Friday, October 17, 2014

Healthy Heart: Cut Cholesterol with Fiber

Cut Cholesterol with Fiber - Oatmeal, barley, and psyllium are rich sources of soluble fiber, which can help reduce your cholesterol. Barley and oatmeal both contain beta-glucans, soluble fibers that help lower your LDL (Bad) cholesterol by preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Psyllium is found in cereals and supplements and may slash your LDL by triggering an increase in your body's excretion of bile acid, the digestive fluid that cholesterol is converted into. Drink a daily glass of tomato juice; it's rich in lycopene, a nutrient that may cut your body's production of LDL cholesterol. People who consumed about a glass and a half of tomato juice and ate 2 tablespoons of ketchup every day for 3 weeks reduced their LDL levels by an average of 8.5 percent, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Opt for low-salt varieties since sodium can raise blood pressure.

Source: Men's Health

Friday, October 10, 2014

Stay In The Game

Take the path of least resistance - Crash landings require stuntmanlike instincts, whether you're smacking the water or the turf. "You want to be as aerodynamic as possible when you hit," says Berman. "Just before impact, I lean forward against the front of my kayak so I don't take a huge hit to my chest as I reenter the water." Use the same technique on a bike or in touch football: "I don't stop short; I just go with the fall and let my body roll through the impact," he says.

Practice hard - Performance anxiety narrows your peripheral vision by as much as 3 degrees and slows reaction time by 119 milliseconds, according to the Journal of Sports Sciences. When the going gets tough, the tough rely on the skills they've practiced. It helps keep them cool under pressure, widening their range of vision so they see that linebacker coming and react within milliseconds.

Socialize after exercise - Lack of social support upped risk of injury in a University of Washington study.

Source: Men's Health

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Deadline Diet

When it comes to weight loss and bodily overhauls, Day 1 sometimes starts with an epiphany—a too-tight pair of jeans, an is-that-me? look in the mirror, or an innocent “are you pregnant?” from a toddler. But for other folks, the inspiration to change may come from somewhere else: A deadline.

Whether your fast-approaching day comes in the form of a wedding, a reunion, a beach vacation, a race, or something else, the right nutrition and fitness tips at the right time can be exactly what you need to get you where you want to go. Depending on your deadline, check out these strategies to get your best body—just in the nick of time.


With this much time, you have a chance to change your body the right way. Ease into both your new eating and exercise routines to ensure you’ll stick to them, says Mark Beier, a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and owner and founder of Chicago Fit Clubs.

Start by incorporating one to two days of strength training per week and supplement with two or three days of light cardio activity, which can be as simple as a walk outside or a bike ride for 30 to 45 minutes. Each week try to add a bit more speed, resistance or time than the week before.

For diet, start by looking at what you drink, says David Buer, Atlanta fitness expert and celebrity personal trainer. Americans consumes more than a quarter of their calories via fluid, Buer says, so reducing or eliminating soda, juice and sweetened coffee can reduce your weekly calorie intake.

Make sure to populate your diet with protein and fat. Buer encourages incorporating lean quality proteins with each meal in order help stabilize blood sugar levels, accelerate fat metabolism, improve recovery after workout and increase energy throughout the day. These are vital to maintain good muscle balance while dropping unwanted fat pounds, he says. That means beans, turkey, chicken, fish, and pork.

To include more fat, eat raw, unsalted nuts, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and avocado. Fish also contains healthy fats, which have positive impact on our fat metabolism, overall cellular energy and function, and even brain function and appearance of hair, skin and nails, Buer says.


So perhaps you have a short engagement or your cruise is only a half a year away. There are still plenty of changes you can make that will get you ready.

If you’re new to exercise or haven’t been regular about your routine, use strength training to complement cardiovascular activity. Start with one to two days of strength training per week, and do some light cardio activity on the other days (at least two days a week). You should challenge yourself weekly by adding more resistance, speed or time to your walk, run or bike ride. Write your goals on a paper or dry-erase board and cross them off when you achieve them. If you power-walked 45 minutes last week, try incorporating a jog (10 minutes or whatever you can handle) somewhere on your path.

