Fitspiration Friday: "How I got the Strength to Save Three People"
If you’ve tried a Beachbody program, you’ve probably had a goal in mind that you wanted to achieve. Maybe you wanted to lose weight. Maybe you wanted to get stronger. Maybe you wanted to improve your health. Maybe it was a mix of all three, or something else entirely. But, along the way, no matter what your goal, everyone needs a little inspiration. Every other Friday, the Beachbody Success Stories team will be sharing inspirational fitness stories from some of the folks who have done Beachbody programs. Maybe one will inspire you!
Meet Dennis, a Florida man who not only got fit using T25 and P90X3, but who also used his newfound strength in an incredible way.
“I was driving to pick up my daughter from school when, suddenly, a car sped out in front of me. It jumped the curb and went down a hill into the lake. I immediately pulled my truck over, jumped out, and ran to the edge of the water. The car was already floating towards the center.
I thought, I’ve told my kids never go into a lake because of alligators. I dismissed the thought and ran into the lake. I swam to the car as it floated further in. Finally, I grabbed the door handle of the driver side. It was locked. I couldn’t see in the car because only my head was sticking out of the water and the car was higher than I was. The windows were up. I banged on the window and yelled. There was no immediate answer.
Then, I heard a man inside say, ‘I can’t.’ My heart dropped because I knew there was no way I would be able to get inside. It was terrifying knowing I could be watching someone die in front of me and was completely helpless. I yelled to him. ‘You have to get out!’
Then the window went down. I boosted myself up on the windowsill. Inside was a man in his thirties. His kids were in the backseat. I asked if they could swim. He said that his seven-year-old daughter could, but his four-year-old son could not. I could feel panic start to come on, but I stayed focused. He put the back window down as far as it would go.
I tried to pull the daughter out through the window, but she was stuck. She had grabbed her bookbag and it wouldn’t fit through the window. The car had started to nosedive in the water. I had no leverage, because the front of the car was sinking and the back of the car was up in the air. I finally got her, her bookbag, and her brother out. The man climbed out and we started to swim to shore, which was about 25 yards away.
The two kids were holding on my back and I had the girl’s bag on my arm. The man swam next to us. About 5-10 yards from the edge, I began to run out of energy and knew I was very close to complete exhaustion. I started to scream for help. I didn’t realize that I was only feet from being able to touch the lake bottom until a man ran into the water and pulled me and the kids to the shallow edge. We had made it.
Later on, I talked with my wife Cindy (who is also my coach) about the experience. If she hadn’t talked me into changing my workout routine, I don’t know if I could have saved those people. Since 1995, I had been just “pumping iron.” Cindy got me doing FOCUS T25, and I dropped 20-25 pounds which made me lighter in the water. Then I did P90X3, which had been making me stronger and helped me build full body strength and endurance. I know God works in mysterious ways, and I believe it was God’s intervention that made me change a 19-year habit of doing things my way. I always had the heart to do what I did that day, but I don’t think I would have had the strength and endurance to do it. Since then, I’ve completed Body Beast, as well.
I was awarded a Certificate of Commendation from the local Fire Department. A year later I received a Good Samarian Award from the Sherriff’s Office. I feel like my life’s purpose has been fulfilled. Three people are alive today. Oh, and one more note: The 4-year-old boy? He celebrated his 5th birthday the next day.”
Success Stories - Beachbody Blog
A message from Tony Horton ❤
Hey Boys & Girls,
For those of you that have picked up a copy of my book, The Big Picture, you might be very familiar with what BTP is (I encourage you to read on anyway), but for those of you that haven't (ahem), BTP stands for, Boredom Tipping Point and I am here to tell you how to give your BTP a little TLC, so you don't end up miserable, unhappy and burnt out.
... Now, you know I am a huge fan of Variety. It IS the spice of life after all. There is nothing worse than being bored with exercise, food, life, relationships, you name it. If you have been experiencing a sense of boredom in any of these areas, your Uncle Tony is here to help.
Remember when you were a kid and you did cool things just for fun? Everything was a hobby then, and you enjoyed doing it. It didn't feel like work, or something you HAD to do, it was something you enjoyed. Well, it's time to bring that feeling back and squash that BTP before it sets in too deeply.
There are tons of people out there who don't have hobbies outside of their family, work, and responsibilities of life anymore. It always amazes me when I ask people what they do for fun, and they stare at me blankly, or tell me they have no time for fun. What? No time for fun?? There is nothing more ludicrous than that statement right there. Life is meant to be fun, otherwise what the heck are we doing here?
