just don’t overdo it — sprinkle a handful on top. RELATED: 10 Yogurt Parfaits That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat [caption id="attachment_64780" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Overnight Oats Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Instead of cereal…

Cereal can be a tricky breakfast choice. While convenient, it’s often highly processed and packed with sugar — not exactly the ideal clean breakfast. But if you can’t give up your Snap, Crackle and Pop, be sure read the nutrition label, says Kyle. “Choose an option that has less sugar and more protein. Then pair that cereal with a serving of fresh fruit and a glass of your favorite milk, plant-based or traditional dairy, for a more wholesome meal,” she says. Opt for overnight oats. Simply mix some dried oats with some milk or water in a jar and allow them to soak overnight in the fridge. Letting the oats sit in the liquid allows them to soften and become a pudding-like texture. Flavor with vanilla extract and spices, and top with some fruit for natural sweetness. For a warmer choice, oatmeal or oat bran bowl topped with cinnamon and fresh fruit. [caption id="attachment_64781" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: English Muffin Egg Sandwich Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Instead of an egg sandwich…

From the corner deli to your greasy spoon diner to McDonald’s, egg sandwiches are a breakfast staple. But typical ones may be overloaded with fat from butter and oil. Then, there’s the bread, which is usually an oversized sub, bagel or croissant. Make an English muffin sandwich. Prep your own sandwich with a high-fiber English muffin, says Koszyk, which offers five or more grams of fiber per serving. Cook one egg with olive oil cooking spray and skip the butter. “Since cheese and bacon are both higher in fat, choose one or the other to add to the sandwich,” she says. Add a side of fruit for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. RELATED: 8 Quick and Easy Egg Sandwich Recipes [caption id="attachment_64782" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Whole-Grain Bagel Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Instead of bagels...

OK, we love bagels, too. “The challenge with bagels is the portion size and quantity of carbohydrates. One entire bagel has the same amount of carbohydrates as four slices of bread, about 60 grams of carbs,” says Koszyk. Stick with half a serving. To cut down on your carb intake, enjoy half of a high-fiber bagel. “Add lox or smoked salmon for protein and tomato for vitamins and nutrients,” she says. You can also top with sprouts, capers and radishes for more fiber. [caption id="attachment_64784" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Homemade Muffins Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6. Instead of scones or muffins…

“Most traditional baked goods come in extra large serving sizes these days, which can add a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugar to your morning,” says Kyle. Bake your own batch. Kyle suggests swapping out heavier ingredients like butter or eggs for applesauce, chia seeds, pureed bananas or Greek yogurt. “A simple swap like this can help you save up to 100 calories and add in some additional nutrients as well,” she says. “Add in fruits or veggies for your fillings instead of nuts or chocolate chips.” And remember, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a scone or muffin for breakfast once in a while, even if you’re eating clean. Read More 10 Healthy Ways to Get on the Egg Muffins Trend What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner 9 Veggie-Packed Breakfast On-the-Go Recipes

The post 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Ways to Power Your Workouts With Social Media https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/social-media-workout-motivation/ Fri, 05 Jan 2018 12:15:13 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64520 7 Ways to Use Social Media to Better Your Workout Motivation

[caption id="attachment_64524" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Ways to Use Social Media to Better Your Workout Motivation Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Whether you aim to get your foot out the door and start a regular fitness routine or want to set a personal record, you probably have a list of goals you’re hoping to tackle this year. But let’s face it — sometimes staying motivated well beyond January is just plain hard.

Luckily, there’s a secret for nailing your objectives — that is, social media. While you might think post-workout selfies can cause more of a distraction than drive your determination (and they can be), it’s possible to harness the power of social media for good.

“Seeing others succeed in sport can spur a drive of wanting to achieve for ourselves. If we can learn to channel this innate tendency for comparison we can leverage social media to motivate performance and discipline goal attainment,” says Justin Ross, a Denver-based sports psychologist.

Make social media work in your workout favor with these go-getter strategies.

RELATED: Just Not Feeling It Today? 33 Sources of Workout Motivation

Social Media Tips to Pump Up Your Workout Motivation

1. Post a sweaty selfie.

It’s time to embrace it. Research shows that snapping a selfie can help with your weight loss goals. In particular, before and after photos can motivate you to stick with healthy habits. In Daily Burn’s active Facebook community group, members often post photos of weight loss success, leading to praise and applause from others.

Similarly, Tone It Up (TIU) users share evidence of their exercise and diet achievements. “On days when we need extra motivation, we turn to our community on Instagram @ToneItUp. We scroll through the check-ins for #TIUteam to see their sweaty selfies and healthy recipe pics — there's nothing more inspiring!” says Katrina Scott, co-creator of TIU.

RELATED: 19 Reasons to Work Out (Beyond the Perfect Body)

2. Join a community.

Not everyone has a cheerleader in their corner IRL. And that's OK, because social media is there to provide a virtual one. Online communities on Instagram, Facebook or even within certain apps let you connect to people all over the world and share your journey in a relatively anonymous platform, one which is available 24/7. New research found that sharing ups and downs with these online communities can be key to dropping pounds. “Encouragement from others is perhaps the greatest strength that social media can offer all of us,” says Ross.

These online support groups can be an incredible resource for overcoming those been-there, done-that challenges and pitfalls.We created Tone It Up because we envisioned a community where women can come together and support each other to reach their fitness goals, and social media plays a huge role in that,” says Karena Dawn, co-creator of Tone It Up. In Daily Burn’s community, you’ll also see words of congratulations and encouragement, as well as accountability threads. Whether you just nailed a full push-up or need someone to motivate you to get up and get sweating, people in the group provide the positivity.

3. Make it public.

If you have a workout goal, target race pace or even just a hard workout on the calendar, make it public. “Knowing that you've committed to a work out, a training cycle or an upcoming race, and that others will be following your progress online can motivate you to get out the door even when you don't necessarily want to,” says Ross.

Strava offers one example of this pay-off. “Strava is great for connecting fellow athletes and being able to follow in real time what others — including some elites and pros who share their profiles publicly — are doing. It can also spur friendly competition through segment chasing or signing up for challenges,” Ross says.

RELATED: 4 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

4. Do a challenge.

“Encouragement from others is perhaps the greatest strength that social media can offer all of us."

Speaking of a little healthy competition, it never hurt anyone, right? Fitness and health-related challenges are everywhere on social media from 30 days of yoga to #runstreak to Whole 30 and it can be a good way to kick-start a new habit or routine, while keeping you accountable.

“Right now I'm doing a 30-day gut cleanse. The day I decided to do the cleanse, I shared about it on Instagram. By publicly sharing my goal, I'm far more likely to stay committed to the plan,” says Gabby Bernstein, lululemon Global Yoga Ambassador and best-selling author of the new Judgment Detox.

5. Check in.

When you’re working out alone and don’t have someone to share your ups and downs with, it’s easy to lose your mojo. Instead, regularly update your social media friends on your progress and milestones. During Daily Burn 365, the live chat function allows members to discuss the day’s workout in real-time, including struggles they overcame and how strong they feel mid- and post-sweat.

Similarly, Scott says, “TIU girls always cheer each other on and comment on each other's check-ins, too. So many women have met their best friends through this beautiful community — it shows how powerful and life-changing social media can be!”

RELATED: 9 Ways to Find Workout Motivation (Every Damn Day)

6. Stay positive.

Social media doesn’t just build your physical fitness, it can help improve your mental muscles too. One of the easiest ways to re-train your brain? Affirmations.

Luckily, Instagram is full of positive self-talk. “Set your alarm with an affirmation in the morning or all throughout the day!” says Bernstein, whose Spirit Junkie app is also a treasure trove of positive self-talk. “Choose from any of the hundreds of previous affirmations to turn inward, and shift your perception. Save your favorite affirmations, and share with friends to spread the love,” she says.

7. Set limits.

While social media does fire up the competitive juices, it’s important not to go overboard. “We can quickly derail our training to chase what we see someone else doing on social media, which will ultimately hurt our own progress,” says Ross. “It’s important to realize that social media is only one tool in the arsenal of training.” His advice? Create your own guidelines for the total length of time you allow yourself on social media each day.

Read More
Social Media Addiction is Real. Here’s How to Avoid It
The Wake-Up Call That Finally Motivated Me to Lose Weight
19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

The post 7 Ways to Power Your Workouts With Social Media appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Ways to Use Social Media to Better Your Workout Motivation

[caption id="attachment_64524" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Ways to Use Social Media to Better Your Workout Motivation Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Whether you aim to get your foot out the door and start a regular fitness routine or want to set a personal record, you probably have a list of goals you’re hoping to tackle this year. But let’s face it — sometimes staying motivated well beyond January is just plain hard. Luckily, there’s a secret for nailing your objectives — that is, social media. While you might think post-workout selfies can cause more of a distraction than drive your determination (and they can be), it’s possible to harness the power of social media for good. “Seeing others succeed in sport can spur a drive of wanting to achieve for ourselves. If we can learn to channel this innate tendency for comparison we can leverage social media to motivate performance and discipline goal attainment,” says Justin Ross, a Denver-based sports psychologist. Make social media work in your workout favor with these go-getter strategies. RELATED: Just Not Feeling It Today? 33 Sources of Workout Motivation

Social Media Tips to Pump Up Your Workout Motivation

1. Post a sweaty selfie.

It’s time to embrace it. Research shows that snapping a selfie can help with your weight loss goals. In particular, before and after photos can motivate you to stick with healthy habits. In Daily Burn’s active Facebook community group, members often post photos of weight loss success, leading to praise and applause from others. Similarly, Tone It Up (TIU) users share evidence of their exercise and diet achievements. “On days when we need extra motivation, we turn to our community on Instagram @ToneItUp. We scroll through the check-ins for #TIUteam to see their sweaty selfies and healthy recipe pics — there's nothing more inspiring!” says Katrina Scott, co-creator of TIU. RELATED: 19 Reasons to Work Out (Beyond the Perfect Body)

2. Join a community.

Not everyone has a cheerleader in their corner IRL. And that's OK, because social media is there to provide a virtual one. Online communities on Instagram, Facebook or even within certain apps let you connect to people all over the world and share your journey in a relatively anonymous platform, one which is available 24/7. New research found that sharing ups and downs with these online communities can be key to dropping pounds. “Encouragement from others is perhaps the greatest strength that social media can offer all of us,” says Ross. These online support groups can be an incredible resource for overcoming those been-there, done-that challenges and pitfalls.We created Tone It Up because we envisioned a community where women can come together and support each other to reach their fitness goals, and social media plays a huge role in that,” says Karena Dawn, co-creator of Tone It Up. In Daily Burn’s community, you’ll also see words of congratulations and encouragement, as well as accountability threads. Whether you just nailed a full push-up or need someone to motivate you to get up and get sweating, people in the group provide the positivity.

3. Make it public.

If you have a workout goal, target race pace or even just a hard workout on the calendar, make it public. “Knowing that you've committed to a work out, a training cycle or an upcoming race, and that others will be following your progress online can motivate you to get out the door even when you don't necessarily want to,” says Ross. Strava offers one example of this pay-off. “Strava is great for connecting fellow athletes and being able to follow in real time what others — including some elites and pros who share their profiles publicly — are doing. It can also spur friendly competition through segment chasing or signing up for challenges,” Ross says. RELATED: 4 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

4. Do a challenge.

“Encouragement from others is perhaps the greatest strength that social media can offer all of us."
Speaking of a little healthy competition, it never hurt anyone, right? Fitness and health-related challenges are everywhere on social media from 30 days of yoga to #runstreak to Whole 30 and it can be a good way to kick-start a new habit or routine, while keeping you accountable. “Right now I'm doing a 30-day gut cleanse. The day I decided to do the cleanse, I shared about it on Instagram. By publicly sharing my goal, I'm far more likely to stay committed to the plan,” says Gabby Bernstein, lululemon Global Yoga Ambassador and best-selling author of the new Judgment Detox.

5. Check in.

When you’re working out alone and don’t have someone to share your ups and downs with, it’s easy to lose your mojo. Instead, regularly update your social media friends on your progress and milestones. During Daily Burn 365, the live chat function allows members to discuss the day’s workout in real-time, including struggles they overcame and how strong they feel mid- and post-sweat. Similarly, Scott says, “TIU girls always cheer each other on and comment on each other's check-ins, too. So many women have met their best friends through this beautiful community — it shows how powerful and life-changing social media can be!” RELATED: 9 Ways to Find Workout Motivation (Every Damn Day)

6. Stay positive.

Social media doesn’t just build your physical fitness, it can help improve your mental muscles too. One of the easiest ways to re-train your brain? Affirmations. Luckily, Instagram is full of positive self-talk. “Set your alarm with an affirmation in the morning or all throughout the day!” says Bernstein, whose Spirit Junkie app is also a treasure trove of positive self-talk. “Choose from any of the hundreds of previous affirmations to turn inward, and shift your perception. Save your favorite affirmations, and share with friends to spread the love,” she says.

7. Set limits.

While social media does fire up the competitive juices, it’s important not to go overboard. “We can quickly derail our training to chase what we see someone else doing on social media, which will ultimately hurt our own progress,” says Ross. “It’s important to realize that social media is only one tool in the arsenal of training.” His advice? Create your own guidelines for the total length of time you allow yourself on social media each day. Read More Social Media Addiction is Real. Here’s How to Avoid It The Wake-Up Call That Finally Motivated Me to Lose Weight 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

The post 7 Ways to Power Your Workouts With Social Media appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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9 Easy Yoga Poses to Survive Work, Stress and Travel https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/easy-yoga-poses-happy-go-yoga/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/easy-yoga-poses-happy-go-yoga/#comments Fri, 22 Dec 2017 12:45:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=38941 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

[caption id="attachment_64253" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work Stress and Travel Illustrations by Cody Shipman[/caption]

A former Emmy award-winning news anchor and reporter, Christine Chen used to spend hours behind the news desk, delivering headlines about the latest disasters and scandals. Over time, the lack of sleep, stress and her hectic schedule led to anxiety and back pain. During commercial breaks, she’d lie on the floor of the newsroom to muster up enough relief to smile through the next news segment.

“I see many patients who work in finance or jobs where you’re at your desk all day,” says Dr. Johnny Arnouk, orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “Since most people don’t sit with good posture, their back starts to hurt. What seems like a mild strain at first often becomes a chronic problem years later.”

RELATED: 8 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal)

Chen, then in her early 30s, was willing to do anything to feel better. Eventually, thanks to a combination of medical treatments and yoga, she began experiencing relief. Most importantly, as she began to incorporate yoga into her everyday life, she felt happier and less stressed. Eventually, she left her job in TV news to become a certified yoga instructor.

While many of us could benefit from a stress-busting yoga practice, the truth is, it’s difficult to find time to go to class. Chen’s solution, detailed in her new book, Happy-Go-Yoga, is to take traditional yoga poses and adapt them to everyday situations. “When I was in a lot of pain and stressed out, all I wanted was to not feel so terrible,” says Chen, now 47. “Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference, doing little things on a consistent basis.” And encouraging movement throughout the day is good for you, too. “It makes you think of yourself and your health first once in a while,” says Dr. Arnouk.

Want to reap the benefits of yoga, even off the mat? These nine tension tamers and feel-good moves can be done anytime, anywhere.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

Sunrise Stretches: Yoga Poses to Start Your Day

Take control of your day before it gets away from you. These three moves help set a good overall tone for your morning by opening your body and mind.

1. Rock Your Heart

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Desperately in need of a good stretch when you wake up in the morning? This pose might help. “It’s a good, gentle way to balance the body,” says Chen, who lives in New York City. “When you wake up in the morning, you’re crumpled and slumped from sleeping. This opens your chest, gets your blood moving and brings suppleness to the spine.”

How to: Sit up in a comfortable chair and place your hands on your hips (a). Inhale and lift up the center of your chest. It should feel like the lift originates from your middle upper back between your shoulder blades. (b). Exhale and draw your belly button into your body and gently tuck your chin to your chest. Feel your upper back dome slightly. (c). Repeat at least five times or more.

2. Swimmingly

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This move is based on yoga’s classic fish pose. Instead of lying on the floor, you’ll use the wall to find the shape. “I feel like I’m snorkeling in this pose,” says Chen. “Reach your arms behind you and lift your head and chest slightly like you’re looking for fish in front of you.” This pose stretches your chest and helps release tension in the neck.

How to: Stand with your back against the wall and your feet hip-width distance apart, shoulder blades resting on the wall (a). With your arms by your side, press your fingertips, palms and forearms firmly into the wall. (b). Begin to lift your chest up and away from the wall. Your shoulder blades should move slightly closer together on your back while your lower back remains on the wall. (c). Inhale and lift your chest a little more. Continue to breathe deeply.

RELATED: 6 Exercises That Will Seriously Improve Your Posture

3. Unbreakable You

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Have a big presentation or important meeting ahead? This move is based on a traditional mudra, or hand gesture, meant to connect you with your inner strength. Your interlocked fingers represent the coming together of your skills; the act of pulling your fingers apart is a symbol of your power, Chen says.

How to: Stand or sit, back straight, and let your shoulders relax (a). Interlace your fingers and place your palms on your torso, just below your chest and above your belly button. Extend your thumbs up toward your chest. (b). Pretend to pull your fingers apart and reach your elbows out to the side. Your fingers should form a lock and prevent your hands from separating. Don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears. (c). Slide your shoulder blades down toward your waist and reach through the crown of your head toward the ceiling.

Deskside De-Stressors: Yoga Poses for Work

Sitting and staring at your computer screen for hours isn’t doing your body any favors. “It’s important to get up every so often, stretch and keep yourself loose,” says Dr. Arnouk. These three moves address the main culprits of on-the-job pain — poor posture, tight hips and neck tension.

4. Spine Align

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

When you sit for a while, you may inevitably start to slouch. To counteract this, “All you need is a thin blanket or thick scarf to re-create the same feeling of a bolster to help you sit up nice and tall,” says Chen. “This aligns the spine, and relieves tightness in the neck, shoulders and back so you’re not working so hard to sit up.”

How to: Roll your blanket, scarf or towel into a thin, smooth roll. The roll should be about as long as the distance between your seat and the base of your neck (a). Vertically align the roll with your spine and place it between your back and the back of the chair. Make sure you’re sitting back in your chair to secure the base of the roll in place. (b). Lean back and feel your chest and shoulders gently open.

5. Counter Pose

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Do your hips feel as tight as rubber bands when you stand up from your desk? This pose was one of Chen’s go-to’s at the news desk to counteract the built up tension in her hips. It’s based on yoga’s pigeon pose.

How to: Stand and face your desk, making sure that the space in front of you is clear (a). Lift your right leg and rest your outer shin, calf and knee on the desk. Your knee should be positioned slightly wider than your shoulder. (b). Place your hands on the desk to stabilize yourself. Flex your right foot, drawing your toes towards your shin. (c). Lean forward gently onto your left hand. Take your right hand to your right hip crease and let your fingers fan along the outer thigh. Press gently and rotate your thigh out and down toward the desk. Try to keep your hips even. (d). If you still feel okay, hinge forward at the hips while maintaining a flat back and walk your fingertips forward. The forward fold will further calm your mind. Switch sides.

RELATED: 5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

6. Let It Roll

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

When you’re stressed, it’s common to find your shoulders slowly creeping towards your ears, causing your neck and shoulders to become stiff over time. Next time you feel your anxiety levels rise, this move will help you roll away the tension and restore mobility in your neck in 10 seconds max.