To keep it fun, set rewards at specific intervals (every month, let’s say), and when you achieve a goal, treat yourself to a massage, pedicure or new exercise clothes. Just remember to keep your rewards calorie-free so you stay on track to your ultimate goal.

Once you’ve done some strength training for a few weeks, Beier suggests converting to a three-day full-body, upper-body and lower-body split, while also implementing high-intensity interval training. Buer recommends that two to three days include interval training – bursts of 20 to 120 seconds of intense activity followed by 20 to 120 seconds of rest for a period of 5 to 10 minutes. Eventually work your way to 20 minutes of this style workout. These types of workouts can supercharge your metabolism by revving your heart rate, which can burn off that extra fat.

Full-body days can include moves like pushups, pull-ups, and mountain climbers. Upper-body days should focus on chest, arms, shoulders, back and abdominals – chest press, lateral press, rows and core work. Lower-body days target legs, hips and obliques with lunges, squats and a host of others.

Beier advises a workout that consists of a dynamic warm-up, core work (such as planks, side planks, bridges), high-intensity interval training session that incorporates full-body movements and cardio. For example: Keep a set of dumbbells and a Bosu ball next to a treadmill and do four or five strength exercises (8-12 repetitions per exercise). Then jump on the treadmill and do interval speed work such as a minute sprint followed by a 30-second rest. Then return to your strength exercises.

Your diet should consist mostly of chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy, low-sugar Greek yogurts, along with dark leafy green vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, spinach and asparagus, says Buer. Sticking with those types, which are high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber, will help the digestive process and balance blood sugar levels. If you can control sugar levels, you can help to control the expansion of fat cells, which can lead to weight loss.


While three months isn’t a long time for a body change, the right nutritional intake and exercise routine can make a significant difference—but you may need to amp up the intensity. Cardio activity should be a staple (at least three days a week) and Beier suggests implementing a four-day strength program – two days of full-body, one day of lower body and one day of upper body.

This breakdown allows the major muscle groups (legs) to engage in fat-burning one day, which can improve overall body composition. This pays off on upper-body and full-body days when your exercises will seek to define the smaller muscles that don’t burn as many calories.

Nutritional changes are critical at this stage, if you haven’t been watching your diet. Stick to lean meats, proteins and healthy fats and try to reduce any major carbohydrates after 3 p.m. when people typically are less active. Unused carbohydrates will convert into stored energy – also known as fat. Stick to a diet low in sugar and high in vegetables and protein and make sure you are eating every few hours to keep metabolism in check. While a three-month cram session can be tough, the key to success in training is setting tangible goals and making them part of your everyday ritual like brushing your teeth, says Lacey Stone, Hollywood fitness expert and personal trainer.

“Go to the gym with hot people, take a [group fitness] class with an attractive instructor. Go to a class and create some sort of community,” she says. “The bottom line is once you start to see results you get to the point of no return, you don’t want to go back to where you were. That momentum makes you want to live a healthy lifestyle.”


Perhaps you booked a last minute beach weekend or you’re in a hurry to get married. A few weeks out doesn’t give much time, but there is something you can do to look a little tighter.

Typically we look bloated or puffy when our body retains too much water, says Laurel House, a lifestyle author, personal trainer and editor of QuickieChick. So several days before the event, start drinking a lot of water and include a splash of lemon or lime to flush out toxins. Diuretic foods – celery, pure cranberry juice, Dandelion tea, green tea, fennel and parsley – also help with de-puffing as they minimize water retention.

High-water foods including asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon also help eliminate excess water, and foods high in potassium – avocado, dates, papaya, bananas, spinach and salmon – will counterbalance puffiness caused by salt or alcohol.