If you have let yourself become too responsible, and you are not actively tapping into the joyful, playful part of yourself, then you are not honoring your true self, and I'm sure you're just not any fun to be around (kidding, only half way, really.) So, I want you to think for a moment, what are those things that you used to love to do as a kid? What are some things you might like to do now? What are some things you thought about doing, but haven't because they seem too silly or out of reach?
I want you to make a list of things that seem fun to you. Ask your friends what they do for fun. Start to look at local meet up groups in your area to see what peaks your interest. Ping Pong club. Great. Scrap booking. Awesome. Cycling. Even Better. There are fun things happening all around you, you just forgot to participate. Now, when that list is done, choose one or two of those things and pencil them into your, oh-so-busy, I-don't-have-time-for-fun schedule and DO THEM, this week. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
I promise that the more fun you start having, the more people will want to be around you, the happier you will feel and the more you will be motivated to complete other not-so-fun responsibilities in your life. You will be filling your own cup, and when our own cup is full, we have enough to give to others.
So kick that BTP in the butt with a little TLC for yourself and see what unfolds.
How to Know When To Replace Your Workout Shoes
By Jerry Morgan
When it comes to working out, failure is a good thing. Bringing your muscles to the quivering brink of structural integrity is what makes muscles stronger. But when it comes to your footwear, the last thing you want is failure. Unlike muscles, shoes are not bound to the same laws of recovery. Once they’re done, they’re done. Use them past their “expiration point” and they may be doing you more harm than good.
It becomes important, then, to understand how long your shoes might last given your chosen workout regimen and how to know when they’ve expired.
How Long Do Workout Shoes Last?
When it comes to shoes, you really do tend to get what you pay for. Shoes that are purpose-designed with higher-quality materials tend to last longer. But no matter the manufacturer, studies have shown most shoes exhibit similar wear in one very important area: compression capabilities, or their ability to absorb the shock of you jumping.
According to research published by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the average running shoe loses 50 percent of its compression capability in 300 to 500 miles of use. Researchers concluded that most shoes should be replaced within that mileage window or every six months, whichever comes first. But how do you calculate that when your workout doesn’t center around running?
How Your Specific Workout Affects A Shoe’s Lifespan
What does your workout entail? If it’s Shaun T’s INSANITY, your workout is bound to include a lot of intense cardio and you’ll essentially be racking up those simulated miles, in addition to jumping. In this case, those compressive forces may wear out the integrity of the shoe a bit faster than just taking a jog every morning.
Programs like Body Beast and P90X definitely have their moments of high-intensity, foot-to-floor exertion as well, but in general these workouts will be more forgiving on your shoes than INSANITY or T25. The same applies if you’re a gym-goer who trains mostly with weights: You can expect markedly longer shoe life with these types of workouts.
And if you are a runner, the life of your shoe depends on intensity. Someone who runs sprints, for example, will be translating exponentially more force through the sole of the shoe than someone who just walks. If you are a sprinter, you may want to condense the NSCA’s six-month recommendation a bit.
Signs Your Shoes Are Done
So, how do you know if your shoes are ready for the circular file? The best way is a simple visual inspection of the shoe itself.
Don’t just look on the underside of the shoe. Take the time to inspect areas that display wear long before, such as the midsole, which is visible from the side of the shoe. If the midsole shows excessive horizontal creasing or wear on the areas that absorb the most load – the heel and the ball of the foot – then it’s probably time to toss them.
You can also perform what’s called a press test, where you press on the outsole (read: bottom) of the shoe and inspect for compression. If the outsole gives very little, that means that the material is highly compressed and doing you about as much good as a set of snowshoes on hardwood.
Rebecca Swanner - Beachbody Blog
Caffeine and Its Effects on Exercise Performance
It’s the end of a long and trying workday. You want couch, and plenty of it. But on the way home you knock back a double espresso and find, miraculously, on arrival you’re ready for that round of INSANITY:MAX 30 you’d planned to blow off.
Ah caffeine, the original performance-enhancing drug.
Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), more than 80 percent of North American adults regularly consume caffeine, with intakes averaging between 210 and 238 mg per day. One in 10 of us ingests 1000 mg per day or more, from sources that include coffee, cola, tea, sports drinks, chocolate, and non-prescription supplements.