How to: Sit in a chair, back straight (a). Inhale and shrug your shoulders, drawing them toward your ears. (b). Exhale and relax your shoulders. (c). Keeping your right shoulder down, inhale and gently drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. (d). Exhale and roll your chin toward your chest. (e). Inhale and continue to roll your head so that your left ear comes toward your left shoulder. (f). Exhale and roll your head back to center. (g). Inhale and roll your head to the right. Repeat several times.

Commute Calmers: Easy Yoga Poses for Travel

Can’t stand your commute? Crowded trains and planes, combined with delays and cranky passengers are a recipe for stress. The next time you travel from point A to point B, try these moves to find relief for your body and mind.

7. Eagle Perch

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat. Instead of elbowing your neighbors, make your own space with this pose. It releases tension in your shoulders and upper back and helps you turn your focus inwards.

How to: Sit up straight. Bend your elbows and lift them straight in front of you, to shoulder height (a). Take your right arm underneath your left arm and wrap it around your left arm. Connect your palms or the back of your hands together. Alternatively, press your arms together from elbow to palm. (b). Move your elbows forward slightly and let the tops of your shoulders drop away from ears. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper arms and back. Switch sides.

RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class

8. Bird of Prey

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This pose will help you improve your focus, while also teaching you to pay attention to your posture. You’ll open up your chest and sit taller. It’s also a good pose to complement Eagle Perch.

How to: Sit in a chair towards the front of your seat (a). Take one arm behind you, elbow bent and forearm resting against the middle of your back, parallel to the seat of your chair. Your palm should face the back of the seat. Roll your shoulder up and back toward the seat. (b). If you feel comfortable, take your other arm behind you in the same fashion. Grasp opposite elbows. (c). Gently lift your chest forward and up. Widen across the collarbones and breathe deeply.

9. Reach for the Moon

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

If your energy levels are shot at the end of the day, try this pose on your commute home. It’s based on the yoga pose Standing Half Moon and is designed to refresh you, working your core and spine while improving your flexibility. It’s best for train or subway commuters.

How to: Stand up straight (a). Inhale, reach your right arm up and over your head to grasp an overhead bar or handle. Let your left arm rest by your side. (b). As your reach for the bar, let the back of your right shoulder drop toward your waist. Keep your right arm straight but not locked. (c). Inhale and grow taller in your spine. Gaze up at your upper arm and don’t let your chest collapse. (d). Exhale and gently side bend to your left. Gaze towards your right shoulder. (e). Inhale and exhale at least 5 times. On an exhale, come out of the side bend.

Originally published April 2015. Updated December 2017. 

Read More
6 Mistakes You're Probably Making in Yoga Class
The Beginner's Guide to Every Type of Yoga
Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax

The post 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Survive Work, Stress and Travel appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

[caption id="attachment_64253" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work Stress and Travel Illustrations by Cody Shipman[/caption] A former Emmy award-winning news anchor and reporter, Christine Chen used to spend hours behind the news desk, delivering headlines about the latest disasters and scandals. Over time, the lack of sleep, stress and her hectic schedule led to anxiety and back pain. During commercial breaks, she’d lie on the floor of the newsroom to muster up enough relief to smile through the next news segment. “I see many patients who work in finance or jobs where you’re at your desk all day,” says Dr. Johnny Arnouk, orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “Since most people don’t sit with good posture, their back starts to hurt. What seems like a mild strain at first often becomes a chronic problem years later.” RELATED: 8 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal) Chen, then in her early 30s, was willing to do anything to feel better. Eventually, thanks to a combination of medical treatments and yoga, she began experiencing relief. Most importantly, as she began to incorporate yoga into her everyday life, she felt happier and less stressed. Eventually, she left her job in TV news to become a certified yoga instructor. While many of us could benefit from a stress-busting yoga practice, the truth is, it’s difficult to find time to go to class. Chen’s solution, detailed in her new book, Happy-Go-Yoga, is to take traditional yoga poses and adapt them to everyday situations. “When I was in a lot of pain and stressed out, all I wanted was to not feel so terrible,” says Chen, now 47. “Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference, doing little things on a consistent basis.” And encouraging movement throughout the day is good for you, too. “It makes you think of yourself and your health first once in a while,” says Dr. Arnouk. Want to reap the benefits of yoga, even off the mat? These nine tension tamers and feel-good moves can be done anytime, anywhere. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

Sunrise Stretches: Yoga Poses to Start Your Day

Take control of your day before it gets away from you. These three moves help set a good overall tone for your morning by opening your body and mind.

1. Rock Your Heart

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Desperately in need of a good stretch when you wake up in the morning? This pose might help. “It’s a good, gentle way to balance the body,” says Chen, who lives in New York City. “When you wake up in the morning, you’re crumpled and slumped from sleeping. This opens your chest, gets your blood moving and brings suppleness to the spine.” How to: Sit up in a comfortable chair and place your hands on your hips (a). Inhale and lift up the center of your chest. It should feel like the lift originates from your middle upper back between your shoulder blades. (b). Exhale and draw your belly button into your body and gently tuck your chin to your chest. Feel your upper back dome slightly. (c). Repeat at least five times or more.

2. Swimmingly

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel This move is based on yoga’s classic fish pose. Instead of lying on the floor, you’ll use the wall to find the shape. “I feel like I’m snorkeling in this pose,” says Chen. “Reach your arms behind you and lift your head and chest slightly like you’re looking for fish in front of you.” This pose stretches your chest and helps release tension in the neck. How to: Stand with your back against the wall and your feet hip-width distance apart, shoulder blades resting on the wall (a). With your arms by your side, press your fingertips, palms and forearms firmly into the wall. (b). Begin to lift your chest up and away from the wall. Your shoulder blades should move slightly closer together on your back while your lower back remains on the wall. (c). Inhale and lift your chest a little more. Continue to breathe deeply. RELATED: 6 Exercises That Will Seriously Improve Your Posture

3. Unbreakable You

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Have a big presentation or important meeting ahead? This move is based on a traditional mudra, or hand gesture, meant to connect you with your inner strength. Your interlocked fingers represent the coming together of your skills; the act of pulling your fingers apart is a symbol of your power, Chen says. How to: Stand or sit, back straight, and let your shoulders relax (a). Interlace your fingers and place your palms on your torso, just below your chest and above your belly button. Extend your thumbs up toward your chest. (b). Pretend to pull your fingers apart and reach your elbows out to the side. Your fingers should form a lock and prevent your hands from separating. Don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears. (c). Slide your shoulder blades down toward your waist and reach through the crown of your head toward the ceiling.

Deskside De-Stressors: Yoga Poses for Work

Sitting and staring at your computer screen for hours isn’t doing your body any favors. “It’s important to get up every so often, stretch and keep yourself loose,” says Dr. Arnouk. These three moves address the main culprits of on-the-job pain — poor posture, tight hips and neck tension.

4. Spine Align

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel When you sit for a while, you may inevitably start to slouch. To counteract this, “All you need is a thin blanket or thick scarf to re-create the same feeling of a bolster to help you sit up nice and tall,” says Chen. “This aligns the spine, and relieves tightness in the neck, shoulders and back so you’re not working so hard to sit up.” How to: Roll your blanket, scarf or towel into a thin, smooth roll. The roll should be about as long as the distance between your seat and the base of your neck (a). Vertically align the roll with your spine and place it between your back and the back of the chair. Make sure you’re sitting back in your chair to secure the base of the roll in place. (b). Lean back and feel your chest and shoulders gently open.

5. Counter Pose

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Do your hips feel as tight as rubber bands when you stand up from your desk? This pose was one of Chen’s go-to’s at the news desk to counteract the built up tension in her hips. It’s based on yoga’s pigeon pose. How to: Stand and face your desk, making sure that the space in front of you is clear (a). Lift your right leg and rest your outer shin, calf and knee on the desk. Your knee should be positioned slightly wider than your shoulder. (b). Place your hands on the desk to stabilize yourself. Flex your right foot, drawing your toes towards your shin. (c). Lean forward gently onto your left hand. Take your right hand to your right hip crease and let your fingers fan along the outer thigh. Press gently and rotate your thigh out and down toward the desk. Try to keep your hips even. (d). If you still feel okay, hinge forward at the hips while maintaining a flat back and walk your fingertips forward. The forward fold will further calm your mind. Switch sides. RELATED: 5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

6. Let It Roll

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel When you’re stressed, it’s common to find your shoulders slowly creeping towards your ears, causing your neck and shoulders to become stiff over time. Next time you feel your anxiety levels rise, this move will help you roll away the tension and restore mobility in your neck in 10 seconds max. How to: Sit in a chair, back straight (a). Inhale and shrug your shoulders, drawing them toward your ears. (b). Exhale and relax your shoulders. (c). Keeping your right shoulder down, inhale and gently drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. (d). Exhale and roll your chin toward your chest. (e). Inhale and continue to roll your head so that your left ear comes toward your left shoulder. (f). Exhale and roll your head back to center. (g). Inhale and roll your head to the right. Repeat several times.

Commute Calmers: Easy Yoga Poses for Travel

Can’t stand your commute? Crowded trains and planes, combined with delays and cranky passengers are a recipe for stress. The next time you travel from point A to point B, try these moves to find relief for your body and mind.

7. Eagle Perch

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat. Instead of elbowing your neighbors, make your own space with this pose. It releases tension in your shoulders and upper back and helps you turn your focus inwards. How to: Sit up straight. Bend your elbows and lift them straight in front of you, to shoulder height (a). Take your right arm underneath your left arm and wrap it around your left arm. Connect your palms or the back of your hands together. Alternatively, press your arms together from elbow to palm. (b). Move your elbows forward slightly and let the tops of your shoulders drop away from ears. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper arms and back. Switch sides. RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class

8. Bird of Prey

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This pose will help you improve your focus, while also teaching you to pay attention to your posture. You’ll open up your chest and sit taller. It’s also a good pose to complement Eagle Perch. How to: Sit in a chair towards the front of your seat (a). Take one arm behind you, elbow bent and forearm resting against the middle of your back, parallel to the seat of your chair. Your palm should face the back of the seat. Roll your shoulder up and back toward the seat. (b). If you feel comfortable, take your other arm behind you in the same fashion. Grasp opposite elbows. (c). Gently lift your chest forward and up. Widen across the collarbones and breathe deeply.

9. Reach for the Moon

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel If your energy levels are shot at the end of the day, try this pose on your commute home. It’s based on the yoga pose Standing Half Moon and is designed to refresh you, working your core and spine while improving your flexibility. It’s best for train or subway commuters. How to: Stand up straight (a). Inhale, reach your right arm up and over your head to grasp an overhead bar or handle. Let your left arm rest by your side. (b). As your reach for the bar, let the back of your right shoulder drop toward your waist. Keep your right arm straight but not locked. (c). Inhale and grow taller in your spine. Gaze up at your upper arm and don’t let your chest collapse. (d). Exhale and gently side bend to your left. Gaze towards your right shoulder. (e). Inhale and exhale at least 5 times. On an exhale, come out of the side bend. Originally published April 2015. Updated December 2017.  Read More 6 Mistakes You're Probably Making in Yoga Class The Beginner's Guide to Every Type of Yoga Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax

The post 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Survive Work, Stress and Travel appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/winter-running-how-to-run-faster/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/winter-running-how-to-run-faster/#respond Sat, 09 Dec 2017 14:15:46 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=35180 Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring

[caption id="attachment_63915" align="alignnone" width="620"]Winter Running Guide: How to Get Faster by Spring Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Now that all the big fall races are over and the weather is getting colder, most people are ready to pack away their sneakers and hibernate. While some consider the winter an off-season, it’s definitely not the time to slack off from training.

“Many runners simply take the winter off, but this is a huge mistake,” says Jason Fitzgerald, USATF-certified running coach. “Taking a season off — or barely running at all — prevents most runners from progressing.”

Take elite Saucony-sponsored runner Tina Muir, for example. After running the Chicago Marathon in October 2014, Muir has spent time working on the little things to make her a stronger runner like building strength, improving her form, and practicing yoga. “This downtime between racing is the best time to do it,” says Muir. “You can’t throw a lot of this work in when you’re training hard since your muscles are already fatigued. And, this way, you don’t have to spend half the spring and summer getting back into shape.”

RELATED: Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It

In fact, the winter is the perfect time to build a solid foundation for running. “Figure out what your weak links are and to focus on those things,” says Jay Dicharry, director of the REP Biomechanics Lab, author of Anatomy for Runners and USATF-certified coach. “It’s not good enough to just have a strong engine. You need to have a strong chassis too — mobility, stability and strength. That will give you a better body to run with.”

So, what’s a runner to do when the temps start dropping and workouts get moved indoors? For starters, focus on these seven key areas this winter. These exercises will help you figure out the right way to move so that you’ll be ready for a strong season of running once the weather warms back up.

RELATED: 3 Running Drills from Olympic Sprinter Tori Bowie

7 Tips on How to Run Faster by Spring

1. Maintain Your Base

No matter the season, you want to maintain some level of base fitness. Ideally, you’ll want to keep logging the same amount of miles you’re used to. “If that’s not possible, reduce mileage by 10 to 20 percent. It’s a good way to stay in shape while being on a mental break from harder training,” says Fitzgerald.

Reducing intensity is fine, too, just remember: “These aren’t junk miles,” says Dicharry. There are three important things that happen in your body when you train at approximately 60 percent of your maximum heart rate, he says. First, you build capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in your body. More capillaries means more efficient blood flow to your muscles and greater surface area for oxygen to transfer from your bloodstream into your tissues. Second, you build more mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of your cells. More mitochondria means more energy you can use, Dicharry explains. Third, you teach your body to regulate its blood sugar levels better so that you use your energy stores more efficiently.

RELATED: 7 Expert Tips for Pacing Yourself on the Run

2. Build a Strong Behind

Many runners are plagued with inactive glutes and weak hips. Due to the inordinate amount of sitting we do in our daily lives, our behinds tend to be unresponsive, compromising their ability to do their job when we need them, like during a race. In fact, research shows that weak hip and bum muscles are often to blame for running injuries.

In terms of mechanics, strong glutes help you drive off the ground in order to run more efficiently. Single-leg glute bridges are a great way to strengthen this area. During the exercise, “Ask yourself, ‘What muscles do I feel working?’ Most people will feel it in their lower back, or their hamstring will cramp,” says Dicharry, which isn’t good. “You want to learn how to move and drive from your hips to lift and stabilize the pelvis.

If you’re having trouble isolating your glutes, Dicharry suggests imagining that you are squeezing a quarter between your butt cheeks as you raise your hips off the floor. “It seems like a simple exercise, but if you can’t master the basic bridge, you’re going to do everything else incorrectly,” says Dicharry. Add in clam shells, hip hikes and lateral leg raises and you’ll be on your way to building a strong bum.

RELATED: 6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing

3. Improve Your Posture

Your mother was right: Good posture does matter. According to Dicharry, balance, alignment and posture all directly impact our running ability and form. “Most of us stand back on our heels and lock out our knees. We just ‘hang out’ in our posture,” says Dicharry. “When you stand like this all day, you’ll start to run like this, too. And, poor posture can inhibit your hip strength by half.”

In order to stand up tall, you first need to find a neutral position in your spine. Stand and become aware of where the weight is in your feet. “Then, drop your breastbone and the front of your ribs down and you should feel the weight shift off your heels to the other parts of your feet,” says Dicharry. “Most people will feel like their muscles must work to maintain this position.”

Practice proper posture all day — when standing, sitting, walking and running — so that it becomes second nature and you can maintain this position even during a hard workout. Muir also suggests doing drills to help you concentrate on your form, which translates to more efficient and faster running. Muir’s favorites include high knees, butt kicks and side shuffles.

RELATED: 6 Exercises That'll Seriously Improve Your Posture

[caption id="attachment_63916" align="alignnone" width="620"]Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Build a Strong Core

Having a sturdy center helps improve stabilization and allows your lower body and upper body to communicate more effectively. “The runners I’ve trained who have focused on this have performed much better,” says Cheri Paige Fogleman, trainer for Daily Burn 365. “A strong core gives runners an advantage in that your form doesn’t break down when you get tired.”

Fitzgerald’s “bread and butter” core workout includes everything from planks and side planks to modified bicycles and bird-dog exercises. He recommends doing a routine like this two to three times a week.

RELATED: 6 Core Exercises to Make You a Stronger, Faster Runner

5. Practice Toe Yoga

Your feet play an important role in running. Not only do they absorb the impact upon landing, they also help generate the force required to propel you forward when you run. Yet, according to Dicharry, many runners have weak feet and poor foot coordination. How can you make your feet more resilient? Practice toe yoga!

What exactly is toe yoga? It’s learning how to move your big toe and little piggies independently of each other. Keeping the ball of your foot on the ground, lift up just your big toe while your little toes remain on the floor and hold. Then, drive your big toe down into the ground while you lift up your little toes and hold.

“One of the most helpful things to do is to learn how to use your big toe,” Dicharry says. “Being able to drive your big toe down is a critical skill. You’re isolating the muscle in the arch of your foot. Its only job is to stabilize the arch.”

RELATED: How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros

6. Try Something New

Aqua jogging, stair mill, spin class… “There are so many other modalities that can support running,” says Fogleman. If you’re not training for a race, it’s a great time to switch things up. “The more things you do that are different, the better athlete you become,” says Dicharry. If some form of cross-training isn’t already in your weekly routine, mix in your favorite low-impact activity (or try something new!). Just one hour a week can pay dividends come spring.

7. Hit the ‘Mill!

Don’t want to run outside? No problem. Try the treadmill hill workout, featured below, from CLAY Health Club + Spa. It will build glute and leg strength as well as increase fast-twitch muscle fibers. The result: You're able to run farther, better, faster and stronger.

RELATED: 20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit, Fast

Your Winter Treadmill Workout

Before you start, you’ll need to determine your speed and incline for the workout. Find your goal pace-per-mile for the desired incline — six percent for this workout — and corresponding treadmill mph setting. After you finish your warm-up, step off the treadmill belt and bring your speed up to your hill sprint speed and your desired incline. Step back onto the belt to begin your hill intervals.

[caption id="attachment_63922" align="alignnone" width="620"]Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Originally published December 2014. Updated December 2017.