Three days leading up to event, minimize carbohydrate (especially white rice, potatoes, pasta and bread) intake to allow the body to slim down and shed excess water. For every one gram of carbohydrate, your body retains 2.5 grams of water, causing you to bloat, she says. You still need carbohydrates for proper brain function and energy, so stick with green vegetables, kale and Brussels sprouts.

You can also include fat-burning foods a couple days before the event – House calls them “Bites with Benefits.” These de-puffing, fat-burning foods actually help to break down fats by liquefying them in your body. They include grapefruit and hot herbs – jalapeno, cinnamon and fresh ginger. Flush fats with foods high in pectin and lecithin such as soybeans, apples and berries.

As for exercise, cut down on resistance training four days prior to your event and focus strictly on cardio so that you are really just burning calories and slimming your body. Two days before, minimize cardio and the day before, House suggests no exercise. Muscles will relax and shrink and you’ll look leaner all over. Minimize water the day of the event to get that sculpted look.

If you’ll be showing off a particular body part (say, shoulders and arms in a strapless dress), House suggests doing 100 seconds of an exercise 20 minutes before the event (say, seated dips).

“Your arms will look nice and defined and tight. You will have that toned look – even if you are not toned,” she says.

But like any cleanse or strict diet, “this is not a healthy way to live long term,” House cautions. “You can do it for one day, you can do it for two days, but you cannot do for more than that.”

“People say it’s so hard, but in the end wouldn’t you rather feel amazing about yourself?” says House, referring to the big day. “Instead of the temporary pleasure of eating seconds, wouldn’t you want to feel amazing for an entire day?”


Monday, August 4, 2014

Taylor Lautner: Cut Down On Cardio

Cut Down on Cardio
"I was exercising so hard that I began to lose weight," says Lautner. Sound great? Not if you normally have trouble building muscle mass. When it's combined with weight training, cardio saps strength and limits muscle growth, especially if you spin your wheels for longer than 20 minutes before or after lifting, according to researchers at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. So be careful not to overdo it. "If you're trying to gain lean mass, focus on weight-lifting with the proper technique and the right plan," Yuam says.

Source: Men's Health

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beauty Tricks That Make You Look Thinner

Slimming Beauty Treatment: Electric Facials
Traditional facials—with their cleansing, extractions, masks and moisturizing—focus on skin care. Electric facials, which are becoming more and more popular at medi-spas around the country, focus on the muscles under your skin. Using mild electric currents, trained aestheticians target the small muscles at your jawline, around your mouth and at your cheekbones—tightening them for an overall lifted look.

Source: Glamour

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Healthy Really Looks Like Pt. 3

Pee - The color should be anywhere from clear to deep yellow. Yellow-orange pee means you're probably taking megadoses of riboflavin (vitamin B2). Dark Yellow means you're pretty dehydrated, drink!. Pinkish-red means there is blood tinting your urine. If you're peeing constantly, it might be a bladder infection. Pain along your side or lower back likely means a kidney stone. In rare cases, blood can signal a bladder tumor. See your doctor! Blue/green pee means you likely ate a food with that color dye in it.

Stool - Color should be any shade from tan to dark brown. Muddy green stool usually points to a diet that's rich in green vegetables or that it's speeding through your intestines. Normally, green bile mixes with bacteria and enzymes in the intestines to make stool brown. If the transmit speed is too fast, there isn't enough time for bile to combine with the bacteria, and it will come out in shades of  green. This can happen due to inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn's disease.

Red stool is likely a sign that you ate red foods like beets. Long, narrow streaks of blood along sides of a stool is usually a sign of hemorrhoids. Bright red blood can also mean there's a tear in your rectum or a polyp or tumor in your colon. Be safe and consult with your doctor. Black stool that is stick and tar-like means there is blood somewhere in your GI tract, possibly from a bleeding ulcer. Too many iron supplements, diarrhea meds containing bismuth, or even black candy can do this as well. Yellow stool that is greasy and stinky means you're not digesting fat properly. This usually happens with serious pancreatic diseases, including cancer. Make sure to get to the doc!