Yet despite caffeine’s ubiquity — and considerable research on the topic — its role in athletics is still emerging science. People of all stripes consume caffeine to enhance their well-being and daily activities, but athletes are often left wondering how it affects their performance, notes Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Sports Commission and co-author of Caffeine for Sports Performance.
And it’s not as if the beverage industry has played down the potential link between caffeine and athletic performance. As far back as 1928, Coca-Cola sent 1,000 cases with the U.S Olympic team to the Amsterdam games, and Coke remains the Olympics’ longest continuous corporate sponsor.
Until recently, caffeine was considered a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Burke says that when it’s intentional, athletes usually used caffeine to reduce fatigue or offset a performance decline that would otherwise occur during an event. But given how prevalent caffeine is, some athletes were “juicing” without even realizing it. “Not all athletes who have caffeine in their system while they train or compete had the intention of gaining a performance advantage,” Burke says. Recognizing this, WADA removed caffeine from its list of prohibited substances in 2004. The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) still considers it a regulated, but not banned, substance.
How Caffeine Can Give Your Workouts a Jolt
The stuff works, as any swing-shift employee can attest, and used judiciously can help both get your butt out there on training days, and peak your performance in competition.
At the physiological level, ingested caffeine is quickly absorbed by the stomach and peaks in the blood within 1-2 hours. Initial effects — the jolt — can be felt sooner, and women metabolize caffeine about 20 percent quicker than men.
Because caffeine is absorbed by most human tissue, it can affect all of the body’s major systems. Caffeine stimulates your brain, can elevate your mood, and postpones fatigue. While it doesn’t appear to improve fine motor coordination, it has been shown to improve endurance and performance at simple tasks.
Studies in the 1970s suggested that caffeine helped performance in endurance exercises by upping the level of adrenaline in the blood, which in turn stimulated the release of free fatty acids from fat tissue or skeletal muscle. The idea was that working muscles were using this as an energy source early in the exercise, saving more glycogen for later on.
And there’s probably something to that, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. While conflicting studies in the 1980s left many thinking caffeine had no real net impact on athletic performance, more recent double-blind experiments have found there is a physical gain to be had. For some. At certain concentrations.
Are there any downsides to caffeine? Well, shaky hands are a telltale sign of too much of the stuff. (This is a problem easily solved for most by sticking to low doses.) And if you consume caffeine before bedtime, you’ll probably take longer to fall asleep and sleep less deeply. Happily, the wives’ tale that caffeine is a diuretic has proven false under study: Not only do you not pee more than if you were drinking plain water, you also don’t lose substantially more moisture due to sweat.
How Much Caffeine Is Ideal?
In a well-regarded 2002 study, researchers examined how competitive cyclists performed using caffeine vs. a non-caffeinated but otherwise nutritionally-sound sports drink under two protocols. In the first, they tested how subjects performed in time trials using varying levels of caffeine before or during a ride. In the second, they gave subjects Coca-Cola in the final 40 minutes of a long, steady-state ride. Between the two studies, it was determined that 6 mg/kg of body mass did have an ergogenic effect.
A 2012 study compared that amount to 3 mg/kg of body mass and uncovered that the lower dose was equally as effective. While this research was on cyclists, it’s been shown that caffeine taken before exercise can help across a range of sports, including endurance events like long-distance running, stop-and-go events like racquetball, and sports involving sustained high-intensity activity lasting up to an hour, such as swimming and rowing.
But the benefit may go beyond just the physical. “Performance is not all physiological — a lot of it is mental,” notes Bob Girandola, an associate professor of Biological Sciences at USC who has taught classes on drugs in sports.
“Caffeine may affect your subjective feeling of fatigue or stress or pain,” Girandol says. “If you and I were doing an exercise and I was taking caffeine and you were not, perhaps it would feel a little bit less strenuous to me.” He explains that over the course of a sustained training regimen that could provide an advantage. “With any kind of performance enhancing substances, there’s a lot of individual variation with people. I always tell athletes here, as long as it’s not illegal…take it during practice and see if you think it’s going to help. Even if it’s just psychological, that’s fine.”
Three Ingredients to Look for in a Pre Workout Drink
There are a million excuses not to exercise, but nothing beats the old chestnut, “I just don’t feel like it.” That’s the one Energize tackles head-on. As the leadoff hitter in the Beachbody Performance lineup, this pre-workout supplement is formulated to get you up and running, both literally and figuratively, with just the right amount of lift to enhance performance and delay muscle fatigue. Intended for use within 30 minutes prior to exercise, Energize was designed with science at its core, with the Beachbody Science Advisory Board—a group comprised of some of the leading authorities in fitness, nutrition, and wellness—guiding its creation.