Read More
Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped
9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running
50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

The post Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring

[caption id="attachment_63915" align="alignnone" width="620"]Winter Running Guide: How to Get Faster by Spring Photo: Pond5[/caption] Now that all the big fall races are over and the weather is getting colder, most people are ready to pack away their sneakers and hibernate. While some consider the winter an off-season, it’s definitely not the time to slack off from training. “Many runners simply take the winter off, but this is a huge mistake,” says Jason Fitzgerald, USATF-certified running coach. “Taking a season off — or barely running at all — prevents most runners from progressing.” Take elite Saucony-sponsored runner Tina Muir, for example. After running the Chicago Marathon in October 2014, Muir has spent time working on the little things to make her a stronger runner like building strength, improving her form, and practicing yoga. “This downtime between racing is the best time to do it,” says Muir. “You can’t throw a lot of this work in when you’re training hard since your muscles are already fatigued. And, this way, you don’t have to spend half the spring and summer getting back into shape.” RELATED: Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It In fact, the winter is the perfect time to build a solid foundation for running. “Figure out what your weak links are and to focus on those things,” says Jay Dicharry, director of the REP Biomechanics Lab, author of Anatomy for Runners and USATF-certified coach. “It’s not good enough to just have a strong engine. You need to have a strong chassis too — mobility, stability and strength. That will give you a better body to run with.” So, what’s a runner to do when the temps start dropping and workouts get moved indoors? For starters, focus on these seven key areas this winter. These exercises will help you figure out the right way to move so that you’ll be ready for a strong season of running once the weather warms back up. RELATED: 3 Running Drills from Olympic Sprinter Tori Bowie

7 Tips on How to Run Faster by Spring

1. Maintain Your Base

No matter the season, you want to maintain some level of base fitness. Ideally, you’ll want to keep logging the same amount of miles you’re used to. “If that’s not possible, reduce mileage by 10 to 20 percent. It’s a good way to stay in shape while being on a mental break from harder training,” says Fitzgerald. Reducing intensity is fine, too, just remember: “These aren’t junk miles,” says Dicharry. There are three important things that happen in your body when you train at approximately 60 percent of your maximum heart rate, he says. First, you build capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in your body. More capillaries means more efficient blood flow to your muscles and greater surface area for oxygen to transfer from your bloodstream into your tissues. Second, you build more mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of your cells. More mitochondria means more energy you can use, Dicharry explains. Third, you teach your body to regulate its blood sugar levels better so that you use your energy stores more efficiently. RELATED: 7 Expert Tips for Pacing Yourself on the Run

2. Build a Strong Behind

Many runners are plagued with inactive glutes and weak hips. Due to the inordinate amount of sitting we do in our daily lives, our behinds tend to be unresponsive, compromising their ability to do their job when we need them, like during a race. In fact, research shows that weak hip and bum muscles are often to blame for running injuries. In terms of mechanics, strong glutes help you drive off the ground in order to run more efficiently. Single-leg glute bridges are a great way to strengthen this area. During the exercise, “Ask yourself, ‘What muscles do I feel working?’ Most people will feel it in their lower back, or their hamstring will cramp,” says Dicharry, which isn’t good. “You want to learn how to move and drive from your hips to lift and stabilize the pelvis. If you’re having trouble isolating your glutes, Dicharry suggests imagining that you are squeezing a quarter between your butt cheeks as you raise your hips off the floor. “It seems like a simple exercise, but if you can’t master the basic bridge, you’re going to do everything else incorrectly,” says Dicharry. Add in clam shells, hip hikes and lateral leg raises and you’ll be on your way to building a strong bum. RELATED: 6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing

3. Improve Your Posture

Your mother was right: Good posture does matter. According to Dicharry, balance, alignment and posture all directly impact our running ability and form. “Most of us stand back on our heels and lock out our knees. We just ‘hang out’ in our posture,” says Dicharry. “When you stand like this all day, you’ll start to run like this, too. And, poor posture can inhibit your hip strength by half.” In order to stand up tall, you first need to find a neutral position in your spine. Stand and become aware of where the weight is in your feet. “Then, drop your breastbone and the front of your ribs down and you should feel the weight shift off your heels to the other parts of your feet,” says Dicharry. “Most people will feel like their muscles must work to maintain this position.” Practice proper posture all day — when standing, sitting, walking and running — so that it becomes second nature and you can maintain this position even during a hard workout. Muir also suggests doing drills to help you concentrate on your form, which translates to more efficient and faster running. Muir’s favorites include high knees, butt kicks and side shuffles. RELATED: 6 Exercises That'll Seriously Improve Your Posture [caption id="attachment_63916" align="alignnone" width="620"]Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Build a Strong Core

Having a sturdy center helps improve stabilization and allows your lower body and upper body to communicate more effectively. “The runners I’ve trained who have focused on this have performed much better,” says Cheri Paige Fogleman, trainer for Daily Burn 365. “A strong core gives runners an advantage in that your form doesn’t break down when you get tired.” Fitzgerald’s “bread and butter” core workout includes everything from planks and side planks to modified bicycles and bird-dog exercises. He recommends doing a routine like this two to three times a week. RELATED: 6 Core Exercises to Make You a Stronger, Faster Runner

5. Practice Toe Yoga

Your feet play an important role in running. Not only do they absorb the impact upon landing, they also help generate the force required to propel you forward when you run. Yet, according to Dicharry, many runners have weak feet and poor foot coordination. How can you make your feet more resilient? Practice toe yoga! What exactly is toe yoga? It’s learning how to move your big toe and little piggies independently of each other. Keeping the ball of your foot on the ground, lift up just your big toe while your little toes remain on the floor and hold. Then, drive your big toe down into the ground while you lift up your little toes and hold. “One of the most helpful things to do is to learn how to use your big toe,” Dicharry says. “Being able to drive your big toe down is a critical skill. You’re isolating the muscle in the arch of your foot. Its only job is to stabilize the arch.” RELATED: How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros

6. Try Something New

Aqua jogging, stair mill, spin class… “There are so many other modalities that can support running,” says Fogleman. If you’re not training for a race, it’s a great time to switch things up. “The more things you do that are different, the better athlete you become,” says Dicharry. If some form of cross-training isn’t already in your weekly routine, mix in your favorite low-impact activity (or try something new!). Just one hour a week can pay dividends come spring.

7. Hit the ‘Mill!

Don’t want to run outside? No problem. Try the treadmill hill workout, featured below, from CLAY Health Club + Spa. It will build glute and leg strength as well as increase fast-twitch muscle fibers. The result: You're able to run farther, better, faster and stronger. RELATED: 20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit, Fast

Your Winter Treadmill Workout

Before you start, you’ll need to determine your speed and incline for the workout. Find your goal pace-per-mile for the desired incline — six percent for this workout — and corresponding treadmill mph setting. After you finish your warm-up, step off the treadmill belt and bring your speed up to your hill sprint speed and your desired incline. Step back onto the belt to begin your hill intervals. [caption id="attachment_63922" align="alignnone" width="620"]Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Originally published December 2014. Updated December 2017. Read More Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

The post Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 Reasons You Need to Address Your Stress, Stat https://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/effects-of-stress-health/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63734

[caption id="attachment_63740" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Health Effects of Stress That Should Convince You to Make a Change Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: The effects of stress can harm both your mind and your body. Not only can tension affect your mood and mental health, but experts and research also link it to major health concerns like heart disease, insulin resistance and chronic inflammatory conditions.

Stress is not something that is all in your mind. It’s a set of objective, measurable events that take place in body and brain, a complex physiological process,” says Kyle Davies, psychologist and author of The Intelligent Body. “The body’s stress response is exactly the same regardless of whether the ‘trigger’ is a physical injury (such as a car accident), an illness (like a virus) or a blockage of emotion.”

“We are now beginning to see that emotional stress contributes to a massive range of social, economic and health problems,” Davies continues. “Emotional stress plays a part in almost everything from mental health problems like anxiety and depression to a huge array of chronic physical problems.”

Considering all the health effects of stress, the question is: Do you have it on your wellbeing-boosting priority list? To convince you take care of it stat, we’ve listed five sneaky ways stress can mess with you both physically and mentally. Read on, then start your de-stress journey with expert-approved tips and meditation apps that make calming down a little more doable.

RELATED: Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax

5 Surprising Effects of Stress on Your Well-Being

1. Poor Gut Health

Think it’s just greasy burgers and milkshakes that can wreak havoc on your tummy? It turns out stress can be just as bad for your belly as an unhealthy diet.

New research from Brigham Young University shows that when female rats were exposed to stress, their gut microbiome — the trillions of bacteria that live in the digestive tract and influence everything from digestion to immunity to sleep quality to brain health — changed to resemble the digestive tracts of mice who ate a high-fat diet. In other words, stress can make your microbiome appear like you just downed a load of french fries even when you didn’t. Yikes. While more scientists call for more research to understand this link, they think that these changes in the gut may be part of the puzzle that links stress, mood disorders and obesity.

RELATED: Here’s What to Eat to Help You De-Stress

2. Slower Workout Recovery

Sure you need to physically “stress” your muscles to get stronger, but mental stress can also have a big impact on your body’s ability to recover post-workout.

“You can be doing all the right things training-wise, but if you’re not managing stress properly or getting proper rest, it affects the body’s ability to bounce back,” says Angie Fifer, certified mental performance consultant and Association for Applied Sport Psychology executive board member. Translation: Instead of reaping a workout’s rewards — like an energy and mood boost, as well as muscle gain — you could end up feeling more fatigued and sluggish and curbing results.

3. Trouble Sleeping

Speaking of fatigue, there’s nothing worse than trying to get a good night’s rest when you have a lot on your mind. According to W. Christopher Winter, MD, president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of The Sleep Solution, stress tinkers with our zzz’s by sacrificing deep sleep for more light sleep. This leads to more frequent (and longer) awakenings in the middle of the night. So in the morning, you end up feeling tired, rather than refreshed.

Stress also tends to hinder our perception of sleep duration. “Think about that one for a bit...stress makes us think we have gotten far less sleep than we actually have. In some cases, it can make an individual who has slept 6 hours feel like he or she got no sleep,” he says. This can then lead to feeling even more stressed. Talk about a bad sleep cycle.

RELATED: 6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

4. Mouth Problems

Canker sores, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth — yes, stress can bring on all of these issues. According to a study in the International Dental Journal, people who reported oral health problems, such as sensitivity and bleeding, had higher work stress scores compared to those who didn’t. In another study published in the Annals of Periodontology, people who experienced higher levels of financial stress and poor stress coping skills had higher levels of periodontal (or gum) disease. The good news: Those with high money-related stress, but good coping skills had the same incidence of gum disease as people under low stress.

5. A Cranky Jaw

Do you ever clench your jaw or facial muscles when you feel tense? Not only can this lead to unwanted wrinkles, it can cause your jaw to ache, click or lock. When you tense the muscles around your face and jaw or grind your teeth, you put extra pressure on the joint, which can lead to pain. In fact, researchers have found that stress, anxiety and depression may contribute to symptoms of temporomandibular disorders aka TMD.

Read More
8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal)
Stressed Out? Here’s How to Finally Find Relief
11 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Now

The post 5 Reasons You Need to Address Your Stress, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_63740" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Health Effects of Stress That Should Convince You to Make a Change Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: The effects of stress can harm both your mind and your body. Not only can tension affect your mood and mental health, but experts and research also link it to major health concerns like heart disease, insulin resistance and chronic inflammatory conditions. “Stress is not something that is all in your mind. It’s a set of objective, measurable events that take place in body and brain, a complex physiological process,” says Kyle Davies, psychologist and author of The Intelligent Body. “The body’s stress response is exactly the same regardless of whether the ‘trigger’ is a physical injury (such as a car accident), an illness (like a virus) or a blockage of emotion.” “We are now beginning to see that emotional stress contributes to a massive range of social, economic and health problems,” Davies continues. “Emotional stress plays a part in almost everything from mental health problems like anxiety and depression to a huge array of chronic physical problems.” Considering all the health effects of stress, the question is: Do you have it on your wellbeing-boosting priority list? To convince you take care of it stat, we’ve listed five sneaky ways stress can mess with you both physically and mentally. Read on, then start your de-stress journey with expert-approved tips and meditation apps that make calming down a little more doable. RELATED: Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax

5 Surprising Effects of Stress on Your Well-Being

1. Poor Gut Health

Think it’s just greasy burgers and milkshakes that can wreak havoc on your tummy? It turns out stress can be just as bad for your belly as an unhealthy diet. New research from Brigham Young University shows that when female rats were exposed to stress, their gut microbiome — the trillions of bacteria that live in the digestive tract and influence everything from digestion to immunity to sleep quality to brain health — changed to resemble the digestive tracts of mice who ate a high-fat diet. In other words, stress can make your microbiome appear like you just downed a load of french fries even when you didn’t. Yikes. While more scientists call for more research to understand this link, they think that these changes in the gut may be part of the puzzle that links stress, mood disorders and obesity. RELATED: Here’s What to Eat to Help You De-Stress

2. Slower Workout Recovery

Sure you need to physically “stress” your muscles to get stronger, but mental stress can also have a big impact on your body’s ability to recover post-workout. “You can be doing all the right things training-wise, but if you’re not managing stress properly or getting proper rest, it affects the body’s ability to bounce back,” says Angie Fifer, certified mental performance consultant and Association for Applied Sport Psychology executive board member. Translation: Instead of reaping a workout’s rewards — like an energy and mood boost, as well as muscle gain — you could end up feeling more fatigued and sluggish and curbing results.

3. Trouble Sleeping

Speaking of fatigue, there’s nothing worse than trying to get a good night’s rest when you have a lot on your mind. According to W. Christopher Winter, MD, president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of The Sleep Solution, stress tinkers with our zzz’s by sacrificing deep sleep for more light sleep. This leads to more frequent (and longer) awakenings in the middle of the night. So in the morning, you end up feeling tired, rather than refreshed. Stress also tends to hinder our perception of sleep duration. “Think about that one for a bit...stress makes us think we have gotten far less sleep than we actually have. In some cases, it can make an individual who has slept 6 hours feel like he or she got no sleep,” he says. This can then lead to feeling even more stressed. Talk about a bad sleep cycle. RELATED: 6 Signs That You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

4. Mouth Problems

Canker sores, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth — yes, stress can bring on all of these issues. According to a study in the International Dental Journal, people who reported oral health problems, such as sensitivity and bleeding, had higher work stress scores compared to those who didn’t. In another study published in the Annals of Periodontology, people who experienced higher levels of financial stress and poor stress coping skills had higher levels of periodontal (or gum) disease. The good news: Those with high money-related stress, but good coping skills had the same incidence of gum disease as people under low stress.

5. A Cranky Jaw

Do you ever clench your jaw or facial muscles when you feel tense? Not only can this lead to unwanted wrinkles, it can cause your jaw to ache, click or lock. When you tense the muscles around your face and jaw or grind your teeth, you put extra pressure on the joint, which can lead to pain. In fact, researchers have found that stress, anxiety and depression may contribute to symptoms of temporomandibular disorders aka TMD. Read More 8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal) Stressed Out? Here’s How to Finally Find Relief 11 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Now

The post 5 Reasons You Need to Address Your Stress, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu https://dailyburn.com/life/health/immune-system-foods-colds-flu/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/immune-system-foods-colds-flu/#comments Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:30:17 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=34393 7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu

7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu

You feel that telltale tingle at the back of your throat…your head hurts…and you can’t breathe. It’s official: You’re coming down with a cold.

‘Tis the season for feeling sick — and you're not alone. Every year, adults suffer from an average of two to three colds per year and an estimated five to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu, typically between the months of October and March.

Before you reach for the latest over-the-counter remedy in your medicine cabinet, head to your kitchen. While frequent hand washing, regular exercise and the flu shot are tried-and-true methods to fend off sickness, you can also bolster your immune systems with items found right in your pantry. “The most authentic way to fight a cold or flu is to eat foods that will help you build the healthy cells you need to feel better,” says Anita Mirchandani, MS, RD, CDN and spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association.

Add these cold- and flu-fighting foods to your cart on your next grocery run.

RELATED: All-Natural Remedies to Soothe Your Cold Symptoms

7 Cold and Flu-Fighting Foods to Boost Your Immune System

[caption id="attachment_34397" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Cassy / Fed and Fit[/caption]

1. Garlic

Nope, it’s not the smell of garlic that scares away the bacteria and viruses that make you feel sick. According to Alissa Rumsey, RD, CDN, CNSC, CSCS and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s allicin, the major active component found in garlic, that’s responsible for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Research studies have shown that people taking garlic supplements experienced fewer and less severe colds compared to those taking a placebo. “Garlic also helps promote healthy gut flora, which rids the body of toxins, bacteria and viruses,” says Mirchandani. While you could pop a pill, Rumsey says it’s best to eat the actual thing. “The active components are more bioavailable when you eat real garlic.”

Eat up: Try whipping up this Roasted Garlic Paleo Pesto (pictured above) next time you feel the sniffles coming on.

[caption id="attachment_22626" align="alignnone" width="620"]Chimichurri Steak Recipe Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote/ Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

2. Beef

If you want to boost your immune system, eat some beef. “Beef is a good source of zinc, and zinc is important in the development of the white blood cells that defend your body,” says Rumsey. Research has shown that having a zinc deficiency decreases a person’s immune function and response. Plus, the extra protein you get from chowing down on beef supports the body in building antibodies and fighting off infection, according to Mirchandani.

Eat up: This Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe packs 23 grams of protein per serving; add it to your dinner menu this week.

[caption id="attachment_20053" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sweet Potato Fries Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn [/caption]

3. Sweet Potato

While sweet potatoes may not be considered a traditional cold-fighting food, they’re a great source of Vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces. “That includes the inside of your nose and your gastrointestinal tract as well as your skin. You might not think of your skin as part of your immune system but it keeps infections from entering your body. It’s your first line of defense,” says Rumsey. “Keeping your mucus membranes healthy is key to keeping infections at bay.”

Eat up: These Spicy Sweet Potato Fries and Avocado Dip will help you load up on good old vitamin A — while simultaneously satisfying your winter comfort food cravings.

RELATED: The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex

[caption id="attachment_34398" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Sylvia / Feasting At Home[/caption]

4. Turmeric

One of the most recent spices to be crowned a superfood, turmeric is a rich yellow powder often used in curry dishes. It’s high in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory. “If you take it on a daily basis, it is known to relieve the body of toxins,” says Mirchandani. “It has been shown that people who consume turmeric are less susceptible to colds, coughs and congestion.”

Eat (or drink!) up: Order up a curry from your favorite Indian restaurant or mix up this Fresh Turmeric Tonic for a quick immunity boost. We're also loving these 10 Turmeric Recipes to Boost Your Health.

[caption id="attachment_33326" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fall Cleanse Kale Salad Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

5. Dark Leafy Greens

While people typically associate citrus fruit with vitamin C, dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and arugula, are also great sources of the cold-fighting vitamin. According to Rumsey, some research shows that if you consistently take in adequate amounts of Vitamin C, it can reduce the duration of a cold. Mirchandani recommends sautéing vegetables and combining them with other healthy spices and foods, such as garlic. When the greens are cooked, they shrink in size and you can consume more of the vegetables than if you were eating them raw. Remember – the darker the greens, the higher the nutrient content.

Eat up: This Fall Cleanse Kale Salad should do the trick.

RELATED: Is a Magnesium Deficiency Secretly Harming Your Health?

[caption id="attachment_17132" align="alignnone" width="620"]Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Sauce Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanchote / Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

6. Wild Salmon

As daylight hours decrease during the fall and winter, so do your vitamin D stores. This nutrient is critical for fending off colds and flu so it’s important to mindful of consuming foods rich in it, like wild salmon. Research has shown that those with healthy levels of vitamin D suffered from fewer respiratory tract infections compared to those who were deficient — and felt better faster after getting sick.

Eat up: Whip up this Roasted Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt, or build a meal around other good sources of D such as fortified milk, canned tuna, canned sardines and egg yolks. Here are 11 more salmon recipes, ready in 30 minutes or less! 

[caption id="attachment_34399" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Davida / The Healthy Maven[/caption]

7. Chicken Soup

Your mom was right. You should eat chicken soup when you’re sick. This age-old elixir combines many elements that help speed your recovery. The warm broth not only soothes your throat but helps you stay hydrated, too. “Hot liquid, like soup, raises the temperature in your body and airways, loosening mucus secretions,” says Rumsey. “Also, when you cook chicken, it releases the amino acid cysteine, which resembles a drug that is used to treat bronchitis.” Mirchandani says, “When you’re sick, I believe in soup. With its high concentration of protein and vegetables, it’s like you’re giving your body a super-vitamin.”

Eat up: Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup will let you rest up in bed while your meal simmers away.

While these pantry staples are a good first line of defense against colds and the flu, you also need to pay attention to your overall diet. “A healthy diet has been shown to boost immune function,” and help you get better faster, says Rumsey. “If you’re consistently eating a varied diet and a colorful palate, it will help your body fight off any infections,” say Mirchandani.