Source: Health Magazine

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Save The Earth, Simply

Wash Your Clothes On "Cold" - It was a great advertisement because it was true: Tide promised that if everyone in New York City washed their laundry in cold water for just one day, the energy savings would light up the Empire State Building for an entire month. In fact, today it could save even more.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stay In The Game

Face your attacker - In a lot of sports, it's not whether you'll be nailed, it's whether you'll be able to absorb the blow. Bettis does a footwork drill based on a Latin dance move -- the carioca -- to maintain his agility and to face linemen squarely.
Try it: Move laterally along a straight line, using crossover steps. Facing forward with your shoulders squared and both hands held out in front as if to absorb a tackle, swivel your hips from side to side, rotating to face the sideline.
"The more relaxed your hips are, the more responsive they are, and the better your body's going to react to a hit," Bettis says.

 Assess the course -  It doesn't matter whether you're biking, paddling, or skiing -- take a dry run down any route first. "You see a lot of paddlers injured because they just don't know what they're getting into," says Tao Berman, a world-class kayaker who holds the record for running the highest waterfall (98.4 feet) in a kayak. "If I look at a fall and think I'm not going to be able to control the way I land, then I walk away." As should you.

Source: Men's Health

Saturday, May 3, 2014

5 Cancers that strike Men and the Warning Signs

No man is invincible, especially when it comes to health. Learn to detect and defend against the cancers most likely to attack men, and you'll be able to take the disease head-on if it strikes—and increase your chances of beating it.


Early signs: Usually there are none. A digital rectal exam can tell if your prostate is hard or irregular, and cancer is suspected with a high PSA (prostate specific antigen) level.

False alarms: Urination problems—frequency, urgency, slow stream, incomplete emptying—can be related to prostate enlargement or narrowing of the urethra.

The test: A biopsy if the PSA is high or its rate of change is high. But a spiked score can also be a sign of infection, which should be treated with antibiotics for 4 weeks. The cancer grows slowly; waiting isn't dangerous, says Christopher Saigal, M.D., a urological oncologist at UCLA.


Early signs: Frequently, none. But a cough that won't go away—or one that brings up blood—is often evidence the cancer is there. Also, chest pain that's always present and not influenced by movement, says Ezra Cohen, M.D., a medical oncologist at University of Chicago Medical Center.

False alarms: Pneumonia. On a chest x-ray, both pneumonia and a tumor look white. The pneumonia will resolve, but you'll need another x-ray 4 to 6 weeks later.

The test: Biopsy.


Early signs: Blood in the stool. Never ignore it, even if it's a one-time occurrence. It could be a precancerous polyp leaking blood, and bleeding is the only early warning you'll receive. In more than half of cases, there is no sign, says Greg Enders, M.D., Ph.D., a gastroenterologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

False alarms: In men under 50, bleeding is probably from hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, colitis, or an abnormal blood vessel. Still, see a doctor.

The test: A colonoscopy allows the doctor to check for large and small problems and remove polyps in the same procedure.


Early signs: Blood in the urine, which should always be checked, although if you're younger than 60, it's often a sign of kidney stones. Most bladder cancer only affects the lining. If it is caught early, it can be beaten, says Brian Rini, M.D., an oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute.

False alarms: An overactive bladder or painful urination is more often a sign of an infection.

The tests: A scope through the penis to look at the bladder and a urine test that detects cancer cells.


Early signs: Painless, swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpit, or groin. Nodes swell with infections, but if they don't subside in a week, have them checked. Also, unexplained weight loss over 1 or 2 months, pain in the node area after drinking alcohol, or generalized itching with swelling (without rash) could be cause for concern, says Cleveland Clinic oncologist John Sweetenham, M.D.

False alarms: Nodes can swell because of an infection.

The test: A blood test can occasionally pick up something, but a biopsy of the node is more thorough.