The three natural ingredients in this lemon-flavored supplement are caffeine, beta-alanine, and quercetin.
Caffeine has been shown to enhance performance with accepted ergogenic effects including improved reaction time, mental acuity, and focus. Energize uses a low dose of caffeine (from green tea), which can enhance performance without the associated side effects of higher caffeine doses such as increased heart rate, gastrointestinal distress, insomnia, and feeling jittery or anxious.
In the past, athletes thought that they basically needed to mainline espresso to get the performance impact of caffeine, but newer research shows this is not the case. One study showed cyclists saw performance gains after ingesting low doses of caffeine, while another study demonstrated that runners, who took a low-dose caffeine capsule, reported improved times in an 8K race versus those who had taken a placebo. “Caffeine’s performance-enhancing effects are well known. However, the research landscape has shifted with greater emphasis on how low or very low doses can improve performance without undesirable side effects,” says Dr. Nima Alamdari Ph.D., Beachbody Director of Scientific Affairs, and one of the driving forces behind the Beachbody Performance line.
Beta alanine is an amino acid that combines with another amino acid called histidine to create a substance called carnosine, which buffers against acid levels in muscle. You’ll find carnosine in meat, but you’d need to eat a whole lot of beef to get an active dose that would be effective for improving your exercise performance. Consuming beta alanine over time, however, can increase muscle carnosine levels—and that can increase your lactic acid buffering capacity.
“Muscle acidosis is the muscle burn and fatigue that you feel when you’re doing high-intensity workouts or sports—and we know that it’s a limiting factor to performance,” says Dr. Alamdari, “Buffering lactic acid translates to an increase in the period of time you can sustain high-intensity or intermittent high-intensity exercise.”
According to Dr. Alamdari, an increasing amount of evidence points to beta alanine’s ability to do this. “It’s a choice ingredient for athletes in high-intensity sports such as sprinting, swimming, and rowing and a great tool for anyone trying to improve performance where training or exercise has elements of high-intensity, like high-intensity intervals and resistance training.”
Quercetin gives Energize its ‘80s day-glow yellow color. This potent phytonutrient has also shown positive results in human clinical trials, and is believed to improve performance and also reduce exercise-induced inflammation, which is a key theme throughout the Performanceline. Dr. Alamdari believes that by doing this, it can be possible to reduce the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness [DOMS] and speed muscle strength recovery.
“Quercetin is a plant-based nutrient that has extremely exciting properties that fit with a performance-enhancing drink” Dr. Alamdari said, citing several positive results on exercise performance in human clinical trials.
One study showed improved endurance among 12 healthy, but untrained, volunteers over a seven-day period. Half received a drink with quercetin and the other half received a placebo. The quercetin group also showed improved VO2max (the maximum amount of oxygen one can use during aerobic exercise) over the placebo group. Another study with 60 men over eight weeks of exercise showed reduced markers for inflammation.
Just like the entire Performance line, Energize is NSF Certified for Sport approved, meaning its label claims have been verified against product contents and it’s been screened for the major stimulants, narcotics, steroids, diuretics, and beta-2 agonists banned by most major athletic organizations. What does this mean? It means it’s both safe and legal, whether you’re pumping iron in your living room, intercepting a pass on the gridiron, or swinging a 9-iron on the PGA tour.
Author Mike Scarr
The Benefits of 7 Common Herbs
You walk into the kitchen and smell something delicious. Odds are you can credit fresh, green herbs for that aromatic infusion. Sure, you can get the dried version in a jar, but fresh ones add more flavor and they’re easy to maintain – keep them in pots outside if you live in a temperate climate or start a windowsill garden if you live somewhere you experience extreme temperatures.
Here are seven herbs to start with that will make your recipes sing.Parsley
Whether you pick the curly-leafed or the flat-leafed Italian variety, this herb has almost twice the carotenoid content of carrots. It is rich in antioxidants, which may slow down the effects of aging and help prevent coronary artery disease. Parsley also contains apigenin—a phytonutrient shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties, by working to inhibit the formation of new tumor-feeding blood cells.
Recipe: Parsley is one of the stars that transform basic chicken breast into something special. Get the recipe.