Originally published November 2014. Updated November 2017. 

Read More
12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time
5 Healthier Ways to Detox (That Aren't Juice Cleanses)
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post 7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu

7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu
You feel that telltale tingle at the back of your throat…your head hurts…and you can’t breathe. It’s official: You’re coming down with a cold. ‘Tis the season for feeling sick — and you're not alone. Every year, adults suffer from an average of two to three colds per year and an estimated five to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu, typically between the months of October and March. Before you reach for the latest over-the-counter remedy in your medicine cabinet, head to your kitchen. While frequent hand washing, regular exercise and the flu shot are tried-and-true methods to fend off sickness, you can also bolster your immune systems with items found right in your pantry. “The most authentic way to fight a cold or flu is to eat foods that will help you build the healthy cells you need to feel better,” says Anita Mirchandani, MS, RD, CDN and spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association. Add these cold- and flu-fighting foods to your cart on your next grocery run. RELATED: All-Natural Remedies to Soothe Your Cold Symptoms

7 Cold and Flu-Fighting Foods to Boost Your Immune System

[caption id="attachment_34397" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Cassy / Fed and Fit[/caption]

1. Garlic

Nope, it’s not the smell of garlic that scares away the bacteria and viruses that make you feel sick. According to Alissa Rumsey, RD, CDN, CNSC, CSCS and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s allicin, the major active component found in garlic, that’s responsible for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Research studies have shown that people taking garlic supplements experienced fewer and less severe colds compared to those taking a placebo. “Garlic also helps promote healthy gut flora, which rids the body of toxins, bacteria and viruses,” says Mirchandani. While you could pop a pill, Rumsey says it’s best to eat the actual thing. “The active components are more bioavailable when you eat real garlic.” Eat up: Try whipping up this Roasted Garlic Paleo Pesto (pictured above) next time you feel the sniffles coming on. [caption id="attachment_22626" align="alignnone" width="620"]Chimichurri Steak Recipe Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote/ Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

2. Beef

If you want to boost your immune system, eat some beef. “Beef is a good source of zinc, and zinc is important in the development of the white blood cells that defend your body,” says Rumsey. Research has shown that having a zinc deficiency decreases a person’s immune function and response. Plus, the extra protein you get from chowing down on beef supports the body in building antibodies and fighting off infection, according to Mirchandani. Eat up: This Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe packs 23 grams of protein per serving; add it to your dinner menu this week. [caption id="attachment_20053" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sweet Potato Fries Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn [/caption]

3. Sweet Potato

While sweet potatoes may not be considered a traditional cold-fighting food, they’re a great source of Vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces. “That includes the inside of your nose and your gastrointestinal tract as well as your skin. You might not think of your skin as part of your immune system but it keeps infections from entering your body. It’s your first line of defense,” says Rumsey. “Keeping your mucus membranes healthy is key to keeping infections at bay.” Eat up: These Spicy Sweet Potato Fries and Avocado Dip will help you load up on good old vitamin A — while simultaneously satisfying your winter comfort food cravings. RELATED: The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex [caption id="attachment_34398" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Sylvia / Feasting At Home[/caption]

4. Turmeric

One of the most recent spices to be crowned a superfood, turmeric is a rich yellow powder often used in curry dishes. It’s high in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory. “If you take it on a daily basis, it is known to relieve the body of toxins,” says Mirchandani. “It has been shown that people who consume turmeric are less susceptible to colds, coughs and congestion.” Eat (or drink!) up: Order up a curry from your favorite Indian restaurant or mix up this Fresh Turmeric Tonic for a quick immunity boost. We're also loving these 10 Turmeric Recipes to Boost Your Health. [caption id="attachment_33326" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fall Cleanse Kale Salad Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

5. Dark Leafy Greens

While people typically associate citrus fruit with vitamin C, dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and arugula, are also great sources of the cold-fighting vitamin. According to Rumsey, some research shows that if you consistently take in adequate amounts of Vitamin C, it can reduce the duration of a cold. Mirchandani recommends sautéing vegetables and combining them with other healthy spices and foods, such as garlic. When the greens are cooked, they shrink in size and you can consume more of the vegetables than if you were eating them raw. Remember – the darker the greens, the higher the nutrient content. Eat up: This Fall Cleanse Kale Salad should do the trick. RELATED: Is a Magnesium Deficiency Secretly Harming Your Health? [caption id="attachment_17132" align="alignnone" width="620"]Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Sauce Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanchote / Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

6. Wild Salmon

As daylight hours decrease during the fall and winter, so do your vitamin D stores. This nutrient is critical for fending off colds and flu so it’s important to mindful of consuming foods rich in it, like wild salmon. Research has shown that those with healthy levels of vitamin D suffered from fewer respiratory tract infections compared to those who were deficient — and felt better faster after getting sick. Eat up: Whip up this Roasted Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt, or build a meal around other good sources of D such as fortified milk, canned tuna, canned sardines and egg yolks. Here are 11 more salmon recipes, ready in 30 minutes or less!  [caption id="attachment_34399" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Davida / The Healthy Maven[/caption]

7. Chicken Soup

Your mom was right. You should eat chicken soup when you’re sick. This age-old elixir combines many elements that help speed your recovery. The warm broth not only soothes your throat but helps you stay hydrated, too. “Hot liquid, like soup, raises the temperature in your body and airways, loosening mucus secretions,” says Rumsey. “Also, when you cook chicken, it releases the amino acid cysteine, which resembles a drug that is used to treat bronchitis.” Mirchandani says, “When you’re sick, I believe in soup. With its high concentration of protein and vegetables, it’s like you’re giving your body a super-vitamin.” Eat up: Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup will let you rest up in bed while your meal simmers away. While these pantry staples are a good first line of defense against colds and the flu, you also need to pay attention to your overall diet. “A healthy diet has been shown to boost immune function,” and help you get better faster, says Rumsey. “If you’re consistently eating a varied diet and a colorful palate, it will help your body fight off any infections,” say Mirchandani. Originally published November 2014. Updated November 2017.  Read More 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time 5 Healthier Ways to Detox (That Aren't Juice Cleanses) Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

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6 Exercises to Jumpstart Your Postpartum Workout Plan https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/postpartum-workout-exercises/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 14:15:32 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63471

[caption id="attachment_63476" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Exercises to Jumpstart Your Postpartum Workout Plan Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

We’ve all seen the superhuman feats of models, celebrities and athletes who seem to instantaneously bounce back from pregnancy and childbirth. But if you’ve just given birth (or are about to), you may be wondering how and when you can get back into the workout game — and is it really that easy?

“Returning to exercise postpartum varies from woman to woman,” says Joanie Johnson from Fit Pregnancy Club in New York City, a fitness studio that caters to pre- and post-natal women. It depends on how active you were before and during your pregnancy. Plus, your body experiences a fair amount of trauma during labor and delivery so it will take time to heal and recover, especially if you had a C-section. Johnson says to ask your doctor to check for diastasis recti (the separation between the right and left sides of your abdominal muscles) and pelvic floor issues, too.

Plus, there’s often a mental hurdle to clear. “Many women feel like they’re completely out of touch with their bodies following pregnancy and birth,” says Johnson, which is normal. “The struggle of starting a fitness journey from an unfamiliar place — while experiencing frustration from the loss of control over the body — can be the biggest obstacle to overcome.”

RELATED: 17 Tips from Fit Moms on Finding Time to Exercise

Taking the First Steps Postpartum

When you do get your doctor’s OK, start slowly, only easing back into your workouts if you feel great. (Read: Don’t start where you left off.) Walking, cardio, yoga, Pilates and swimming are all fair game. You might also seek out fitness classes specifically tailored to postpartum women.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. We asked Johnson for a postpartum workout plan to help you return to action safely and soundly.

Remember: Activate your core and pelvic floor to initiative all movements and move slowly and with intension. “Slight discomfort is OK when working out but sharp pain is a sign that something is wrong,” says Johnson. If you experience bleeding, dizziness, headache, fever, or sharp pain, call your doctor right away, she says. And make sure to get the go-ahead before you start this routine.

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

[caption id="attachment_63477" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Exercises to Jumpstart Your Postpartum Workout Plan Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6 Exercises for the Perfect Postpartum Workout

1. Diaphragm Breaths

While you may think that you know how to breathe, the truth is most of us don’t breathe correctly. But diaphragmatic breathing can offer a restorative practice and a quick way to reset your body and mind. “Proper diaphragm breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates the rest-and-digest response, massages the organs and enhances lymph flow,” says Johnson. Plus, activating your abdominal muscles while exhaling engages and strengthens your core.

How to: Inhale to a count of four, sending the breath low into the diaphragm and belly. Exhale to a count of four, focusing on wrapping the obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis in toward your midline. Every inhale is a release of the muscles while every exhale fully activates, wraps and engages them. While you should feel your belly naturally rise and fall, don’t force your belly out, especially on an exhalation. Complete 6 rounds.

RELATED: 6 Core Exercises for New Moms with Diastasis Recti

2. Pelvic Floor Lifts

While you may think you only have to worry about your pelvic floor prior to giving birth, you need to heal and strengthen this muscle with a postpartum workout, too. “It’s important to train the engagement and release of these muscles,” says Johnson.

How to: To activate your pelvic floor muscles, imagine the pubic bone, tailbone and both sit bones drawing closer together and up through the center of the body like a kegel. Either hold or pulse, releasing the pelvic floor completely between rounds. Coordinate the pelvic floor lift and pulsing while simultaneously exhaling and wrapping the abdominals. Complete 6 rounds of pulses or holds.

3. Cat/Cow

While this familiar move may be a good way to warm up your body during yoga class, it also helps to massage and stretch the abdomen, strengthen the spine and neck, and improve posture, says Johnson. All things your postpartum body needs!

How to: Start with your hands and knees with a neutral pelvis and abdominals engaged. Be sure your shoulders are stationed directly over your wrists and hips directly over the knees. Inhale to cow pose — arch your back and release the abdominals and pelvic floor. Lift your head and tailbone, opening across the chest. Exhale to cat pose — press through your hands and round your spine toward the ceiling, wrapping your abdominals together to engage them and lifting the pelvic floor. Let your head and neck relax. Complete 4 rounds of cat-cow.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

4. Crib Lifts

Squatting increases total-body strength and improves hip flexibility. Meanwhile, arm raises build the muscles you need to safely lift a newborn. And doing them together? “[It] creates muscle memory that will support you and protect you postpartum,” says Johnson. Be sure to keep your spine straight, chest reaching forward, and weight in your heels throughout the move, which will help activate your glutes.

How to: Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width distance apart and your toes in a natural slightly turned out position. Hold your baby (or an eight-pound weight) and lower into a squat while imagining that you’re lifting your baby out of the crib. Then, engage your abs and feel a lift in the pelvic floor as your return to standing. Complete 8-10 reps.

5. Clamshells

Clamshells strengthen your hips and glutes. Postpartum, this exercise can also help to support your pelvis and relieve back pain and sciatica (pain in the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back), says Johnson.

How to: Lie on your side with your knees bent, legs and hips evenly stacked and neck and spine in one line. Rest your head on your lower arm. Engage your abs and lift through the pelvic floor. Then, keeping your feet together and without shifting your hips, raise your top knee toward the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes as you exhale and hold. Return the upper leg to its starting position for one rep. Complete 20 reps on each side.

RELATED: The 5 Hip Stretches You Need to Relieve Tightness Now

6. Neck Stretch

Whether it’s from countless hours of carrying, rocking or breastfeeding your newborn, your neck, shoulders and upper body probably feel a little sore. This stretch will help to relieve the built-up tension. Stop your shoulders from hiking up by releasing them down and away from your ears, and engage your lats down your back.

How to: Tilt your head toward one shoulder while applying gentle pressure to the top of your head with one hand. Hold for 30 seconds and focus on deep belly breathing. Repeat this stretch, holding your neck at different angles that may feel tight. Repeat on the other side.

Read More
9 Things No One Tells You About Running a Marathon Post-Baby
5 Fit Pregnancy Tips: Real Talk from Moms and Moms-to-Be
The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

The post 6 Exercises to Jumpstart Your Postpartum Workout Plan appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_63476" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Exercises to Jumpstart Your Postpartum Workout Plan Photo: Twenty20[/caption] We’ve all seen the superhuman feats of models, celebrities and athletes who seem to instantaneously bounce back from pregnancy and childbirth. But if you’ve just given birth (or are about to), you may be wondering how and when you can get back into the workout game — and is it really that easy? “Returning to exercise postpartum varies from woman to woman,” says Joanie Johnson from Fit Pregnancy Club in New York City, a fitness studio that caters to pre- and post-natal women. It depends on how active you were before and during your pregnancy. Plus, your body experiences a fair amount of trauma during labor and delivery so it will take time to heal and recover, especially if you had a C-section. Johnson says to ask your doctor to check for diastasis recti (the separation between the right and left sides of your abdominal muscles) and pelvic floor issues, too. Plus, there’s often a mental hurdle to clear. “Many women feel like they’re completely out of touch with their bodies following pregnancy and birth,” says Johnson, which is normal. “The struggle of starting a fitness journey from an unfamiliar place — while experiencing frustration from the loss of control over the body — can be the biggest obstacle to overcome.” RELATED: 17 Tips from Fit Moms on Finding Time to Exercise

Taking the First Steps Postpartum

When you do get your doctor’s OK, start slowly, only easing back into your workouts if you feel great. (Read: Don’t start where you left off.) Walking, cardio, yoga, Pilates and swimming are all fair game. You might also seek out fitness classes specifically tailored to postpartum women. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. We asked Johnson for a postpartum workout plan to help you return to action safely and soundly. Remember: Activate your core and pelvic floor to initiative all movements and move slowly and with intension. “Slight discomfort is OK when working out but sharp pain is a sign that something is wrong,” says Johnson. If you experience bleeding, dizziness, headache, fever, or sharp pain, call your doctor right away, she says. And make sure to get the go-ahead before you start this routine. RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners [caption id="attachment_63477" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Exercises to Jumpstart Your Postpartum Workout Plan Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6 Exercises for the Perfect Postpartum Workout

1. Diaphragm Breaths

While you may think that you know how to breathe, the truth is most of us don’t breathe correctly. But diaphragmatic breathing can offer a restorative practice and a quick way to reset your body and mind. “Proper diaphragm breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates the rest-and-digest response, massages the organs and enhances lymph flow,” says Johnson. Plus, activating your abdominal muscles while exhaling engages and strengthens your core. How to: Inhale to a count of four, sending the breath low into the diaphragm and belly. Exhale to a count of four, focusing on wrapping the obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis in toward your midline. Every inhale is a release of the muscles while every exhale fully activates, wraps and engages them. While you should feel your belly naturally rise and fall, don’t force your belly out, especially on an exhalation. Complete 6 rounds. RELATED: 6 Core Exercises for New Moms with Diastasis Recti

2. Pelvic Floor Lifts

While you may think you only have to worry about your pelvic floor prior to giving birth, you need to heal and strengthen this muscle with a postpartum workout, too. “It’s important to train the engagement and release of these muscles,” says Johnson. How to: To activate your pelvic floor muscles, imagine the pubic bone, tailbone and both sit bones drawing closer together and up through the center of the body like a kegel. Either hold or pulse, releasing the pelvic floor completely between rounds. Coordinate the pelvic floor lift and pulsing while simultaneously exhaling and wrapping the abdominals. Complete 6 rounds of pulses or holds.

3. Cat/Cow

While this familiar move may be a good way to warm up your body during yoga class, it also helps to massage and stretch the abdomen, strengthen the spine and neck, and improve posture, says Johnson. All things your postpartum body needs! How to: Start with your hands and knees with a neutral pelvis and abdominals engaged. Be sure your shoulders are stationed directly over your wrists and hips directly over the knees. Inhale to cow pose — arch your back and release the abdominals and pelvic floor. Lift your head and tailbone, opening across the chest. Exhale to cat pose — press through your hands and round your spine toward the ceiling, wrapping your abdominals together to engage them and lifting the pelvic floor. Let your head and neck relax. Complete 4 rounds of cat-cow. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

4. Crib Lifts

Squatting increases total-body strength and improves hip flexibility. Meanwhile, arm raises build the muscles you need to safely lift a newborn. And doing them together? “[It] creates muscle memory that will support you and protect you postpartum,” says Johnson. Be sure to keep your spine straight, chest reaching forward, and weight in your heels throughout the move, which will help activate your glutes. How to: Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width distance apart and your toes in a natural slightly turned out position. Hold your baby (or an eight-pound weight) and lower into a squat while imagining that you’re lifting your baby out of the crib. Then, engage your abs and feel a lift in the pelvic floor as your return to standing. Complete 8-10 reps.

5. Clamshells

Clamshells strengthen your hips and glutes. Postpartum, this exercise can also help to support your pelvis and relieve back pain and sciatica (pain in the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back), says Johnson. How to: Lie on your side with your knees bent, legs and hips evenly stacked and neck and spine in one line. Rest your head on your lower arm. Engage your abs and lift through the pelvic floor. Then, keeping your feet together and without shifting your hips, raise your top knee toward the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes as you exhale and hold. Return the upper leg to its starting position for one rep. Complete 20 reps on each side. RELATED: The 5 Hip Stretches You Need to Relieve Tightness Now

6. Neck Stretch

Whether it’s from countless hours of carrying, rocking or breastfeeding your newborn, your neck, shoulders and upper body probably feel a little sore. This stretch will help to relieve the built-up tension. Stop your shoulders from hiking up by releasing them down and away from your ears, and engage your lats down your back. How to: Tilt your head toward one shoulder while applying gentle pressure to the top of your head with one hand. Hold for 30 seconds and focus on deep belly breathing. Repeat this stretch, holding your neck at different angles that may feel tight. Repeat on the other side. Read More 9 Things No One Tells You About Running a Marathon Post-Baby 5 Fit Pregnancy Tips: Real Talk from Moms and Moms-to-Be The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

The post 6 Exercises to Jumpstart Your Postpartum Workout Plan appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism https://dailyburn.com/life/health/surprising-things-slow-metabolism/ Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:15:54 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63231 7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism

[caption id="attachment_63233" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You might complain about the endless rush of daily life and meditate for a few minutes during the day, but there's one thing you typically don't want to slow down — your metabolism.

Think of it like an engine: Your metabolism is those series of chemical reactions that convert what you eat and drink into energy that your body can use. Your metabolism is influenced by your age, sex, body size and composition. That means men typically have faster metabolic rates since they tend to carry more muscle and less body fat than women. Your metabolism also decreases with age (more on that below).

While you know that sitting around all day can cause your metabolism to plummet (and exercising regularly can boost it), there are other simple things you may be doing to clog your engine. Here are seven ways that you’re slowing down your metabolism.

RELATED: How to Boost Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

7 Common Mistakes That Slow Down Your Metabolism

1. Fasting for too long.

While you probably have heard that skipping meals isn’t great for your metabolism, leaving big gaps between your meals doesn’t help either, says Lauren Antonucci, RDN, owner of Nutrition Energy and certified sports dietitian. “You get a thermic boost every time you eat. Your metabolism revs up to process the food you’re eating,” she says.

But when you eat breakfast at 5 a.m., lunch at 4 p.m., and dinner at 9 p.m., you’re not doing your metabolism any favors. Instead, Antonucci suggests eating every two to three hours to keep your metabolism humming. All about intermittent fasting? While it can help decrease your calorie consumption, the drawback is that if it isn’t done with correct guidance, it can lead to unhealthy eating choices and weight gain. Our recommendation: Call in the pros.

