Friday, July 30, 2010

How to Work Out Your Transverse Abdominals

A group of muscles that often gets neglected in stomach exercise routines are the transverse abdominals, the core muscles that lie below the rectus abdominus. Most abdominal exercises target the rectus abdominus and the vertical abdominals, ignoring the transverse abdominals. Even crunches, the staple of most abdominal workouts, do nothing for the transverse abdominals. These muscles are actually the most important to target, however, as they connect to both the lower back muscles and the rectus abdominus and for a girdle for the entire abdomen.

Any routine aimed at flattening the stomach should include the transverse abdominals as a focus. Using the following exercises, you can work out your transverse abdominals and really make progress on that flat stomach. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.

Pelvic Tilts
This stomach exercise requires lying on your back on a flat surface, such as the floor or a bench. Use a mat or towel to cushion your spine. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Raise your pelvis (and only your pelvis) off the floor, hold momentarily, and then lower it back down. Repeat for an entire set. Maintaining a controlled movement is crucial to this exercise. This will allow you to use your abdominal muscles, rather than your body's momentum, to do the work on the exercise. Also, be sure to keep your upper body on the floor throughout.

Crunchless Crunch
This first exercise is fairly simple but can also be fairly difficult. Essentially, it involves trying to pull the belly button in towards the spine. This can be tricky, as it involves using muscles which you may not be used to activating. To start, either lie or on your stomach or kneel. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible, then try to use only the lower abdominals to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. The goal is to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominals. When you feel this, let the contraction out.

Scissor Kicks
This stomach exercise also requires lying on the floor. Position your hands under your butt, keeping your back pressed against the floor. Slowly raise one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor. As your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this motion for an entire set. Maintaining control throughout is important, not allowing momentum to get the better of you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.

There are plenty of other exercises targeting the transverse abdominals, but these three ought to be enough to get you started.

If you can follow simple instructions, then you can build a HEALTHY, HIGH-PERFORMANCE, ATTRACTIVE body in the comfort of your own home using ONLY bodyweight exercises. To discover the REAL reason you've failed to reach your fitness, fat loss, and physique-building goals (and what you can do about it), click here!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chromium to Increase Muscle and Decrease Fat

Chromium is a nutritional supplement that works to increase the efficiency of insulin to optimal levels. The most common use for chromium is as a weight loss aid.
Chromium is an essential mineral because it helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels through proper insulin utilization. It can be helpful both for people with diabetes and also those with hypoglycemia.

Chromium is also known as glucose tolerance factor, meaning that it improves the activity of insulin and facilitates the uptake of glucose into the cells. It is vital in the synthesis of cholesterol, fats, and proteins.

Chromium facilitates weight loss. Although it is not a miracle cure for obesity, chromium does increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat. Read more

Monday, July 26, 2010

8 Reasons to Stay out of the Hospital

Dr. Joseph Mercola cites 8 reasons why hospitals are more dangerous than ever. offers a few essential facts about hospitals that you should know before you check in:

Stay Healthy in July

July is the most dangerous month to visit a hospital. That's the month when students graduate from medical school and start doing residencies at teaching hospitals. Deaths due to hospital medication errors spike by 10 percent in July.

Hospital Wait Times

Hospitals have terrible wait times, which may actually be endangering patients. Patients who need to be seen within 14 minutes of arriving ended up having to wait more than twice as long. Read more

Friday, July 23, 2010

10 Antidepressant Alternatives Proven to Work

As of 2009, more than 10% of the US population was taking one or more antidepressant drugs. Unfortunately, the millions of people taking these drugs often know little to nothing about their side effects. More importantly, they don’t know that effective, safe, and natural alternatives to antidepressant drugs exist. In fact, there are at least ten antidepressant alternatives that are proven to work.
If you are suffering from depression, but would prefer to try something natural before going the traditional pharmaceutical route, here are some remedies that have stood up to rigorous testing.

1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy seeks to help people change how they think about things. Unlike more traditional forms of therapy, it focuses on “here and now” problems and difficulties. Numerous clinical studies throughout the world have consistently demonstrated that cognitive behavioral therapy is as effective as antidepressant medication. Within 20 sessions of individual therapy, approximately 75 percent of patients experience a significant decrease in their symptoms. Read more

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Improve Your Speed with Plyometrics

Plyometrics are dynamic movements that increase agility, strength, coordination, and power while decreasing your risk of injury. They are a valuable tool in a sprinter's toolbox to increase speed. If you don't incorporate plyometrics into your training program, then you should definitely think about it. Plyometrics are a perfect complement to the sprint workout I outlined in my post Don't Just Run: Sprint!