These delicate 1/4-inch leaves help cut cholesterol, reduce high blood sugar, promote detoxification of the blood, according to a study published in the Department of Food, Nutrition and Health. They are also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Add chopped cilantro (and a squeeze of lime) to savory Mexican and Middle Eastern dishes.
Recipe: Cilantro is an unexpected addition to this pork chop recipe, but it helps pull the other flavors together.
These wide, pointed, round leaves are a good source of vitamin A and magnesium. They also contain iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Basil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that come from its high volatile (aromatic) oils content, which include—linalool, estragole, and limonene.
Recipe: Add fresh basil leaves to any dish with whole-grain pasta or try this homemade basil pesto on an egg white omelet.
A cousin of basil, these small, wrinkly leaves can soothes your tummy and can help lessen the effects of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia, by its ability to relax the smooth muscles in these areas. Moroccan mint tea, anyone?
Recipe: Mint gives this vegetarian chickpea salad extra zing.
This pungent, slightly spicy herb is related to garlic and leeks. Like garlic, chives get their distinctive aroma from their high allicin content—an antioxidant compound that has been associated with anti-aging. Nutritionally, they’re a good source of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin K, calcium, and folic acid, and also contain trace amounts of iron and vitamin B. Sprinkle chopped chives on top of soups and chive on.
Recipe: Using chives in these broccoli and bell pepper egg cups will give them a depth of flavor they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Dill, easily identifiable by its delicate, wispy fronds, is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s high in calcium, manganese, iron, fiber, and magnesium. And, like basil and mint, contains volatile oils such as limonene and anethofuran that have antioxidant properties. Ancient Greek and Roman soldiers would use burnt dill seeds on their wounds for healing, and while we don’t recommend that…we do support using it as a garnish for fish, in sauces, or if you make pickles!
Recipe: Tzatziki, a dipping sauce made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, and dill, showcases dill’s flavor and is great on sandwiches.
A staple of hundreds of cuisines from around the world, oregano’s fresh, fuzzy leaves add surprising dimension to beans and chicken dishes. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, and a good source of vitamins A and C. It also contains iron, manganese, and folate. Try sprinkling minced leaves on slices of tomato and cucumber and drizzling a touch of olive oil on top for a Mediterranean-style snack.
Recipe: Try this healthy turkey hash for breakfast. Just swap out the dried oregano for fresh. 1 teaspoon of dried leaves is equivalent to 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano.
Author Jeanine Natale
Team Beachbody Blog
4 Nutrients that Can Ease Muscle Soreness
Whether it’s a consequence of a tough race, a long distance run, heavy resistance training, or taking on P90X, sooner or later we all have to deal with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
You know the feeling. After hitting your exercise bout you may feel great, even invigorated, but then you roll out of bed the next morning and even descending the stairs turns into a herculean effort. What comes next are days of continual physical and psychological discomfort, not to mention reduced exercise performance. Welcome to the world of DOMS.
Caused by high-intensity or unfamiliar exercise, DOMS peaks around 24–72 hours later and is associated with a 10–50% reduction in strength, with weakness lasting 4–14 days. Although the symptoms are painfully understood, the causes are not fully clear — but likely include muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress due to intense training or competition.
Among exercisers and athletes, it’s common to search for strategies, including pharmacologic ones, to alleviate muscle soreness and impairment of performance quality. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are used by athletes at all levels in an attempt to reduce symptoms, but excessive NSAID use has been associated with serious side effects, including gastrointestinal distress and cardiovascular complications.
There are now emerging nutritional strategies utilizing phytonutrients that may possess powerful postexercise anti-inflammatory activity and generally free of undesirable side effects. Here are some of the most promising.
Found in turmeric, this phytonutrient is responsible for the yellow color of curry and has been traditionally used in Asia for centuries as an anti-inflammatory agent. Curcumin can inhibit the transcription factor, a known regulator of inflammatory pathways within our cells. Early studies have shown curcumin to block markers of inflammation and improve deficits of performance in experimental models of downhill running.
A more recent study also reported favorable effects on DOMS, showing reduced muscle damage and lower pain intensity 48 hours after eccentric continuous exercise. (Eccentric meaning an exercise involving the lengthening of the muscle, as opposed to “unconventional or slightly strange.”) Another study reported that curcumin may reduce DOMS-related muscle pain following unaccustomed heavy eccentric exercise—the study focused on single leg jumps and single leg presses—with some evidence for enhanced recovery of muscle performance. Although this research is new, it seems promising and curcumin supplementation could offer individuals a way to combat the effects of DOMS and improve training quality and performance.