2. Avoiding the weight room.

You’ve heard over and over that muscles burn more calories — and it’s true. Studies have found that strength training revs your resting metabolism rate. That also explains why your metabolic rate declines, as you get older. “Your muscle mass decreases over time because you’re typically not doing as much resistance training,” says Antonucci. Schedule regular strength training sessions as part of your workout schedule.

3. Eating inconsistent daily meals.

If you eat breakfast first thing in the morning some days and don’t eat until lunch on other days, then you might be wrecking your metabolism. Whether you eat three meals a day or nine seems like it should be NBD, but a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that an irregular meal schedule might negatively affect your metabolic health. Instead, aim to eat a consistent number and schedule of meals each day.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

4. Not eating enough.

If you want to lose weight, you should just eat less, right? It’s not quite that simple. Antonucci says that chronically dieting or consistently eating just a little less than what your body needs, whether inadvertently or on purpose, can wreak havoc on your metabolism. She sees this often in her athletes, especially those training for endurance events like Ironman triathlons. “Their caloric needs can be ridiculously high and they don’t eat enough,” she says, which can also lead to fatigue and injuries.

“Guessing your metabolic rate is a shot in the dark,” says Antonucci. That’s why she recommends metabolic rate testing for anyone who’s having trouble losing weight or athletes who are constantly injured or fatigued. “It’s like a VO2 max test except you just sit and breathe into a mouthpiece for 15 minutes,” she says.

[caption id="attachment_63236" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Skimping on your zzzz’s.

Sure, dark circles and a long-standing caffeine habit are downsides of skipping sleep, but they’re not the only ones. Researchers have found that sleep deprivation can significantly impact your metabolism — and not in a good way — by decreasing energy expenditure. Plus, when you’re sleepy, you don’t move around as much, says Antonucci. “Studies have shown that people who sleep less move less during the day. You may not exercise or you may choose to take a cab rather than walk because you’re tired,” she says. So be sure to get a full night sleep regularly!

RELATED: Is Your Sleep Schedule Wrecking Your Metabolism?

6. Neglecting protein.

A calorie is a calorie, right? Not quite. Your body requires different amounts of energy to process the various macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. "The cost of processing protein is higher than the cost of processing fat,” says Antonucci. “You need protein to increase muscle mass and to fuel your metabolism.” A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a higher protein diet increased resting energy expenditure.

But Antonucci also advises that it’s not a license to eat only protein. A balance of macronutrients is key. “You need enough carbs to have enough energy to move through the day. And you need enough good fats to keep you satiated,” she says.

7. Stressing out.

You know that stress is bad for your health, but it turns out that it’s also bad for your metabolic rate. Researchers from Ohio State University found that stress affected how women metabolized food. Those who experience one or more stressful events the day before eating a high-fat meal burned 104 fewer calories in the hours following the meal compared to the non-stressed women. While that may not seem like a lot, researchers said that over the course of a year, that could mean an 11-pound weight gain. Just one more reason to chill out!

Read More
What Really Happens When You Yo-Yo Diet
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?
Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calories In, Calories Out?

The post 7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism

[caption id="attachment_63233" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You might complain about the endless rush of daily life and meditate for a few minutes during the day, but there's one thing you typically don't want to slow down — your metabolism. Think of it like an engine: Your metabolism is those series of chemical reactions that convert what you eat and drink into energy that your body can use. Your metabolism is influenced by your age, sex, body size and composition. That means men typically have faster metabolic rates since they tend to carry more muscle and less body fat than women. Your metabolism also decreases with age (more on that below). While you know that sitting around all day can cause your metabolism to plummet (and exercising regularly can boost it), there are other simple things you may be doing to clog your engine. Here are seven ways that you’re slowing down your metabolism. RELATED: How to Boost Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

7 Common Mistakes That Slow Down Your Metabolism

1. Fasting for too long.

While you probably have heard that skipping meals isn’t great for your metabolism, leaving big gaps between your meals doesn’t help either, says Lauren Antonucci, RDN, owner of Nutrition Energy and certified sports dietitian. “You get a thermic boost every time you eat. Your metabolism revs up to process the food you’re eating,” she says. But when you eat breakfast at 5 a.m., lunch at 4 p.m., and dinner at 9 p.m., you’re not doing your metabolism any favors. Instead, Antonucci suggests eating every two to three hours to keep your metabolism humming. All about intermittent fasting? While it can help decrease your calorie consumption, the drawback is that if it isn’t done with correct guidance, it can lead to unhealthy eating choices and weight gain. Our recommendation: Call in the pros.

2. Avoiding the weight room.

You’ve heard over and over that muscles burn more calories — and it’s true. Studies have found that strength training revs your resting metabolism rate. That also explains why your metabolic rate declines, as you get older. “Your muscle mass decreases over time because you’re typically not doing as much resistance training,” says Antonucci. Schedule regular strength training sessions as part of your workout schedule.

3. Eating inconsistent daily meals.

If you eat breakfast first thing in the morning some days and don’t eat until lunch on other days, then you might be wrecking your metabolism. Whether you eat three meals a day or nine seems like it should be NBD, but a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that an irregular meal schedule might negatively affect your metabolic health. Instead, aim to eat a consistent number and schedule of meals each day. RELATED: 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

4. Not eating enough.

If you want to lose weight, you should just eat less, right? It’s not quite that simple. Antonucci says that chronically dieting or consistently eating just a little less than what your body needs, whether inadvertently or on purpose, can wreak havoc on your metabolism. She sees this often in her athletes, especially those training for endurance events like Ironman triathlons. “Their caloric needs can be ridiculously high and they don’t eat enough,” she says, which can also lead to fatigue and injuries. “Guessing your metabolic rate is a shot in the dark,” says Antonucci. That’s why she recommends metabolic rate testing for anyone who’s having trouble losing weight or athletes who are constantly injured or fatigued. “It’s like a VO2 max test except you just sit and breathe into a mouthpiece for 15 minutes,” she says. [caption id="attachment_63236" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Skimping on your zzzz’s.

Sure, dark circles and a long-standing caffeine habit are downsides of skipping sleep, but they’re not the only ones. Researchers have found that sleep deprivation can significantly impact your metabolism — and not in a good way — by decreasing energy expenditure. Plus, when you’re sleepy, you don’t move around as much, says Antonucci. “Studies have shown that people who sleep less move less during the day. You may not exercise or you may choose to take a cab rather than walk because you’re tired,” she says. So be sure to get a full night sleep regularly! RELATED: Is Your Sleep Schedule Wrecking Your Metabolism?

6. Neglecting protein.

A calorie is a calorie, right? Not quite. Your body requires different amounts of energy to process the various macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. "The cost of processing protein is higher than the cost of processing fat,” says Antonucci. “You need protein to increase muscle mass and to fuel your metabolism.” A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a higher protein diet increased resting energy expenditure. But Antonucci also advises that it’s not a license to eat only protein. A balance of macronutrients is key. “You need enough carbs to have enough energy to move through the day. And you need enough good fats to keep you satiated,” she says.

7. Stressing out.

You know that stress is bad for your health, but it turns out that it’s also bad for your metabolic rate. Researchers from Ohio State University found that stress affected how women metabolized food. Those who experience one or more stressful events the day before eating a high-fat meal burned 104 fewer calories in the hours following the meal compared to the non-stressed women. While that may not seem like a lot, researchers said that over the course of a year, that could mean an 11-pound weight gain. Just one more reason to chill out! Read More What Really Happens When You Yo-Yo Diet Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight? Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calories In, Calories Out?

The post 7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Can HIIT Give You the Same High as Running? https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hiit-endorphins-runners-high/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hiit-endorphins-runners-high/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:15:40 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=61832

[caption id="attachment_61838" align="alignnone" width="620"]Can HIIT Give You the Same Endorphins Release as Running? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

There are many reasons you exercise, but none is more enticing than the buzzy bliss that comes from a satisfying sweat session. After all, mood-boosting endorphins — aka your body’s built-in pain killers — are one of the main sells of long runs. But is the so-called runner’s high exclusive just to running?

While most forms of exercise will release endorphins, the path to happy will differ. According to recent research published in Neuropsychopharmacology, the flow of these feel-good molecules depends on exercise intensity and plays a unique role in how we perceive our workouts.

RELATED: Endorphins and the Truth About Why Exercise Makes You Happy

A HIIT of Endorphins

Researchers at the University of Turku in Finland studied the effects of different types of exercise on endorphin release and mood. As your body’s natural opioid, endorphins are neurotransmitters that activate your brain’s reward system and minimize pain.

Participants of the study underwent three position emission tomography (PET) scans to illustrate brain functioning before and after exercise. They did one at rest, one after an hour of moderate-intensity exercise and another one after a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session. What they found was that HIIT significantly increased the flow of endorphins in the brain, particularly to the areas that control pain and emotions. But interestingly, moderate-intensity aerobic session didn’t.

Tina Saanijoki, one of the researchers of the study, says, this is one of the first studies of its kind. “No studies have compared opioid release after moderate and high-intensity exercise at the brain level." She says, “The finding that HIIT led to opioid release didn’t surprise us, but we were somewhat surprised that in the group level, we didn’t observe opioid release after one-hour of aerobic exercise.”

RELATED: HIIT It Hard with These 25 Workouts and Tips

Runner's High: Is It All in Your Head?

Surprisingly, researchers discovered that the moderate-intensity aerobic work left participants feeling euphoric, even though there wasn’t a flood of the neurochemicals in the brain. Which begs the question: Is runner’s high all in our heads? Saanijoki says, “Runner’s high is a subjective experience, and we don’t have a scientific determination, criteria or a measure for it.” So if you don’t get that glowing feeling post-10K, you’re not alone. “The description of runner’s high varies considerably between people who have experienced it, and even then, they don’t get there every time,” she explains.

Meanwhile, while the HIIT participants showed a measurable endorphin rush, they experienced a rush of negative feelings, too. Participants reported exhaustion, irritation and lack of energy. Instead of the typical post-workout glow, the intense bout of exercise caused the exact opposite effect.

RELATED: 7 HIIT Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Understanding the Endorphin Rush

The findings suggest that endorphins can have a dual effect on your body and mind, depending on the intensity of your workout. “[Endorphins] appear to be involved in positive emotions at moderate intensities and in modulating negative emotions and perhaps pain at very high intensities,” Saanijoki says. “The opioid release after HIIT likely is the body’s protection response to this physically and emotionally stressful situation.” Which makes sense. Who hasn’t felt like keeling over after a killer AMRAP workout?

RELATED: 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

Since feeling like death post-workout isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, hit up a HIIT session with caution, especially if you’re just starting to exercise or struggling to keep up your gym habit. In that case, a moderate-intensity aerobic session may be a better fit. You may be more motivated to come back for the feel-good vibes that accompany those workouts.

Read More
5 HIIT Exercises to Boost Your VO2 Max
Air Bike: The HIIT Workout That’ll Leave You Breathless
20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit, Fast

The post Can HIIT Give You the Same High as Running? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_61838" align="alignnone" width="620"]Can HIIT Give You the Same Endorphins Release as Running? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] There are many reasons you exercise, but none is more enticing than the buzzy bliss that comes from a satisfying sweat session. After all, mood-boosting endorphins — aka your body’s built-in pain killers — are one of the main sells of long runs. But is the so-called runner’s high exclusive just to running? While most forms of exercise will release endorphins, the path to happy will differ. According to recent research published in Neuropsychopharmacology, the flow of these feel-good molecules depends on exercise intensity and plays a unique role in how we perceive our workouts. RELATED: Endorphins and the Truth About Why Exercise Makes You Happy

A HIIT of Endorphins

Researchers at the University of Turku in Finland studied the effects of different types of exercise on endorphin release and mood. As your body’s natural opioid, endorphins are neurotransmitters that activate your brain’s reward system and minimize pain. Participants of the study underwent three position emission tomography (PET) scans to illustrate brain functioning before and after exercise. They did one at rest, one after an hour of moderate-intensity exercise and another one after a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session. What they found was that HIIT significantly increased the flow of endorphins in the brain, particularly to the areas that control pain and emotions. But interestingly, moderate-intensity aerobic session didn’t. Tina Saanijoki, one of the researchers of the study, says, this is one of the first studies of its kind. “No studies have compared opioid release after moderate and high-intensity exercise at the brain level." She says, “The finding that HIIT led to opioid release didn’t surprise us, but we were somewhat surprised that in the group level, we didn’t observe opioid release after one-hour of aerobic exercise.” RELATED: HIIT It Hard with These 25 Workouts and Tips

Runner's High: Is It All in Your Head?

Surprisingly, researchers discovered that the moderate-intensity aerobic work left participants feeling euphoric, even though there wasn’t a flood of the neurochemicals in the brain. Which begs the question: Is runner’s high all in our heads? Saanijoki says, “Runner’s high is a subjective experience, and we don’t have a scientific determination, criteria or a measure for it.” So if you don’t get that glowing feeling post-10K, you’re not alone. “The description of runner’s high varies considerably between people who have experienced it, and even then, they don’t get there every time,” she explains. Meanwhile, while the HIIT participants showed a measurable endorphin rush, they experienced a rush of negative feelings, too. Participants reported exhaustion, irritation and lack of energy. Instead of the typical post-workout glow, the intense bout of exercise caused the exact opposite effect. RELATED: 7 HIIT Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Understanding the Endorphin Rush

The findings suggest that endorphins can have a dual effect on your body and mind, depending on the intensity of your workout. “[Endorphins] appear to be involved in positive emotions at moderate intensities and in modulating negative emotions and perhaps pain at very high intensities,” Saanijoki says. “The opioid release after HIIT likely is the body’s protection response to this physically and emotionally stressful situation.” Which makes sense. Who hasn’t felt like keeling over after a killer AMRAP workout? RELATED: 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now Since feeling like death post-workout isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, hit up a HIIT session with caution, especially if you’re just starting to exercise or struggling to keep up your gym habit. In that case, a moderate-intensity aerobic session may be a better fit. You may be more motivated to come back for the feel-good vibes that accompany those workouts. Read More 5 HIIT Exercises to Boost Your VO2 Max Air Bike: The HIIT Workout That’ll Leave You Breathless 20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit, Fast

The post Can HIIT Give You the Same High as Running? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-for-beginners-kundalini-yin-bikram/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-for-beginners-kundalini-yin-bikram/#comments Sat, 16 Sep 2017 12:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42234 Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

[caption id="attachment_42250" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

You’ve decided to finally start doing yoga — but after Googling classes in your area, your head is spinning. Should you try Ashtanga or Iyengar? And what’s the difference between hot yoga and Vinyasa? The array of options can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good.

But here’s why you shouldn’t be scared: Like cross training, incorporating a variety of types of yoga into your regular practice can help keep you balanced, says Nikki Vilella, senior teacher at Kula Yoga Project and co-owner of Kula Williamsburg. “Try a few different studios, teachers and styles. Then, stick with the one that resonates with you for a good amount of time and be dedicated to the practice,” says Vilella. “The first day you don’t like a class shouldn’t be a reason to bolt and try something new.”

RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap

Yoga isn’t necessarily a ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice, either. Different types of yoga might be best for different people. “A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old probably don’t need the same things,” Vilella says. “Someone who is hyper-mobile and flexible doesn’t need the same thing as someone who’s muscular and stiff.”

So with all the choices out there, where do you start? Don’t lose your ujjayi breath (that’s yogi speak for calming inhales and exhales). We’ve got your definitive list of classes that specialize in yoga for beginners — plus tips for identifying the style you might like best.

Yoga for Beginners: The 9 Types You Need to Know 

[caption id="attachment_42252" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Hatha Yoga

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures. “It’s a practice of the body, a physical practice that balances these two energies. So, in reality, it is all hatha yoga,” Vilella says.

Best for: Beginners. Because of its slower pace, hatha is a great class if you’re just starting your yoga practice.

RELATED: Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout for Your Brain?

[caption id="attachment_54656" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Woom Center Immersive Yoga Photo: Asi Zeevi / The Woom Center Immersive Yoga [/caption]

2. Vinyasa Yoga

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. In most classes, you won’t linger long in each pose and the pace can be quick, so be prepared for your heart rate to rise. Teachers will often pump music, matching the beats to the sequences of the poses.

Best for: HIIT lovers. Intense exercisers might enjoy Vinyasa because of its faster pace. Runners and endurance athletes are also drawn to Vinyasa class because of the continuous movement.

[caption id="attachment_57926" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo courtesy of Emily Adams / Bend & Bloom Yoga[/caption]

3. Iyengar Yoga

Here you’ll get nit-picky about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, from yoga blocks and blankets to straps or a ropes wall, will become your new best friend, helping you to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. If you’re new to Iyengar, even if you’ve practiced other types of yoga, it’s good to start with a level one class to familiarize yourself with the technique.

Best for: Detail-oriented yogis. If you like to geek out about anatomy, movement and form, you’ll love Iyengar — teachers share a wealth of information during class. Iyengar can also be practiced at any age and is great for those with injuries (though you should consult with a doctor first), Vilella notes.

RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga

[caption id="attachment_42253" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Ashtanga Yoga

If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. Some studios will have a teacher calling out the poses, while Mysore style classes (a subset of Ashtanga) require you to perform the series on your own. (But don’t worry — there will always be a teacher in the room to offer assistance if you need it.)

Best for: Type-A folks. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll like Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines.

START YOUR FREE TRIAL: Try Daily Burn's Yoga Made Simple

[caption id="attachment_37363" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: Guide to Every Type of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Bikram Yoga

"All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do."

Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. Remember, the vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand.

Best for: People who gravitate toward a set routine. Those who are newer to yoga might like Bikram because of its predictable sequence.

RELATED: How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out

[caption id="attachment_52505" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: Guide to Every Type of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence. While the heat will make you feel like you can move deeper into some poses compared to a non-heated class, it can be easy to overstretch, so don’t push beyond your capacity.

Best for: Hardcore sweat lovers. If you love a tough workout that will leave you drenched, sign up for a beginner-friendly heated class.

[caption id="attachment_42256" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. Kundalini Yoga

Celebrity devotees including actor Russell Brand and author Gabrielle Bernstein have given Kundalini a cult-like following. Yet, this physically and mentally challenging practice looks very different from your typical yoga class. You’ll perform kriyas — repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. The goal? To break through your internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing within you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness.

Best for: People looking for a spiritual practice. Those who are seeking something more than a workout may enjoy Kundalini due to its emphasis on the internal aspects of yoga, including breath work, meditation and spiritual energy.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate

[caption id="attachment_61598" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

8. Yin Yoga

If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is where you’ll find your zen. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. This meditative practice is designed to target your deeper connective tissues and fascia, restoring length and elasticity. You’ll use props so your body can release into the posture instead of actively flexing or engaging the muscles. Like meditation, it may make you feel antsy at first, but stick with it for a few classes and its restorative powers might have you hooked.

Best for: People who need to stretch and unwind. Keep in mind, Yin yoga is not recommended for people who are super flexible (you might overdo it in some poses) or anyone who has a connective tissue disorder, Vilella says.

RELATED: 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

 

[caption id="attachment_61818" align="alignnone" width="620"] Restorative Yoga Photo: Courtesy of Alexis Novak[/caption]

9. Restorative Yoga

While it may feel like you’re not doing much in a restorative yoga class…that’s the point. The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose.

Best for: Everyone. In particular, Vilella says it’s a good yoga practice for anyone who has a hard time slowing down, who has experienced insomnia or who struggles with anxiety. It’s also great for athletes on recovery days.