Source: Men's Health

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Oily Hair Solution

Some heads are programmed to pump out more sebum than others. But exposure to blow-dryer heat and vigorous brushing or combing make the problem worse. It triggers more oil production on the scalp. Wash the dishes and then your hair. Nothing beats dishwashing liquid for sebum control. It's too drying to use every day. For daily use, try Aqua Glycolic Shampoo and body cleanser. If you want to be more creative, squeeze a lemon into 1 cup of water and use it to rinse your hair after shampooing. The acid strips away oil buildup. Also use fewer brushstrokes to reduce the amount of oil you distribute from your scalp.

Source: Men's Health

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tips to Get Ripped: Fat Loss Guide and Troubleshooting

Everyone wants to get ripped and peeled, but usually only a few ever make it. With the hot months on the horizon, everyone at the gym starts talking about their upcoming diet and how excited they are to get the ball rolling.

A common scene really, but it’s uncommon that someone’s efforts actually payoff the way they originally intended. Within a month most guys find themselves pretty frustrated. They are halfway done cutting at best, and feel like they are running through quicksand. As a competitive bodybuilder and contest coach, I get to hear my fair share of rants from these guys and it’s the same issues over and over. Landmines placed in the exact same spot as last year get stumbled upon the following year. In this article we will name a few of the most common traps that slow down, discourage, often leave cutting phases unfinished, and with results that leave so much more to be desired.


“What’s your body fat dude?”, “What’s my body fat at?”, “So what bodyfat should I get to?” This has got to go!

Be it if you are trying to compete in a bodybuilding show, gain the notoriety from the opposite sex, or just look good for your upcoming vacation. Nobody is going to look at you, point and say “WOW! Check out his 5.62934% bodyfat!” Truth is you are either in shape or not, and aiming for bodyfat percentages is a waste of time, a distraction at best. When I start dieting for bodybuilding shows I will get that question quite a bit. “So what bodyfat are you going to cut down to?” Truth is I just keep losing weight until I have achieved the look I desire. While your goal might not be striated glutes, I am sure you have a look in mind.

What if you get callipered at the 8% you were aiming for, but don’t quite look the way you anticipated? Do you end your diet there? Which brings me to my next point: bodyfat testing in general is pretty hit or miss, at least all the affordable ways are. This is why I never have my clients send me bodyfat percentages in their weekly reports to me. I want weight (which tells us how many lbs. of bodyfat we have lost) and pictures which of course you can’t argue with. You are either ripped or not, and it’s that simple. Yes numbers are sexy, and being able to quantify things is something people just like to do in general, but “ripped” you either are or you aren’t.

Let the mirror decide, not some plastic calipers. Much like the judges don’t get on stage and caliper myself and the other competitors, neither will that young lady at the beach. Shredded doesn’t need a number, it just is.


Fat loss and carbs just don’t go together in the eyes of most people looking to get into shape. Dieting is synonymous with low carb, and even no carb diets. While you will have to cut out some of your carbs when you start your mission towards getting lean, usually the amounts that are cut are too extreme. I will get asked often “so how man carbs should I take when dieting?” The answer is simple: as many as you can while still losing fat at the desired pace. Key words there being as many as YOU can!

Carb intakes can be one of the biggest variables when it comes to dieting.

Two guys with similar training programs, ages, and weights will often require two different approaches nutritionally. Some people might need to diet on 100 grams of carbs, others might require double or triple that amount. One thing is for sure, most folks low ball their carbohydrate threshold and diet on too little food. When you diet on less carbs than you require you will see the following occur: You will come out flying at the start, and then it will drastically slow down, and from there you will likely have to apply more aggressive protocols. Either dropping food lower or adding ungodly amounts of cardio will be required. You will then plateau to where nothing seems to work and progress will simply stall. This is where most guys end up a few weeks into their diet plan.

Use as many carbs as you can, as they will help power through your workouts in the gym, keep your metabolic rate healthy so you can lose fat longer and more efficiently and not just make progress the first month.