There are dozens of different types of plyometric exercises. I’ve narrowed the list down to the ones a beginner could easily try. Before we get to the exercises, though, let’s discuss some general guidelines to keep in mind as you get started.

When you first add plyometrics to your routine, take it slowly and focus on performing the exercises in a controlled manner. You should always warm up before you begin. Allow adequate rest time between plyometric workouts. I recommend doing plyometrics workouts only twice a week - one on Monday and another on Friday (or Tuesday and Saturday).

Perform 3-6 of the exercises listed below. Perform 1-2 sets of 10 reps of each exercise with one minute rest between sets.. Allow two minutes of rest between exercises. Plyometrics workouts are measured in foot contacts - the number of times your feet impact the ground or other surface. You want to keep your workouts in the range of 80-160 foot contacts. That means that if you do all six exercises in one workout, do only one set of each exercise to begin with and work up to doing two sets if you want.

Bounding. Run forward while taking long, exaggerated strides. Leap from one foot to the next, going for distance.

Box Jumps. Stand in front of a box or other suitable platform, such as a plyometric box, a picnic table, or park bench. Jump onto the box and immediately back down to the same position. Immediately repeat. Perform the jumps as quickly as possible. (Count each jump as two foot contacts.)

Depth Jumps. Start off by standing on top of a box or other platform. Hop off the box and land on both your feet. As soon as your feet hit the ground, jump as high as you can. Get back on the box and repeat. (Count each jump as two foot contacts.)

Power skips: Begin skipping forward, driving your leg up towards your chin and propelling yourself as high as possible.

Squat Jumps. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down and jump as high as possible. Upon landing, squat and immediately jump up again.

Tuck Jumps. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Explode and jump as high as you can. As you rise, pull your knees into your chest. On the way down, straighten your legs and land softly on the balls of your feet. As soon as your feet touch the ground, perform another tuck jump.

For the box jumps and depth jumps, I recommend starting at a height of about 12 inches (30 cm) to learn the jumps and get used to the impact. If you're not a competitive athlete, 24 inches (60 cm) is a good height to aim for.

Here are sample beginner and intermediate plyometrics routines:

Do 1-2 sets of 5-10 reps each (20-80 foot contacts).
1) Squat Jumps
2) Bounding
3) Box Jumps

Do 1-2 sets of 5-10 reps each (20-80 foot contacts).
1) Tuck Jumps
2) Power Skips
3) Depth Jumps

Do 1-2 sets of 10 reps each (80-160 foot contacts).
1) Squat Jumps
2) Tuck Jumps
3) Bounding
4) Power Skips
5) Box Jumps
6) Depth Jumps

Plyometrics are by their nature intense. You’ll be putting a lot of load on your joints and tendons. Keep in mind that you can develop a great deal of strength and power without resorting to plyometrics, but if you participate in sports that require sprinting and jumping, plyometric training may help to improve skill and performance.

There is a common misconception that people are born with speed, but speed is like intelligence; it is invisible until developed. An amazing new book called Developing Killer Speed reveals how you can decrease your forty yard dash By .4 seconds in 2 weeks! To discover the simple formula that can increase your speed and decrease your times, click here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Cancer-Preventing Vitamin Your Doctor Knows Nothing About

Can you help prevent cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis with vitamin K, which nearly everyone is deficient in?
... Vitamin K may be "the next vitamin D" if research continues to illuminate the growing number of benefits to your health.

Dr. Cees Vermeer, one of the world's top researchers in the field of vitamin K, founded a vitamin K research group in 1975, which is now the largest group investigating this area of nutrition science.

How many people have adequate vitamin K… care to guess?

Just about zero, according to Dr. Vermeer and other experts in the field.

Most people get just enough K from their diets to maintain adequate blood clotting, but NOT enough to offer protection against he following health problems – and the list is growing: Read more

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dust Mites, Off-Gassing, and What to Do with Your Mattress

Are creepy, crawly, allergy-producing dust mites thriving in your bed? Mark Sisson reveals what may be inside your mattress and what to do about it.
Dust mites are everywhere. They are true survivors, able to make it in virtually all climates and at any altitude. They thrive, however, in our homes, especially bedrooms, enjoying the humidity generated by all the breathing, perspiring, and drooling we do at night and feeding on all the skin flakes we produce. For these tiny creatures, we’re living, breathing humidifier-refrigerator-landlords who charge extremely competitive rates. Why wouldn’t they infest us?