Ready to try yoga? Head to DailyBurn.com/YogaMadeSimple for a free 30-day trial. 

Originally published August 2015. Updated September 2017. 

Read More
50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game
8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain
Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

[caption id="attachment_42250" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption] You’ve decided to finally start doing yoga — but after Googling classes in your area, your head is spinning. Should you try Ashtanga or Iyengar? And what’s the difference between hot yoga and Vinyasa? The array of options can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good. But here’s why you shouldn’t be scared: Like cross training, incorporating a variety of types of yoga into your regular practice can help keep you balanced, says Nikki Vilella, senior teacher at Kula Yoga Project and co-owner of Kula Williamsburg. “Try a few different studios, teachers and styles. Then, stick with the one that resonates with you for a good amount of time and be dedicated to the practice,” says Vilella. “The first day you don’t like a class shouldn’t be a reason to bolt and try something new.” RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap Yoga isn’t necessarily a ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice, either. Different types of yoga might be best for different people. “A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old probably don’t need the same things,” Vilella says. “Someone who is hyper-mobile and flexible doesn’t need the same thing as someone who’s muscular and stiff.” So with all the choices out there, where do you start? Don’t lose your ujjayi breath (that’s yogi speak for calming inhales and exhales). We’ve got your definitive list of classes that specialize in yoga for beginners — plus tips for identifying the style you might like best.

Yoga for Beginners: The 9 Types You Need to Know 

[caption id="attachment_42252" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Hatha Yoga

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures. “It’s a practice of the body, a physical practice that balances these two energies. So, in reality, it is all hatha yoga,” Vilella says. Best for: Beginners. Because of its slower pace, hatha is a great class if you’re just starting your yoga practice. RELATED: Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout for Your Brain? [caption id="attachment_54656" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Woom Center Immersive Yoga Photo: Asi Zeevi / The Woom Center Immersive Yoga [/caption]

2. Vinyasa Yoga

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. In most classes, you won’t linger long in each pose and the pace can be quick, so be prepared for your heart rate to rise. Teachers will often pump music, matching the beats to the sequences of the poses. Best for: HIIT lovers. Intense exercisers might enjoy Vinyasa because of its faster pace. Runners and endurance athletes are also drawn to Vinyasa class because of the continuous movement. [caption id="attachment_57926" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo courtesy of Emily Adams / Bend & Bloom Yoga[/caption]

3. Iyengar Yoga

Here you’ll get nit-picky about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, from yoga blocks and blankets to straps or a ropes wall, will become your new best friend, helping you to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. If you’re new to Iyengar, even if you’ve practiced other types of yoga, it’s good to start with a level one class to familiarize yourself with the technique. Best for: Detail-oriented yogis. If you like to geek out about anatomy, movement and form, you’ll love Iyengar — teachers share a wealth of information during class. Iyengar can also be practiced at any age and is great for those with injuries (though you should consult with a doctor first), Vilella notes. RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga [caption id="attachment_42253" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Ashtanga Yoga

If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. Some studios will have a teacher calling out the poses, while Mysore style classes (a subset of Ashtanga) require you to perform the series on your own. (But don’t worry — there will always be a teacher in the room to offer assistance if you need it.) Best for: Type-A folks. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll like Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines. START YOUR FREE TRIAL: Try Daily Burn's Yoga Made Simple [caption id="attachment_37363" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: Guide to Every Type of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Bikram Yoga

"All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do."
Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. Remember, the vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand. Best for: People who gravitate toward a set routine. Those who are newer to yoga might like Bikram because of its predictable sequence. RELATED: How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out [caption id="attachment_52505" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: Guide to Every Type of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence. While the heat will make you feel like you can move deeper into some poses compared to a non-heated class, it can be easy to overstretch, so don’t push beyond your capacity. Best for: Hardcore sweat lovers. If you love a tough workout that will leave you drenched, sign up for a beginner-friendly heated class. [caption id="attachment_42256" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. Kundalini Yoga

Celebrity devotees including actor Russell Brand and author Gabrielle Bernstein have given Kundalini a cult-like following. Yet, this physically and mentally challenging practice looks very different from your typical yoga class. You’ll perform kriyas — repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. The goal? To break through your internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing within you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness. Best for: People looking for a spiritual practice. Those who are seeking something more than a workout may enjoy Kundalini due to its emphasis on the internal aspects of yoga, including breath work, meditation and spiritual energy. RELATED: 7 Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate [caption id="attachment_61598" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

8. Yin Yoga

If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is where you’ll find your zen. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. This meditative practice is designed to target your deeper connective tissues and fascia, restoring length and elasticity. You’ll use props so your body can release into the posture instead of actively flexing or engaging the muscles. Like meditation, it may make you feel antsy at first, but stick with it for a few classes and its restorative powers might have you hooked. Best for: People who need to stretch and unwind. Keep in mind, Yin yoga is not recommended for people who are super flexible (you might overdo it in some poses) or anyone who has a connective tissue disorder, Vilella says. RELATED: 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do   [caption id="attachment_61818" align="alignnone" width="620"] Restorative Yoga Photo: Courtesy of Alexis Novak[/caption]

9. Restorative Yoga

While it may feel like you’re not doing much in a restorative yoga class…that’s the point. The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose. Best for: Everyone. In particular, Vilella says it’s a good yoga practice for anyone who has a hard time slowing down, who has experienced insomnia or who struggles with anxiety. It’s also great for athletes on recovery days. Ready to try yoga? Head to DailyBurn.com/YogaMadeSimple for a free 30-day trial.  Originally published August 2015. Updated September 2017.  Read More 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game 8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Is Your Workout Messing with Your Gut? https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/exercise-gut-health-study-080717/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/exercise-gut-health-study-080717/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 15:15:00 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60832 Is Exercise Messing With Your Gut?

[caption id="attachment_60835" align="alignnone" width="620"]Is Exercise Messing With Your Gut? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You know that a heart-pumping workout is good for your body and mind. But if your sweat sesh leaves you with an upset stomach or running from the streets to the bathroom, it might not be so coincidental. According to new research published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, intense exercise may actually make you more prone to gut damage.

RELATED: Is It All In Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection

Exercise and Gut Health: The New Science

Researchers from Monash University in Australia set out to review research on exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome, published over the last 20 years. They wanted to determine if — and how — exercise impacts digestive health and function.

What they found: As exercise duration and intensity increased, so did the risk of damage to the GI tract. So not only does the stress of exercise slow digestion and make you feel bloated or nauseous, it can also make your gut more leaky. Though experts are still investigating leaky gut syndrome, it’s said to allow bad bacteria to escape out of the gut and into the bloodstream, which can cause a variety of health problems.

While low-to-moderate physical activity may help with a healthy microbiome (especially for those with irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease), there’s a line between the beneficial and the not-so-beneficial. In fact, researchers found a tipping point where things start to go amiss.

RELATED: 7 Ways Exercise Helps Relieve Back Pain

When Exercise Starts to Harm Gut Health

“Two hours at 60 percent VO2 max, or the equivalent, is the point whereby all aspects of gut disturbance is consistently significant,” says Ricardo Costa, PhD, lead author of the review. And it doesn’t matter if you’re an elite athlete or training for your first marathon. “Fitness status is irrelevant. Fitter athletes can push themselves harder and create more damage,” he says. Running or exercising in temperatures higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit doesn’t help either. Both could make the symptoms worse.

So what’s an endurance junkie to do? The study’s recommendations include properly hydrating before and during exercise, as well as avoiding certain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can irritate your belly. Since the effects of exercise on digestive health can vary by person, Costa also advises an individual assessment. “A gut challenge assessment during exercise is advised to determine the extent of individual gut perturbations,” says Costa. “This will also advise feeding strategies during exercise,” which may help protect against symptoms.

While the study serves up some compelling links between exercise and digestive health, further research is needed to determine the best strategies for preventing and managing exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome. So don’t stop signing up for those fall races. Your body will still benefit.

Read More:
A Runner’s Guide to Hydration (And How to Not Overdo It)
How Healthy Is Your Gut? Here’s How to Tell
6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip

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Is Exercise Messing With Your Gut?

[caption id="attachment_60835" align="alignnone" width="620"]Is Exercise Messing With Your Gut? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You know that a heart-pumping workout is good for your body and mind. But if your sweat sesh leaves you with an upset stomach or running from the streets to the bathroom, it might not be so coincidental. According to new research published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, intense exercise may actually make you more prone to gut damage. RELATED: Is It All In Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection

Exercise and Gut Health: The New Science

Researchers from Monash University in Australia set out to review research on exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome, published over the last 20 years. They wanted to determine if — and how — exercise impacts digestive health and function. What they found: As exercise duration and intensity increased, so did the risk of damage to the GI tract. So not only does the stress of exercise slow digestion and make you feel bloated or nauseous, it can also make your gut more leaky. Though experts are still investigating leaky gut syndrome, it’s said to allow bad bacteria to escape out of the gut and into the bloodstream, which can cause a variety of health problems. While low-to-moderate physical activity may help with a healthy microbiome (especially for those with irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease), there’s a line between the beneficial and the not-so-beneficial. In fact, researchers found a tipping point where things start to go amiss. RELATED: 7 Ways Exercise Helps Relieve Back Pain

When Exercise Starts to Harm Gut Health

“Two hours at 60 percent VO2 max, or the equivalent, is the point whereby all aspects of gut disturbance is consistently significant,” says Ricardo Costa, PhD, lead author of the review. And it doesn’t matter if you’re an elite athlete or training for your first marathon. “Fitness status is irrelevant. Fitter athletes can push themselves harder and create more damage,” he says. Running or exercising in temperatures higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit doesn’t help either. Both could make the symptoms worse. So what’s an endurance junkie to do? The study’s recommendations include properly hydrating before and during exercise, as well as avoiding certain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can irritate your belly. Since the effects of exercise on digestive health can vary by person, Costa also advises an individual assessment. “A gut challenge assessment during exercise is advised to determine the extent of individual gut perturbations,” says Costa. “This will also advise feeding strategies during exercise,” which may help protect against symptoms. While the study serves up some compelling links between exercise and digestive health, further research is needed to determine the best strategies for preventing and managing exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome. So don’t stop signing up for those fall races. Your body will still benefit. Read More: A Runner’s Guide to Hydration (And How to Not Overdo It) How Healthy Is Your Gut? Here’s How to Tell 6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip

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Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You? https://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/oxygen-therapy-bars-benefits/ https://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/oxygen-therapy-bars-benefits/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:15:06 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60739 Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too?

[caption id="attachment_60741" align="alignnone" width="620"]Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Tired, stressed, run-down. Rinse and repeat. For most of us, this is the soundtrack of our busy, busy lives. But luckily, there are a number of quick pick-me-ups available at our fingertips. From drop-in meditation classes to IV treatments to power naps, you can recharge your batteries in less than half an hour. The latest remedy? Just breathe.

That’s right. Oxygen bars are back. The trend that started back in the mid-nineties has made a comeback, thanks in part to portable canisters and celebrity champions like Gwyneth Paltrow. Wellness junkies had a chance to chill out with some oxygen therapy at The Goop Wellness Summit this past June. Fans say that a few puffs of “pure” oxygen will lead to boosted energy, better sleep, improved concentration and less stress.

Wait, don’t you already breathe in oxygen all day every day? Here’s what you need to know about getting an extra boost with recreational oxygen therapy.

RELATED: For Better Workouts, Just Add Oxygen?

The Oxygen Bubble Effect

The idea is simple: Saddle up to an oxygen bar or buy a canister of portable oxygen and inhale highly concentrated O2 — 90+ percent oxygen. Instead of inhaling the 21 percent of oxygen in the everyday air you breathe in, proponents claim that this heftier dose delivers more oxygen to your muscles, brain and cells. More oxygen means a better range of health benefits that make you feel good.

But the truth is your body is already at full oxygen-carrying capacity. Oxygen enters through the lungs and into the bloodstream, where it hitches a ride on the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. “If you have normal lungs at sea level, your hemoglobin is essentially saturated with oxygen. Taking in more is not going to increase the amount of oxygen carried by the blood by any significant amount,” says Dr. Norman Edelman, Senior Scientific Advisor with the American Lung Association and Professor of Preventative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. “It’s unlikely there is a physiological effect. You’re not delivering more oxygen to the brain or muscles.”

There’s one case where supplemental oxygen may be helpful, says Edelman. And that’s after vigorous exercise. “After a football player makes a long, hard run, he goes to the sidelines, picks up a mask and breathes in some oxygen,” he says. Edelman explains that during a hard workout, physiological changes occur that stimulates your body to breathe more. “After vigorous exercise, [extra] oxygen may make you feel better,” he says.

While there is some scientific research on the effect of supplemental oxygen on athletic performance, the jury’s still out.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Running at High Altitude

[caption id="attachment_60743" align="alignnone" width="620"]Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Oxygen Therapy: Is It Just Hot Air?

It may seem like there’s no harm in breathing concentrated air, but Edelman notes that oxygen is an irritant. While most oxygen therapy sessions last 15 to 20 minutes, longer sessions could irritate and inflame the mucus membranes lining your respiratory system.

Plus, recreational oxygen often comes in scented or flavored varieties. Since oxygen bars and portable oxygen isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it’s hard to say what’s exactly pumped out through those nose tubes and canisters. Edelman cautions that those with allergies or asthma may react to artificial or strong scents. And those with lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis should probably steer clear, too.

RELATED: Infrared Saunas Are Hot Right Now. But Are They Safe?

For those who do claim to feel better after a dose of oxygen? You might be just experiencing a placebo effect. “It may give a sense of euphoria and if it does, I don’t know how it does that,” says Edelman.

A better, cheaper alternative? Step away from your computer, take a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air.

Read More
IV Vitamin Therapy: Inside the Celeb Wellness Trend
Why's Everyone Drinking Lemon Water? Experts Weigh In
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too?

[caption id="attachment_60741" align="alignnone" width="620"]Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Tired, stressed, run-down. Rinse and repeat. For most of us, this is the soundtrack of our busy, busy lives. But luckily, there are a number of quick pick-me-ups available at our fingertips. From drop-in meditation classes to IV treatments to power naps, you can recharge your batteries in less than half an hour. The latest remedy? Just breathe. That’s right. Oxygen bars are back. The trend that started back in the mid-nineties has made a comeback, thanks in part to portable canisters and celebrity champions like Gwyneth Paltrow. Wellness junkies had a chance to chill out with some oxygen therapy at The Goop Wellness Summit this past June. Fans say that a few puffs of “pure” oxygen will lead to boosted energy, better sleep, improved concentration and less stress. Wait, don’t you already breathe in oxygen all day every day? Here’s what you need to know about getting an extra boost with recreational oxygen therapy. RELATED: For Better Workouts, Just Add Oxygen?

The Oxygen Bubble Effect

The idea is simple: Saddle up to an oxygen bar or buy a canister of portable oxygen and inhale highly concentrated O2 — 90+ percent oxygen. Instead of inhaling the 21 percent of oxygen in the everyday air you breathe in, proponents claim that this heftier dose delivers more oxygen to your muscles, brain and cells. More oxygen means a better range of health benefits that make you feel good. But the truth is your body is already at full oxygen-carrying capacity. Oxygen enters through the lungs and into the bloodstream, where it hitches a ride on the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. “If you have normal lungs at sea level, your hemoglobin is essentially saturated with oxygen. Taking in more is not going to increase the amount of oxygen carried by the blood by any significant amount,” says Dr. Norman Edelman, Senior Scientific Advisor with the American Lung Association and Professor of Preventative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. “It’s unlikely there is a physiological effect. You’re not delivering more oxygen to the brain or muscles.” There’s one case where supplemental oxygen may be helpful, says Edelman. And that’s after vigorous exercise. “After a football player makes a long, hard run, he goes to the sidelines, picks up a mask and breathes in some oxygen,” he says. Edelman explains that during a hard workout, physiological changes occur that stimulates your body to breathe more. “After vigorous exercise, [extra] oxygen may make you feel better,” he says. While there is some scientific research on the effect of supplemental oxygen on athletic performance, the jury’s still out. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Running at High Altitude [caption id="attachment_60743" align="alignnone" width="620"]Celebs Are Getting Energy Boosts from Oxygen Therapy, Should You Too? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Oxygen Therapy: Is It Just Hot Air?

It may seem like there’s no harm in breathing concentrated air, but Edelman notes that oxygen is an irritant. While most oxygen therapy sessions last 15 to 20 minutes, longer sessions could irritate and inflame the mucus membranes lining your respiratory system. Plus, recreational oxygen often comes in scented or flavored varieties. Since oxygen bars and portable oxygen isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it’s hard to say what’s exactly pumped out through those nose tubes and canisters. Edelman cautions that those with allergies or asthma may react to artificial or strong scents. And those with lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis should probably steer clear, too. RELATED: Infrared Saunas Are Hot Right Now. But Are They Safe? For those who do claim to feel better after a dose of oxygen? You might be just experiencing a placebo effect. “It may give a sense of euphoria and if it does, I don’t know how it does that,” says Edelman. A better, cheaper alternative? Step away from your computer, take a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air. Read More IV Vitamin Therapy: Inside the Celeb Wellness Trend Why's Everyone Drinking Lemon Water? Experts Weigh In Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

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What Is Transcendental Meditation (and Does It Work)? https://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/transcendental-meditation-benefits/ https://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/transcendental-meditation-benefits/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 11:15:25 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60691 What Is Transcendental Meditation (and How Does It Work)?

[caption id="attachment_60703" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Is Transcendental Meditation (and How Does It Work)? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Katie Karlson wanted to start a meditation practice, but couldn’t find the right fit. Mindfulness meditation didn’t work for her. Neither did focusing on her breath, which just made her anxiety worse. Guided meditations helped, but Karlson wanted something she could do on her own without relying on a tool or app.

So when her boss, who happens to be spiritual guru Gabrielle Bernstein, wrote about her experience learning transcendental meditation (aka TM), the 34-year old from Ann Arbor, MI was sold.

RELATED: 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen

While Karlson didn’t expect TM to be a cure-all, she says it’s taught her to quiet the physical symptoms of her anxiety and to find a calmer state of mind in her daily life. Plus, now she can literally breathe. “Since I’ve practiced TM, I noticed pretty quickly that I could take a full breath in a situation where my anxiety was spiked or heightened. That’s not something I could do before,” she says. “It’s a beautiful ritual to start the day. It’s energizing and I feel more awake.”

Karlson isn’t the only one to swear by the profound effects of transcendental meditation. Devotees include celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz and Oprah, titans of Wall Street, the Beatles and the wellness-obsessed.

But TM is cloaked in a bit of mystery. What exactly is transcendental meditation and how does it differ from other forms of meditation? Here’s what you need to know.

RELATED: How Yoga in a Salt Room Helped Me Deal with Anxiety

Desperately Seeking Transcendence

As you may have noticed, meditation is everywhere. With the constant binging, beeping and noise in our everyday lives, who wouldn’t want a super-easy way to find quiet and peace?

That’s the promise of TM. Twice a day, you close your eyes, sit comfortably for 20 minutes and silently repeat a mantra or meaningless word in your head. The mantra is specially chosen for you by your TM teacher to access an internal state of calm.

Bob Roth, Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation — an organization that promotes the practice of TM — describes it as a way to tap into the deep levels of the mind. He likens it to diving into the depths of the ocean where it is still and quiet, far below the breaking waves and turbulent surface of the water. That’s where TM takes you.