Second Approaches

Well if it worked for him than it should work for everyone else? If it were only that simple, how wonderful would it be. It would be great because I would no longer need weeks and weeks to get a feel for a client’s metabolic rate. Actually it would not be a good thing because there would be a “secret diet’ that would be applicable to everyone, and in turn I would be out of business. All joking aside, there is enough variation from individual to individual that one diet plan simply can’t fit all.

So while it’s cool, and I am always intrigued as to what other guys have done to get into magnificent shape, my interest has nothing to do with me wanting to mimic their approaches. I enjoy reading these protocols because it confirms the notion that we are each very unique and a wide array of approaches do work.

Some guys need to get in 3-4 hard cardio sessions a week, and others can count the number of cardio sessions they do during their whole diet on one hand. Varying protein intakes, caloric requirements, training guidelines etc. However as intriguing as these protocols are, what most likely makes these athletes successful is trial and error over the year, attention to detail, and being consistent. Good genetics usually help too, which in most cases these individuals happen to possess. For these guys almost anything will work, and let’s be blunt for a moment, if you were genetically predisposed to being muscular and lean you would likely not be reading this article.

Hard work and persistence is going to really make a big difference, the other half will come from using more sound physiological approaches, and not some copy and paste job.

Abs & Cardio

I am talking about the guys that go to the gym and spend 30-40 minutes working out abs. Not only is it a waste of time, but there could be better things you can spend fluff time at the gym on. For example prehab work, foam rolling, as in all the things that will help keep you healthy and progressing for a long time.

Quite often I will get curious inquiries from clients about dedicating a whole workout to abs in an effort to tighten up the mid-section. Which still leaves me in awe since we can’t spot target fat loss, and why would a bicep grow when you use it, but the torso muscle shrink and tighten up? Truth is a little goes a long way since abs are involved in some of the bigger movements we do in the gym, and also what works best for other muscles works best for your ab development. Weighted ab exercises in the 5-12 rep range, at about 3-4 sets twice a week is more than enough. Real definition and true sculpting is going to come via fat loss, but like any other muscle in your body it can be very well developed, but if you are not lean enough it won’t show.

As the old saying goes: “abs are made in the kitchen”, not on the 400th rep of some weird ab crunch variation that is synchronized to some horrible techno music.

Weight Training Gone Circuit Training

In the offseason I love to hit heavy squat sets. Most of my leg development has come from the 1-5 rep range. So come time to diet I like to squat in the 1-5 rep range. Yes you read that right, and I do keep about 90% of my strength when dieting. In reality, if you want to keep your hard earned muscle, you need to continue lifting heavy throughout your diet. If it’s getting harder to hit those heavy sets I would first abandon the higher rep work so that I can save my energy, and recovery for the heavier weights. Here is how I would adjust once I get into those nitty gritty portions of a diet. The last few weeks where things can get tough at times, as not only does the weight seem heavier, but energy can take a hit.

Offseason Chest Workout

DB Press (Flat)
• 145 X 5 (2 sets)
• 135 x 7 (2 sets)
• 125 x 10

On season/Dieting Phase Chest Workout

DB Press (Flat)
• 145 x 5(2 sets)
• 135 x 7

On the contrary what you will commonly see is guys abandon the lower rep work for the higher rep work. The main reasons behind this is one, they have a hard time holding on to strength because they attempt to keep volume at offseason levels. Next is the all too common they are trying to “condition” the muscles. The latter is still one of those bodybuilding fables that I wish would go away, but like fanny packs they are still a sight for sore eyes at gyms today.

Want your muscle to look its best when you diet? Then go with what got you there in the first place. Keep lifting heavy!

Too Much Diet Restriction

Everybody cheats on their diet, I have found this out first hand. I have had my share of slip-ups, but also from working with countless bodybuilders over the years. Yes even the most hardcore guys have their moments of weakness where they give in. However, so much of this can be avoided by not sweating the details that don’t matter and avoiding specific pitfalls.