In the last couple weeks we’ve taken a look at sleep posture, how to improve it, and modern bedding. Today we’ll take a closer look at your mattress, investigating what may be lurking inside and what you can do about it. Read more

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Total Body Warm-up and Interval Training Workout with No Equipment

Sprints are still one of the best ways to perform your interval workouts. Here’s a great sprint and bodyweight workout by Craig Ballantyne:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spicy Peppers May Cause Your Body to Burn More Calories

Indulging your taste for spicy food may help you lose weight. Scientists believe that the capsaicin compounds found in peppers that give them their spicy taste actually help to burn calories as well.
Losing weight is just a few spicy peppers away, according to a recent report out of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. Researchers there say that the capsaicin compounds found in peppers that give them their spicy taste, actually help to burn calories as well.

Scientists believe that the reason why capsaicin burns calories is because the compound uses energy to raise a person's body temperature, which provides a similar effect as the one obtained by engaging in traditional exercise routines. Read more

Saturday, July 10, 2010

4 Tips to Help Stop Snoring

Snoring is a laughing matter for some people, but what they don't realize is that many conflicts have developed from snoring. Almost half of normal adults suffer from occasional snoring while an estimated 25% of them are known to snore habitually. It is good to point out that these figures did not choose to have fallen as victim to this nighttime dilemma. Instead, they just happened to be less lucky than most of us.

Driven by the need to resolve the disturbances caused by snoring, patients often seek relief from various stop snoring products such as devices, pills, and sprays. You should realize, though, that there is still no sufficient data to back the claims of these products. To help find relief for those people who only want to have restful sleeps, here are four tips that can help you to stop snoring.

Change of sleeping position. During sleep, our air passages must have room enough to avoid o avoid the collision of certain parts forunobstructed breathing. If you sleep flat on the back, it is likely that the throat will be constricted in a way that the air passage is obstructed. However, when we sleep on our sides, these same passages will be released from possible intrusion of the dangling tissues. Additionally, the likelihood that the jaw will drop to cause obstruction will be lessened.

Lose weight. Not only would you benefit from the various consequences of losing off some pounds, you would also get around from the risk of snoring. Overweight individuals tend to have bulky necks, which create more possibilities of snoring.

Change your lifestyle in general. Vices such as alcohol and smoking are recognized as detrimental to healthful living, which for most parts is certainly true. These are good ways to encourage smoking since both have effects that can immediately affect the tissues used in breathing.

Alcohol has relaxant effects that contribute greatly to uncontrollability of throat muscles. Cigarettes, on the other hand, have the effects of changing the cells lining the esophagus. This change can create reactions suitable for encouraging snores.

Establish a good sleeping pattern. Sleeping at the same time every night can help induce a more-or-less fixed sleeping pattern. This does not cure snoring, but it can help in making the rest you want, even when you snore so loudly at night. Once your body get used to the same habit each night, simple grunts and frequent noises coming from your own mouth would no longer cause you disturbances, enough to keep you awake all night.

Get the best sleep you've had in years with proven snoring remedies in a step-by-step guide that quickly and easily cure snoring permanently. To find out how to reinvigorate your love life, restore your energy, and regain the healing benefits of sleep for a more relaxed and stress-free you, click here!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

To Build Muscle, Lose Fat, and Get Healthy, Go Caveman

To build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy, go caveman.
Our Stone Age ancestors lived in an uncomfortable world, spending their 30-year life spans hunting and gathering without air conditioning or heat.

But some say the cave men ate better than we do.

That's the premise behind the Paleo diet, a health and weight-loss trend that encourages people to eat modern-day versions of Paleolithic food. Read more

Friday, July 2, 2010

How to Improve Your Sleep Posture

If you're not getting restful sleep, it may not be your bed that's the problem. It may be your sleep posture.
Yesterday, I posited that it’s not so much the bedding that matters in making for rejuvenating, nourishing sleep, but rather our sleeping position/posture. Man is the supreme adaptor, having proven himself capable of surviving in just about any natural environment, no matter the climate, topography, and available selection of edibles – and our bedding is no different. Of course, there is a limit to our adaptability. We couldn’t survive in the Antarctic or get a good night’s sleep in a mud pit. Thriving in the current food environment is definitely doable, but, as you well know, it takes a lot of effort to make it work. Luckily, we aren’t dealing with hydrogenated mattresses or high-fructose pillows, so the bedding situation isn’t so dire.

You can keep it pretty simple, in fact: if you’re getting good, pain-free sleep already, hacking isn’t necessary. Just keep doing what you’re doing and keep the bed you’ve got. (Keep reading, though.)

If you’re waking up with pain, though, we should reevaluate. Pain usually indicates an improper sleeping position, and that’s the easiest thing to fix (rather than buying an entirely new bed), so let’s look at some other options. Read more

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