But the practice isn’t tied to a specific religion or philosophy, and you don’t have to change your diet or lifestyle. In fact, you don’t need to believe in the practice in order for it to work, says Roth.

“I found more peace, clarity of mind and energy. Stress affected me much less.”

John Allon was skeptical when he first learned about transcendental meditation during his senior year of college. He visited his younger brother who has recently learned the practice and noticed his subtle transformation. “I didn’t know meditation from a hole in the ground but whatever he had, I wanted a taste of it,” he says. After a weekend on a TM retreat, he came back to school and smiled the entire week. “I was in such a state of euphoria the likes of which I had never experienced before,” Allon says, who now lives in Fairfield, Iowa and has been teaching TM for 46 years. “I found more peace, clarity of mind and energy. Stress affected me much less.”

RELATED: 3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher

Transcendental Meditation: The Power of Positive Mantras

But doesn’t that sound like the promise of every other type of meditation? Yes and no. Roth says that there are three unique types of meditation, each with its specific purpose.

With focused attention meditation, like zen meditation, you concentrate on one specific thing — a sound, a body part, a picture — in order to train and clear your mind. With open-monitoring techniques like mindfulness meditation, you teach your mind to dispassionately observe your thoughts or body sensations and stay in the present moment. This can also be a helpful coping mechanism. Both of these meditation practices require controlling the mind to a certain extent.

In contrast, self-transcending practices, like TM, don’t involve concentrating or training of your mind. It’s effortless, says Roth. “The repetition of the mantra isn’t to focus your attention or blot out other thoughts. It’s a subtle mechanism to turn your attention within,” he says. That inward focus allows you to settle into a natural state of calm alertness. In other words, you have a transcendent experience.

RELATED: The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror

“When you access that level during TM, you experience a profound rest that eliminates the build up of deeply rooted stress and tension, improves health and wakes up and improves the cognitive function of the brain.” Research has found that TM reduced blood pressure, cortisol levels and even stress and trauma in populations like male inmates.

The other difference? You learn the practice in-person with a certified TM teacher. No YouTube video, online course, book or app necessary. To get started, you attend an introductory workshop, meet privately with an instructor (who gives you your mantra and teaches you to use it properly) and take a four-day course — all for close to $1,000.

Some scoff at the high price tag as a money-making scheme. However, the Maharishi Foundation USA, a nonprofit organization that teaches TM, claims that proceeds go to support initiatives to teach TM to under-served populations. (Think: at-risk youth, veterans and those involved in the criminal justice system.)

Is Transcendental Meditation Right for You?

Whether you practice TM, mindfulness-based meditation or focused attention, there’s no denying that meditation is a good thing with benefits for your physical and mental health. If you’re curious about transcendental meditation and have the resources to invest, you could try it for yourself.

Just remember, finding the right meditation practice for you can be like finding the glass slipper. You may have to try a few different methods before you find the best fit.

Read More
The 5-Minute App That Makes Mindfulness Easy
Meditation Meets Hits in a New Mindful Fitness Approach
30 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

The post What Is Transcendental Meditation (and Does It Work)? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
What Is Transcendental Meditation (and How Does It Work)?

[caption id="attachment_60703" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Is Transcendental Meditation (and How Does It Work)? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Katie Karlson wanted to start a meditation practice, but couldn’t find the right fit. Mindfulness meditation didn’t work for her. Neither did focusing on her breath, which just made her anxiety worse. Guided meditations helped, but Karlson wanted something she could do on her own without relying on a tool or app. So when her boss, who happens to be spiritual guru Gabrielle Bernstein, wrote about her experience learning transcendental meditation (aka TM), the 34-year old from Ann Arbor, MI was sold. RELATED: 5 Blissful Meditation Studios to Stop and Feel the Zen While Karlson didn’t expect TM to be a cure-all, she says it’s taught her to quiet the physical symptoms of her anxiety and to find a calmer state of mind in her daily life. Plus, now she can literally breathe. “Since I’ve practiced TM, I noticed pretty quickly that I could take a full breath in a situation where my anxiety was spiked or heightened. That’s not something I could do before,” she says. “It’s a beautiful ritual to start the day. It’s energizing and I feel more awake.” Karlson isn’t the only one to swear by the profound effects of transcendental meditation. Devotees include celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz and Oprah, titans of Wall Street, the Beatles and the wellness-obsessed. But TM is cloaked in a bit of mystery. What exactly is transcendental meditation and how does it differ from other forms of meditation? Here’s what you need to know. RELATED: How Yoga in a Salt Room Helped Me Deal with Anxiety

Desperately Seeking Transcendence

As you may have noticed, meditation is everywhere. With the constant binging, beeping and noise in our everyday lives, who wouldn’t want a super-easy way to find quiet and peace? That’s the promise of TM. Twice a day, you close your eyes, sit comfortably for 20 minutes and silently repeat a mantra or meaningless word in your head. The mantra is specially chosen for you by your TM teacher to access an internal state of calm. Bob Roth, Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation — an organization that promotes the practice of TM — describes it as a way to tap into the deep levels of the mind. He likens it to diving into the depths of the ocean where it is still and quiet, far below the breaking waves and turbulent surface of the water. That’s where TM takes you. But the practice isn’t tied to a specific religion or philosophy, and you don’t have to change your diet or lifestyle. In fact, you don’t need to believe in the practice in order for it to work, says Roth.
“I found more peace, clarity of mind and energy. Stress affected me much less.”
John Allon was skeptical when he first learned about transcendental meditation during his senior year of college. He visited his younger brother who has recently learned the practice and noticed his subtle transformation. “I didn’t know meditation from a hole in the ground but whatever he had, I wanted a taste of it,” he says. After a weekend on a TM retreat, he came back to school and smiled the entire week. “I was in such a state of euphoria the likes of which I had never experienced before,” Allon says, who now lives in Fairfield, Iowa and has been teaching TM for 46 years. “I found more peace, clarity of mind and energy. Stress affected me much less.” RELATED: 3 Moving Meditations to Take Your Workout Higher

Transcendental Meditation: The Power of Positive Mantras

But doesn’t that sound like the promise of every other type of meditation? Yes and no. Roth says that there are three unique types of meditation, each with its specific purpose. With focused attention meditation, like zen meditation, you concentrate on one specific thing — a sound, a body part, a picture — in order to train and clear your mind. With open-monitoring techniques like mindfulness meditation, you teach your mind to dispassionately observe your thoughts or body sensations and stay in the present moment. This can also be a helpful coping mechanism. Both of these meditation practices require controlling the mind to a certain extent. In contrast, self-transcending practices, like TM, don’t involve concentrating or training of your mind. It’s effortless, says Roth. “The repetition of the mantra isn’t to focus your attention or blot out other thoughts. It’s a subtle mechanism to turn your attention within,” he says. That inward focus allows you to settle into a natural state of calm alertness. In other words, you have a transcendent experience. RELATED: The Daily Meditation You Can Do in Front of a Mirror “When you access that level during TM, you experience a profound rest that eliminates the build up of deeply rooted stress and tension, improves health and wakes up and improves the cognitive function of the brain.” Research has found that TM reduced blood pressure, cortisol levels and even stress and trauma in populations like male inmates. The other difference? You learn the practice in-person with a certified TM teacher. No YouTube video, online course, book or app necessary. To get started, you attend an introductory workshop, meet privately with an instructor (who gives you your mantra and teaches you to use it properly) and take a four-day course — all for close to $1,000. Some scoff at the high price tag as a money-making scheme. However, the Maharishi Foundation USA, a nonprofit organization that teaches TM, claims that proceeds go to support initiatives to teach TM to under-served populations. (Think: at-risk youth, veterans and those involved in the criminal justice system.)

Is Transcendental Meditation Right for You?

Whether you practice TM, mindfulness-based meditation or focused attention, there’s no denying that meditation is a good thing with benefits for your physical and mental health. If you’re curious about transcendental meditation and have the resources to invest, you could try it for yourself. Just remember, finding the right meditation practice for you can be like finding the glass slipper. You may have to try a few different methods before you find the best fit. Read More The 5-Minute App That Makes Mindfulness Easy Meditation Meets Hits in a New Mindful Fitness Approach 30 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

The post What Is Transcendental Meditation (and Does It Work)? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Activated Charcoal: Teeth Whitening Secret or Total Scam? https://dailyburn.com/life/health/activated-charcoal-natural-teeth-whitening/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/activated-charcoal-natural-teeth-whitening/#comments Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:00:03 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=48677 Activated Charcoal: Teeth Whitening Secret or Total Scam?

[caption id="attachment_48686" align="alignnone" width="620"]Activated Charcoal: Teeth Whitening Secret or Total Scam? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

You brush your teeth and floss on the reg. You’ve tried everything from the latest toothpaste to whitening strips, gels and trays but nothing seems to give you that 100-watt smile. So what’s the best way to get gleaming pearly whites?

According to Pinterest and YouTube, the path to whiter teeth is covered in a pitch-black paste. Bloggers and vloggers claim that brushing with activated charcoal is an all-natural way to remove surface stains caused by coffee, tea or red wine without bleach or abrasives. To prove it, they’re flaunting soot-covered teeth straight out of a horror movie. The result? Fluorescent white teeth after as few as one use, proponents say.

While you may have used charcoal in your skincare and juice routine (see the pros and cons of ingesting it here), should you replace your toothpaste with the powdery black substance? We checked in with dental professionals to find out whether activated charcoal is a safe and effective way to whiten your teeth — or if it will just leave your mouth full of dust.

RELATED: Could Eating Charcoal Help You Detox?

Activated Charcoal: The Whitening Promise

“Activated charcoal has been used for many things. It’s a purifying agent that absorbs impurities,” says Dr. Mark Wolff, DDS, Professor and Chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at the New York University College of Dentistry. While you’ll find activated charcoal in air filters, traditionally, hospitals and poison control centers use it to treat accidental poisoning or a drug overdose. Unlike the bricks you use for your backyard barbecue, activated charcoal’s enormous surface area is dotted with the numerous nooks and crannies that draw in and trap toxic substances in your gut like a sponge, preventing them from being absorbed by the body by approximately 47 percent. The bad stuff is then carried out with your next bowel movement.

“Like any abrasive, we’re worried about the effects on the gums and enamel on the teeth."

More recently, though, the superfine powder has made its way to the health and beauty market, popping up in everything from face masks to cleaners to detox regimens. And the latest body part to get the black magic treatment is your smile. After all, if activated charcoal can remove toxins from our body and skin, can’t it remove those pesky stains from your teeth and get them squeaky clean?

Is Black the New White?

Proponents say yes. And the prescription is simple: First, break open capsules of activated charcoal, mix the powder with water, then brush the thick black paste directly onto your teeth. Others recommend swishing the powder around in your mouth or using a special toothpaste containing charcoal. After three to five minutes, rinse away the charcoal (and stains) and voilà! Whiter teeth. In theory, at least…

Your teeth may become discolored due to a variety of factors from poor dental hygiene to the food you eat to just getting older. “If you eat a blueberry, it could stain it blue,” says Dr. Wolff. “Those are the types of stains that they think if you brush with charcoal, you can clean off.”

But Minneapolis-based dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association Dr. Kim Harms, DDS says to hold off. “There’s no evidence at all that activated charcoal does any good for your teeth,” says Dr. Harms. She worries about the potential damage the grainy substance can do to your teeth and gums. “Like any abrasive, we’re worried about the effects on the gums and enamel on the teeth. We don’t know about the safety and effectiveness of it,” she says. And according to Dr. Wolff, attempts to use charcoal in toothpaste haven’t been met with tremendous success.

Dr. Harms also notes that activated charcoal shouldn’t replace everyday teeth cleaning and regular visits to the dentist. “The important part of brushing and flossing is the physical removal of plaque. The toothpaste you’re using, from a dentist’s point of view, delivers fluoride to teeth,” she says. “We’re concerned about practices where people are using products without fluoride. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and can cut tooth decay by up to 40 percent.”

Charcoal Toothpaste: The Gritty Truth 

“There’s no scientific indication that [activated charcoal] actually works and there are better options out there that do work,” says Dr. Harms. If you want a gleaming white smile, both Dr. Harms and Dr. Wolff recommend talking to your dentist about using traditional whitening toothpaste for surface stains or over-the-counter treatments for deeper stains.

“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” says Dr. Wolff. “I still recommend any of the mainstream whitening toothpastes or seeing the dentist. The mainstream whitening toothpastes are going to be safe. There are a number of products on the market that can be too abrasive.” If you do go the DIY charcoal-route, he advises using it sparingly and discontinuing its use if your teeth become sensitive.

Originally published March 2016. Updated July 20, 2017. 

Read More
Are Teatoxes the New Juice Cleanses?
I Tried Cupping Therapy and Here's What Happened
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

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Activated Charcoal: Teeth Whitening Secret or Total Scam?

[caption id="attachment_48686" align="alignnone" width="620"]Activated Charcoal: Teeth Whitening Secret or Total Scam? Photo: Pond5[/caption] You brush your teeth and floss on the reg. You’ve tried everything from the latest toothpaste to whitening strips, gels and trays but nothing seems to give you that 100-watt smile. So what’s the best way to get gleaming pearly whites? According to Pinterest and YouTube, the path to whiter teeth is covered in a pitch-black paste. Bloggers and vloggers claim that brushing with activated charcoal is an all-natural way to remove surface stains caused by coffee, tea or red wine without bleach or abrasives. To prove it, they’re flaunting soot-covered teeth straight out of a horror movie. The result? Fluorescent white teeth after as few as one use, proponents say. While you may have used charcoal in your skincare and juice routine (see the pros and cons of ingesting it here), should you replace your toothpaste with the powdery black substance? We checked in with dental professionals to find out whether activated charcoal is a safe and effective way to whiten your teeth — or if it will just leave your mouth full of dust. RELATED: Could Eating Charcoal Help You Detox?

Activated Charcoal: The Whitening Promise

“Activated charcoal has been used for many things. It’s a purifying agent that absorbs impurities,” says Dr. Mark Wolff, DDS, Professor and Chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at the New York University College of Dentistry. While you’ll find activated charcoal in air filters, traditionally, hospitals and poison control centers use it to treat accidental poisoning or a drug overdose. Unlike the bricks you use for your backyard barbecue, activated charcoal’s enormous surface area is dotted with the numerous nooks and crannies that draw in and trap toxic substances in your gut like a sponge, preventing them from being absorbed by the body by approximately 47 percent. The bad stuff is then carried out with your next bowel movement.
“Like any abrasive, we’re worried about the effects on the gums and enamel on the teeth."
More recently, though, the superfine powder has made its way to the health and beauty market, popping up in everything from face masks to cleaners to detox regimens. And the latest body part to get the black magic treatment is your smile. After all, if activated charcoal can remove toxins from our body and skin, can’t it remove those pesky stains from your teeth and get them squeaky clean?

Is Black the New White?

Proponents say yes. And the prescription is simple: First, break open capsules of activated charcoal, mix the powder with water, then brush the thick black paste directly onto your teeth. Others recommend swishing the powder around in your mouth or using a special toothpaste containing charcoal. After three to five minutes, rinse away the charcoal (and stains) and voilà! Whiter teeth. In theory, at least… Your teeth may become discolored due to a variety of factors from poor dental hygiene to the food you eat to just getting older. “If you eat a blueberry, it could stain it blue,” says Dr. Wolff. “Those are the types of stains that they think if you brush with charcoal, you can clean off.” But Minneapolis-based dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association Dr. Kim Harms, DDS says to hold off. “There’s no evidence at all that activated charcoal does any good for your teeth,” says Dr. Harms. She worries about the potential damage the grainy substance can do to your teeth and gums. “Like any abrasive, we’re worried about the effects on the gums and enamel on the teeth. We don’t know about the safety and effectiveness of it,” she says. And according to Dr. Wolff, attempts to use charcoal in toothpaste haven’t been met with tremendous success. Dr. Harms also notes that activated charcoal shouldn’t replace everyday teeth cleaning and regular visits to the dentist. “The important part of brushing and flossing is the physical removal of plaque. The toothpaste you’re using, from a dentist’s point of view, delivers fluoride to teeth,” she says. “We’re concerned about practices where people are using products without fluoride. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and can cut tooth decay by up to 40 percent.”

Charcoal Toothpaste: The Gritty Truth 

“There’s no scientific indication that [activated charcoal] actually works and there are better options out there that do work,” says Dr. Harms. If you want a gleaming white smile, both Dr. Harms and Dr. Wolff recommend talking to your dentist about using traditional whitening toothpaste for surface stains or over-the-counter treatments for deeper stains. “Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” says Dr. Wolff. “I still recommend any of the mainstream whitening toothpastes or seeing the dentist. The mainstream whitening toothpastes are going to be safe. There are a number of products on the market that can be too abrasive.” If you do go the DIY charcoal-route, he advises using it sparingly and discontinuing its use if your teeth become sensitive. Originally published March 2016. Updated July 20, 2017.  Read More Are Teatoxes the New Juice Cleanses? I Tried Cupping Therapy and Here's What Happened Will Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

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10 Swimming Tips to Improve Every Stroke https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-swim-every-stroke/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-swim-every-stroke/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 11:15:03 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60148 10 Tips for How to Swim Faster and More Efficiently

[caption id="attachment_60198" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 Tips for How to Swim Every Stroke More Efficiently Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

There are many reasons to love a good swim workout. It’s low-impact, makes your heart pound and it fires up literally every muscle in your body. Not to mention, swapping out land-based activities for aqua time is a great way to cross-train.

However, working up a good sweat in the pool is more than just donning your swimsuit and splish-splashing around. Like all exercise, form and technique help you make the most out of every minute. To stop you from feeling like a fish out of water, we talked to the pros to find out how to swim better and faster. Time to dive right in to tuning up your technique.

RELATED: 3 Swimming Workouts for Every Skill Level

10 Tips for How to Swim Every Stroke

1. Engage your core.

The key to swimming efficiently is maintaining a streamlined position, and that requires a strong core. That means tight abs, glutes and lower back. Most people tend to relax and just float around when in the water, but you want to work. ”If you don’t tighten your core, you’re kind of like a jellyfish, wriggling everywhere,” says Melis Edwards, author of Deep End of the Pool Workouts: No-Impact Interval Training and Strength Exercises, which outlines interval-based pool workouts designed to develop power, strength and endurance, particularly in your core.

2. Exhale into the water.

In other words, don’t try to both inhale and exhale when your head is above the water. “You’ll never get the appropriate amount of oxygen so you’ll feel out of breath,” says Jaime Benes, former coach and COO of the Santa Clara Swim Club and current VP at swimoutlet.com. “Remember to release air under the water so when you turn to the side, you’re getting as much air in as you can.”

RELATED: How to Conquer Your Fear of Open Water Swimming

3. Swim with fins.

During practice sessions, take your drills beyond the kick board. “[Fins are] a really nice way to work on your stroke and not have to worry about propelling your body up,” says Benes. “The fins do a lot of that work for you.”

4. Don’t stare at the black line.

When you’re swimming, avoid looking straight down or up at the wall. To help find your proper head position, Benes suggests this approach: “Make a fist with your hand and put it between your chin and your chest. That’s where you want your head position to be,” she says. Tilting your head down this way will also help your body be more buoyant in the water.

RELATED: 6 Easy Ways to Add Cardio to Your Strength Workout

5. Think of your hand as a fin.

When you’re in the water, you want to swim with the ease of a fish, so think of your hand as a fin through every stroke (and every type, from backstroke to freestyle). Keep a slight scoop so you can move more water. “This allows you to propel yourself a little bit further and get a little more traction with each stroke,” Benes says.