Such as banning specific macronutrients (fat, carbs and protein) completely, as many popular diets have in recent years. Be it the 80’s with their extremely low fat approaches, or in recent years the ketogenic type diets. This is why I am a fan of moderate approaches, because if you swing the pendulum too hard one way, it’s going to push back just as hard.

For example the guy who decided to diet on 1,000 less calories than he required, and then binges out of control on the 3rd week of his diet. Or perhaps a diet were you must eat 8 meals a day to keep the metabolism fast (which is more fitness folklore) and one day misses a meal and loses his mind. You’ll have a hard time dieting in the real world where you can’t always eat every 90-120 minutes. Trying to do so is an unnecessary stressor.

When designing a diet for someone, I never hand them an envelope labeled “the diet” as for the numerous reasons discussed above it just doesn’t work that way. On the contrary, often we have to discuss what their real world looks like. If they have foods that lead to binges we get rid of those right away, if they have special occasions coming up were food will be eaten we adjust. If they are a busy mom and eating six times a day is too much, well then we will only eat three times a day.

Final Words

The most perfect diet will not work if the person cannot adhere to the details that actually matter. A diet has to make sense physiologically and psychologically. Diets that leave both variables unaccounted for are usually setting up people for failure, rather than helping them reach their full potential.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blast Your Abs Without A Single Crunch!

To truly carve your core, get up off the floor. Certain upper-body moves fire up your six-pack muscles as much as—if not more than—crunches. A new study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that several arm exercises on the cable machine work your abs more than a classic situp.

The purpose of your core muscles is to stabilize your torso while your arms and legs move, study author Sami Tarnanen, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, tells Take advantage of your physiology to train your rectus abdominis and obliques isometrically—that is, by bracing them against the torque generated by your arms. You’ll do double duty, strengthening your shoulders while building the type of core strength that can beat back pain and power your sports performance.To do the bilateral shoulder extension, stand with your spine neutral and your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot back, so your left heel aligns with your right toes and your left knee is slightly bent. “This stable posture enables you to use heavier resistance, and that means more activation in the core muscles,” Tarnanen says. Hold the rope handle with your arms straight ahead at shoulder height. Pull back and down to hip level, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.

Watch this video to see how to do the move.

Source: Men's Health

Saturday, March 1, 2014

11 (Rumored) Ways to Ease a Hangover

The 11 Best Ways to Ease a Hangover
By: Brittany Risher

You know better than to buy anything labeled "hangover cure" for the mornings after a wild night, but there has to be something out there to ease the headache, nausea, and overall sense of feeling like crap—right? We went to the experts with your list of hangover remedies (thank you, Facebook fans) and asked them what really works. While the research on this topic is limited and there's no one solution to fix all the symptoms of a hangover, a few things can help alleviate specific problems. The next time you hit the bottle too hard, here's what can make the next day at least somewhat less horrendous.

Water - H2O is a must. As you likely know from the frequent trips to the bathroom during a night of debauchery, alcohol is a diuretic and can cause dehydration. Before falling into bed, down 16 to 20 ounces of water, says Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., a consultant in addiction psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic. And the next time you go out, he recommends ordering a glass of water with every beer—and alternate between the two to replace lost fluids as you go.

Sports Drinks - "Even though the diuretic effect of alcohol may cause the body to lose some electrolytes, it's not so much that you need to replace them right away," says Samir Zakhari, Ph.D., director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. And research has shown Gatorade is no better for a hangover than water from your tap, so save your money.

Coffee - Lots of people—hungover or not—use a cup of joe to wake up and feel alert at work. But a trip to Starbucks won't give you lasting benefits, and caffeine can both treat and cause headaches and migraines, so this one is a personal preference. If you do down a cup, be sure to drink water, too, since studies suggest caffeine causes dehydration.