6. Draw a line down the center of your body.

As you pull your arm through the water during freestyle, make sure your hand doesn’t cross over the midline of your body, says Benes. Then, finish your stroke with your thumb near your hip. “That’s the power point of your stroke,” says Benes. “You want to focus on a long stroke out front, draw down the midline of your body, and then push really hard from your hip to fully straighten your arm.” The result? You’ll maximize your efficiency and distance traveled every time you do the full circle.

RELATED: How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros

7. Rotate in the water.

Ideally, “you’re never flat in the water. You’re always rotating ever so slightly from one side to the other,” says Benes. She explains that as you freestyle through the water, you should position your body at roughly a 45-degree angle, like you’re on a diagonal and cutting through the water. The movement then comes from your hips and shoulders.

8. Keep your head level in backstroke.

First things first, backstroke is more than just floating on your back. You have to keep your body in a streamlined position, not to mention swim without seeing where you’re going. In an effort to bring the hips and legs up, you may tip your head too far back in the water, leading to an inefficient stroke. Benes suggests focusing on something in your line of vision that’s high in the sky — not a person on the deck. “This will help your head be in the right position and you’ll swim straighter, too,” she says.

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Triathlon Training

9. Use your lower half in butterfly.

The power in your butterfly comes from your kick — but it's not your typical movement. But that means you have to push your hips forward, instead of bending and kicking down from your knees. “Imagine popping your butt up every time you kick so that it almost comes out of the water,” says Benes. “This will help drive from the hips versus your knees.”

10. Maximize your glide in breaststroke.

While you may associate breaststroke with the older folks in the pool, the secret to supercharging your stroke is in the glide. “Once you’ve gone through your entire pull and kick, hold it for a second longer and get as far as you possibly can before you start your next stroke,” says Benes. “This will give you a long, smooth glide.” Plus, you’ll get a little more time to relax, a bonus if you’re swimming speedy laps and need some active recovery time.

The post 10 Swimming Tips to Improve Every Stroke appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
10 Tips for How to Swim Faster and More Efficiently

[caption id="attachment_60198" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 Tips for How to Swim Every Stroke More Efficiently Photo: Twenty20[/caption] There are many reasons to love a good swim workout. It’s low-impact, makes your heart pound and it fires up literally every muscle in your body. Not to mention, swapping out land-based activities for aqua time is a great way to cross-train. However, working up a good sweat in the pool is more than just donning your swimsuit and splish-splashing around. Like all exercise, form and technique help you make the most out of every minute. To stop you from feeling like a fish out of water, we talked to the pros to find out how to swim better and faster. Time to dive right in to tuning up your technique. RELATED: 3 Swimming Workouts for Every Skill Level

10 Tips for How to Swim Every Stroke

1. Engage your core.

The key to swimming efficiently is maintaining a streamlined position, and that requires a strong core. That means tight abs, glutes and lower back. Most people tend to relax and just float around when in the water, but you want to work. ”If you don’t tighten your core, you’re kind of like a jellyfish, wriggling everywhere,” says Melis Edwards, author of Deep End of the Pool Workouts: No-Impact Interval Training and Strength Exercises, which outlines interval-based pool workouts designed to develop power, strength and endurance, particularly in your core.

2. Exhale into the water.

In other words, don’t try to both inhale and exhale when your head is above the water. “You’ll never get the appropriate amount of oxygen so you’ll feel out of breath,” says Jaime Benes, former coach and COO of the Santa Clara Swim Club and current VP at swimoutlet.com. “Remember to release air under the water so when you turn to the side, you’re getting as much air in as you can.” RELATED: How to Conquer Your Fear of Open Water Swimming

3. Swim with fins.

During practice sessions, take your drills beyond the kick board. “[Fins are] a really nice way to work on your stroke and not have to worry about propelling your body up,” says Benes. “The fins do a lot of that work for you.”

4. Don’t stare at the black line.

When you’re swimming, avoid looking straight down or up at the wall. To help find your proper head position, Benes suggests this approach: “Make a fist with your hand and put it between your chin and your chest. That’s where you want your head position to be,” she says. Tilting your head down this way will also help your body be more buoyant in the water. RELATED: 6 Easy Ways to Add Cardio to Your Strength Workout

5. Think of your hand as a fin.

When you’re in the water, you want to swim with the ease of a fish, so think of your hand as a fin through every stroke (and every type, from backstroke to freestyle). Keep a slight scoop so you can move more water. “This allows you to propel yourself a little bit further and get a little more traction with each stroke,” Benes says.

6. Draw a line down the center of your body.

As you pull your arm through the water during freestyle, make sure your hand doesn’t cross over the midline of your body, says Benes. Then, finish your stroke with your thumb near your hip. “That’s the power point of your stroke,” says Benes. “You want to focus on a long stroke out front, draw down the midline of your body, and then push really hard from your hip to fully straighten your arm.” The result? You’ll maximize your efficiency and distance traveled every time you do the full circle. RELATED: How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros

7. Rotate in the water.

Ideally, “you’re never flat in the water. You’re always rotating ever so slightly from one side to the other,” says Benes. She explains that as you freestyle through the water, you should position your body at roughly a 45-degree angle, like you’re on a diagonal and cutting through the water. The movement then comes from your hips and shoulders.

8. Keep your head level in backstroke.

First things first, backstroke is more than just floating on your back. You have to keep your body in a streamlined position, not to mention swim without seeing where you’re going. In an effort to bring the hips and legs up, you may tip your head too far back in the water, leading to an inefficient stroke. Benes suggests focusing on something in your line of vision that’s high in the sky — not a person on the deck. “This will help your head be in the right position and you’ll swim straighter, too,” she says. RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Triathlon Training

9. Use your lower half in butterfly.

The power in your butterfly comes from your kick — but it's not your typical movement. But that means you have to push your hips forward, instead of bending and kicking down from your knees. “Imagine popping your butt up every time you kick so that it almost comes out of the water,” says Benes. “This will help drive from the hips versus your knees.”

10. Maximize your glide in breaststroke.

While you may associate breaststroke with the older folks in the pool, the secret to supercharging your stroke is in the glide. “Once you’ve gone through your entire pull and kick, hold it for a second longer and get as far as you possibly can before you start your next stroke,” says Benes. “This will give you a long, smooth glide.” Plus, you’ll get a little more time to relax, a bonus if you’re swimming speedy laps and need some active recovery time.

The post 10 Swimming Tips to Improve Every Stroke appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today https://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/find-happiness-every-day/ https://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/find-happiness-every-day/#respond Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:15:17 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=59855

[caption id="attachment_59865" align="alignnone" width="620"]11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Finding happiness seems like a pretty straight-forward task. Just turn your frown upside-down or maybe book a spa day, right? Not quite, says Christine Carter, happiness expert and author of The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less, who says that we may be trying too hard to be happy.

“There’s so much emphasis in our culture on happiness, but it’s important to recognize that the need to be happier is in and of itself a particular form of unhappiness,” she says. “It’s almost like the glass is, by definition, half empty if what you need is to be happier.”

RELATED: Is a Lack of Self-Awareness Keeping You from Happiness?

Another mistake she sees: mistaking pleasure for happiness. “We pursue pleasure and gratification as though it’s the same as a positive emotion like joy, gratitude, confidence or awe,” she says. But constantly seeking pleasure can leave you dissatisfied. “When something is gratifying, it stimulates the reward system in our brain and release a little hit of dopamine. Dopamine’s primary function is to create craving or desire — it leaves us wanting more.”

Instead of chasing the elusive happiness fix, we asked Carter, as well as other happiness experts, psychologists and life coaches how they fight negativity and cultivate joy every day. Try these 11 simple, expert-endorsed tips.

RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

11 Tricks to Finding More Happiness Every Day

1. Make a Wish

According to Carter, one of the best predictor’s of a person’s happiness is their connection to other people. “That’s the thing that’s going to move the needle the most — not the pursuit of happiness for ourselves, but for other people,” she says. One way to do that? Make a wish for someone to be happy, says Chade-Meng Tan, author of Joy on Demand, and former Jolly Good Fellow at Google. (Yes, that was his real title!) “As you take a deep breath and a moment to wish this person happiness, you are creating a useful mental habit,” he says. “You feel more joyful and sincere goodwill is picked up unconsciously by others and creates trust that leads to highly productive and positive collaborations.”

2. Put Pen to Paper

“Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions we have related to happiness and connectedness.”

You already know that journaling about a stressful or emotional event can have long-term physical and psychological benefits. Well, it can do wonders for your happiness, too. Tara Newman, a business and leadership coach, trains herself to find silver linings with her journal. “Define happiness for yourself so you aren’t derailed by what makes other people happy,” she says. And don’t just focus on specific outcomes. Newman suggests using all your senses. Think: What does happiness look, feel, smell and taste like? “Practicing happiness every day makes it easier for us to grab hold of those feelings when things get hard,” she says.

RELATED: How the Bullet Journal Trend Can Change Your Life

3. Say Thanks (More Than Once)

Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions we have related to happiness and connectedness,” says Carter. That’s why she’s builds several gratitude practices into her daily schedule. “It becomes habit,” she says.

Every morning, Carter pulls out her planner and writes down her gratitude list of three things. When her family gathers for dinner, they each share one thing they’re thankful for that day. “It shifts my attention away from what might not be working to what is working,” she says. Better yet, Carter tells her husband what she appreciates about him every day. “Even just thinking about what you’re grateful for in another person can improve the relationship,” she says.

4. Lend a Hand

“For me, happiness isn’t just feeling good. It’s also about doing good,” says Dr. Timothy Sharp, Chief Happiness Officer at The Happiness Institute. “I get my greatest pleasure and satisfaction when I’m doing what I can to help others and/or contributing in some way to causes that are important to me.” On a daily basis, that can mean surprising his colleagues with coffee or sending a fruit box to a friend going through a tough time.

RELATED:  Hygge, Fika and How Getting Cozy Can Make You Happier

5. Find Your BPO

A hectic schedule and a never-ending to-do list has a way of sucking some joy out of life. That’s why Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, co-founders of Shine, the text-based service that promotes positive mental health, hone in on their BPO — aka biggest possible opportunity. “By remembering the big picture opportunities, you’re reminding yourself the purpose behind your work and what you do, which research says helps with feelings of gratitude and joy,” they say. Try starting your day with a few moments to focus on your BPO and the little things that lead to it.

6. Go with the Flow

Stress can seriously lower your cheerfulness levels. “It’s hard to feel really joyful when you’re tense and overwhelmed,” says Carter. To dial back stress, she gets in a work groove by blocking off one and a half hours, sans interruption. “It’s a sacred time for me to be able to engage deeply with my work,” she says. After all, crossing a bunch items off your list of to-dos can make you feel great.

RELATED: Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress, More Productivity

7. Reframe Your Commute

“Acknowledge your wins and lessons learned. This is the silver living.”

From road rage to delayed trains, commuting can often feel anything but happy. That’s why Sumati Gupta, clinical psychologist and a professor at Barnard College, hones in on her surroundings en route to the office. “When walking to work, I try to focus on what’s pretty around me for one block,” she says. Think: trees and architecture, instead of trash and crowded streets. “Honestly, it makes me very grateful that I get to live in New York City. It’s a really cool place, at least when you look up.”

Hirabayashi and Lidey opt for biking to work, rather than hopping on the train. “What we love about biking is you can’t be plugged in, and as a result, it gives our minds time to wander, helping us feel more balanced overall,” they say.

8. Do Sweat the Small Stuff

Most of us are pretty good about celebrating the big wins — a promotion at work or snagging a race PR. But acknowledging those everyday wins (say, a nice convo with a co-worker or making it to your fave workout class) can give you an instant mood boost, too. “Humans are hard on themselves and often fail to acknowledge how far they’ve come,” says Newman. “Acknowledge your wins and lessons learned. This is the silver living.” Think back on your day and remember the good that came from it.

RELATED: Injured or Defeated? 4 Mental Strategies to Get Through

9. Press Pause

Always working in the fast lane? “When things feel hard, it’s usually because I’m forcing them or I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. So I slow down,” says Newman. “It might be for 15 minutes or I might rearrange my schedule to give myself more space to just be. Doing less creates the space for me to let happiness back in.” Another way to create some “me” time in your schedule to slow down: Say ‘no’ more often.

10. Have a Cuppa

One way to find calm: Pour a cup of tea. Every morning, Gupta makes a mug full of chai from scratch. “I’m focused on the act of making the chai and sipping it. In those moments, there’s nothing else I have to do,” she says. “I drink it mindfully and am grateful that I have the time to do just that.” Spend a few extra minutes making your morning tea or coffee and really focus on the task at hand. It’ll be like a moving meditation.

RELATED: 40 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

11. Read Something Inspiring

An instant happiness booster for Carter involves reading poetry. “There are some Mary Oliver poems that, when I read them, I feel a sense of elevation,” she says. “It’s a way of fostering positive emotion.” If poetry isn’t your jam, pick up something you’ve always been curious about. It can give you the same sense of inspiration and awe.

The post 11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_59865" align="alignnone" width="620"]11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Finding happiness seems like a pretty straight-forward task. Just turn your frown upside-down or maybe book a spa day, right? Not quite, says Christine Carter, happiness expert and author of The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less, who says that we may be trying too hard to be happy. “There’s so much emphasis in our culture on happiness, but it’s important to recognize that the need to be happier is in and of itself a particular form of unhappiness,” she says. “It’s almost like the glass is, by definition, half empty if what you need is to be happier.” RELATED: Is a Lack of Self-Awareness Keeping You from Happiness? Another mistake she sees: mistaking pleasure for happiness. “We pursue pleasure and gratification as though it’s the same as a positive emotion like joy, gratitude, confidence or awe,” she says. But constantly seeking pleasure can leave you dissatisfied. “When something is gratifying, it stimulates the reward system in our brain and release a little hit of dopamine. Dopamine’s primary function is to create craving or desire — it leaves us wanting more.” Instead of chasing the elusive happiness fix, we asked Carter, as well as other happiness experts, psychologists and life coaches how they fight negativity and cultivate joy every day. Try these 11 simple, expert-endorsed tips. RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

11 Tricks to Finding More Happiness Every Day

1. Make a Wish

According to Carter, one of the best predictor’s of a person’s happiness is their connection to other people. “That’s the thing that’s going to move the needle the most — not the pursuit of happiness for ourselves, but for other people,” she says. One way to do that? Make a wish for someone to be happy, says Chade-Meng Tan, author of Joy on Demand, and former Jolly Good Fellow at Google. (Yes, that was his real title!) “As you take a deep breath and a moment to wish this person happiness, you are creating a useful mental habit,” he says. “You feel more joyful and sincere goodwill is picked up unconsciously by others and creates trust that leads to highly productive and positive collaborations.”

2. Put Pen to Paper

“Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions we have related to happiness and connectedness.”
You already know that journaling about a stressful or emotional event can have long-term physical and psychological benefits. Well, it can do wonders for your happiness, too. Tara Newman, a business and leadership coach, trains herself to find silver linings with her journal. “Define happiness for yourself so you aren’t derailed by what makes other people happy,” she says. And don’t just focus on specific outcomes. Newman suggests using all your senses. Think: What does happiness look, feel, smell and taste like? “Practicing happiness every day makes it easier for us to grab hold of those feelings when things get hard,” she says. RELATED: How the Bullet Journal Trend Can Change Your Life

3. Say Thanks (More Than Once)

Gratitude is one of the most powerful positive emotions we have related to happiness and connectedness,” says Carter. That’s why she’s builds several gratitude practices into her daily schedule. “It becomes habit,” she says. Every morning, Carter pulls out her planner and writes down her gratitude list of three things. When her family gathers for dinner, they each share one thing they’re thankful for that day. “It shifts my attention away from what might not be working to what is working,” she says. Better yet, Carter tells her husband what she appreciates about him every day. “Even just thinking about what you’re grateful for in another person can improve the relationship,” she says.

4. Lend a Hand

“For me, happiness isn’t just feeling good. It’s also about doing good,” says Dr. Timothy Sharp, Chief Happiness Officer at The Happiness Institute. “I get my greatest pleasure and satisfaction when I’m doing what I can to help others and/or contributing in some way to causes that are important to me.” On a daily basis, that can mean surprising his colleagues with coffee or sending a fruit box to a friend going through a tough time. RELATED:  Hygge, Fika and How Getting Cozy Can Make You Happier

5. Find Your BPO

A hectic schedule and a never-ending to-do list has a way of sucking some joy out of life. That’s why Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, co-founders of Shine, the text-based service that promotes positive mental health, hone in on their BPO — aka biggest possible opportunity. “By remembering the big picture opportunities, you’re reminding yourself the purpose behind your work and what you do, which research says helps with feelings of gratitude and joy,” they say. Try starting your day with a few moments to focus on your BPO and the little things that lead to it.

6. Go with the Flow

Stress can seriously lower your cheerfulness levels. “It’s hard to feel really joyful when you’re tense and overwhelmed,” says Carter. To dial back stress, she gets in a work groove by blocking off one and a half hours, sans interruption. “It’s a sacred time for me to be able to engage deeply with my work,” she says. After all, crossing a bunch items off your list of to-dos can make you feel great. RELATED: Single-Tasking: The Secret to Less Stress, More Productivity

7. Reframe Your Commute

“Acknowledge your wins and lessons learned. This is the silver living.”
From road rage to delayed trains, commuting can often feel anything but happy. That’s why Sumati Gupta, clinical psychologist and a professor at Barnard College, hones in on her surroundings en route to the office. “When walking to work, I try to focus on what’s pretty around me for one block,” she says. Think: trees and architecture, instead of trash and crowded streets. “Honestly, it makes me very grateful that I get to live in New York City. It’s a really cool place, at least when you look up.” Hirabayashi and Lidey opt for biking to work, rather than hopping on the train. “What we love about biking is you can’t be plugged in, and as a result, it gives our minds time to wander, helping us feel more balanced overall,” they say.

8. Do Sweat the Small Stuff

Most of us are pretty good about celebrating the big wins — a promotion at work or snagging a race PR. But acknowledging those everyday wins (say, a nice convo with a co-worker or making it to your fave workout class) can give you an instant mood boost, too. “Humans are hard on themselves and often fail to acknowledge how far they’ve come,” says Newman. “Acknowledge your wins and lessons learned. This is the silver living.” Think back on your day and remember the good that came from it. RELATED: Injured or Defeated? 4 Mental Strategies to Get Through

9. Press Pause

Always working in the fast lane? “When things feel hard, it’s usually because I’m forcing them or I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. So I slow down,” says Newman. “It might be for 15 minutes or I might rearrange my schedule to give myself more space to just be. Doing less creates the space for me to let happiness back in.” Another way to create some “me” time in your schedule to slow down: Say ‘no’ more often.

10. Have a Cuppa

One way to find calm: Pour a cup of tea. Every morning, Gupta makes a mug full of chai from scratch. “I’m focused on the act of making the chai and sipping it. In those moments, there’s nothing else I have to do,” she says. “I drink it mindfully and am grateful that I have the time to do just that.” Spend a few extra minutes making your morning tea or coffee and really focus on the task at hand. It’ll be like a moving meditation. RELATED: 40 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

11. Read Something Inspiring

An instant happiness booster for Carter involves reading poetry. “There are some Mary Oliver poems that, when I read them, I feel a sense of elevation,” she says. “It’s a way of fostering positive emotion.” If poetry isn’t your jam, pick up something you’ve always been curious about. It can give you the same sense of inspiration and awe.

The post 11 Ways to Find Instant Happiness Today appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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