More Alcohol ("Hair of the Dog") - "Bad idea," Dr. Hall-Flavin says. "It will provide a numbing effect, but all you're doing is prolonging the inevitable, and it will likely make your headache worse." Another reason to avoid cracking open a cold one: Experts agree that if you use this "cure," the risk of abuse increases and could lead to alcohol dependency.

Toast or Crackers - Remember when your mom gave you toast as a kid when you couldn't keep anything down? This is good advice for adults who've spent the night hugging the porcelain throne, too. While no food can halt the roller coaster in your stomach, carbs can help bring your blood sugar levels back up the morning after, Dr. Hall-Flavin says. Normally when blood sugar levels dip, your liver reacts by producing more glucose from stored carbs. But if you've been drinking too much, your liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol and can't handle the extra work, so your blood sugar levels stay down, and you can feel irritable and tired.

Greasy Food -What you eat after drinking doesn't matter—it's what you eat before all those Jagerbombs that can help lessen the pain the next day. Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol, and the longer it takes the alcohol to reach your blood stream, the longer it is until you become intoxicated.

Pain Medication - Ease a pounding head with a pill (or two, depending on the recommended dosage), but stick to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen), not acetaminophen (Tylenol): "While it's OK for a headache, when combined with a liver that's working overtime to metabolize alcohol, it can cause liver damage or be deadly," says Dena Davidson, Ph.D., former associate professor of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine.

If you normally take a multi, go ahead, but no studies have found that any particular vitamins do anything for a hangover. And one night of intoxication isn't enough to throw off the levels of nutrients in your body to the point where you need to worry.

Exercise - One drink—a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor—is metabolized by your body in about an hour, so the whole "sweat it out" theory is myth. At the same time, the endorphin release could boost your mood. And burning off a few calories may ease your guilt about how much you drank. Just be sure you keep your water bottle handy so you don't become even more dehydrated.

Sex - "There is no research that shows that sex will make a hangover go away, but maybe it will make the time go faster," says Joris C. Verster, Ph.D., assistant professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. "If it makes you happy, go for it."

The Best Cure: Prevention

You're a grown man, you know to drink responsibly. But just in case you forgot: Limit your drinks to about one every hour. Your body metabolizes each beer (or wine or shot) in about 60 to 75 minutes, Dr. Hall-Flavin says. Drink faster, and your blood alcohol level rises faster. Eat before you drink and follow Dr. Hall-Flavin's "I'll have a beer and a glass of water" rule when ordering—and drink the water, don't let it just sit on the table.

And how's this for sobering: In research, “moderate drinking” by a man is defined as two drinks a day. More than five in one sitting is considered "heavy drinking." So think before you order that extra round.

Source: Men's Health

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Low-Fat Homework Made Easy

Serving Size - Ask yourself whether you'll actually eat the amount shown on the label. If you will, then you don't need a calculator to figure out how much fat and how man calories you're getting. But if you're going to eat twice that much, remember to double everything.

Calories and Total Fat - This is where it's better to look at the absolute numbers rather than the percentages. If you know how many calories and how much fat you're allowing yourself every day, these numbers tell you instantly whether you're within your range for the meal or snack you're about to have.

Saturated Fat and Cholesterol - No more than 10 percent of your calories should come from saturate fat. As for cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 300 milligrams a day.

Sodium - Although it's not a factor that directly affects your low-fat diet, high sodium can pose another health risk for some people by leading to high blood pressure.

Dietary Fiber - The more, the better. Foods that are high in fiber help keep your digestive system working smoothly. Since they make you feel full longer, high-fiber foods ultimately help you eat less food in general and there-fore less fat and fewer calories.

Source: Low-Fat Living

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dull Hair Solution

Since many pomades and volumizers are water based, adding a dab to wet hair just dilutes the effect. The product will work best with a dry base. Use Beer. Just take one into the shower and massage it into your hair a few times a week after shampooing, and then rinse. The hops may help coat your hair and add volume.

Source: Men's Health

Total Pageviews