More exercise-related research has been conducted on quercetin than any other phytonutrient. Quercetin is naturally found in fruits and vegetables like apples and onions, and much like curcumin, possesses relatively powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Quercetin has been investigated as a performance aid and countermeasure to exercise-induced inflammation, oxidative stress, immune dysfunction and urinary tract symptoms.
Studies have shown a reduction of inflammatory markers in quercetin-treated cyclists over a 24-day period. When quercetin supplementation was combined with green tea extract, isoquercetin and fish oil, a follow-up study by the same group showed a sizable reduction in exercise-induced inflammation and oxidative stress after 3 days of heavy exertion in trained cyclists. This was also associated with lasting improvement in immunity markers, meaning it potentially improved immune function. While more studies are needed to understand the effects of quercetin on exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, it’s certainly a phytonutrient to watch.
Ellagitannins are phytonutrients found naturally in fruits such as pomegranates. As with curcumin, and quercetin, ellagitannin research has focused on reducing exercise-induced inflammation.
A study from the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise examined the effects of nine days of an ellagitannin-rich pomegranate extract on muscle damage and strength performance recovery after heavy resistance training. The pomegranate treatment group had less exercise-induced muscle soreness and in exercised muscle 48-72 hours after training.
A follow-up study by the same group examined the effect of 15 days of pomegranate juice supplementation on muscle soreness and strength following eccentric exercise. The results confirmed that pomegranate juice reduced muscle soreness and improved strength recovery compared to a placebo.
Like ellagitannins, anthocyanins are large phytonutrients found in fruits such as berries, cherries, and grapes. Similar results of improvement in recovery have been seen using anthocyanin-rich tart cherry juice.
A study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that subjects who consumed 12 oz. of tart cherry juice for five days prior to muscle-damaging exercise had significantly less strength loss than the placebo group throughout a 96-hour period. Another study found tart cherry juice reduced exercise inflammation and improved strength recovery in marathon runners. Additional studies showed similar results for tart cherry supplementation: one following three days of simulated bicycle road-racing and the other following high-intensity, metabolically-challenging exercise.
The clinical and practical utility of tart cherry for improving exercise-induced inflammation and DOMS looks promising. Recently, at the International Society of Sports Nutrition Conference there were reports of an anthocyanin-rich tart cherry extract reducing muscle soreness and markers of muscle breakdown in and athletes. Aside from benefits noted on DOMS, tart cherry juice has also shown positive effects such as reducing exercise-induced stress and in marathon runners. The same group observed benefits of tart cherry juice on sleep quality in healthy men and women over a seven-day trial, due to an increase in circulating melatonin.
Maintaining muscular strength after DOMS-inducing exercise matters to recreational and competitive athletes alike, especially if they want to continue performing optimally. It’s also important for anyone who exercises and doesn’t want to wake up the next morning feeling sore and weak and unmotivated or unable to take on the next training bout effectively.
So far, efforts to reduce DOMS and loss of muscle strength have centered on the use of NSAIDs as well as physical strategies like temperature-based water immersion protocols, cryogenic chambers, hyperbaric oxygen, massage, recovery exercise, compressive clothing, and desperate praying. While some of these strategies may have benefits, promising nutritional strategies that utilize phytonutrients with distinct recovery effects have begun to emerge that may also be helpful, not just for athletes, but for anyone in the early stages of new and unfamiliar training regimens, making them well worth investigating for people of all fitness levels.
Dr Nima Alandar
Hey Boys & Girls,
You CAN eat more and lose weight. You heard me right. You may be thinking I am off my rocker, and at times I am (even I know that), but in this case listen up.
It's all about WHAT you eat. I try to eat 5 meals a day. I know I’m the fitness guy, but I’ve learned that when it comes to food, every morsel matters. If I was eating 5 meals a day consisting of processed and refined foods, you can bet I wouldn't be looking or feeling as good as I do. I'd be a sick and unhappy lifeless, overweight sloth living down by the river. This also doesn't mean that you get to eat to oblivion even when you're not hungry. It's about listening to your body and eating the right amount for you, so that you can live a productive athletic life.
Food is the most important part of the health equation, and WHAT KIND OF FOOD YOU EAT is the key.
Clean. Whole. Unprocessed. That's it. Put Fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins and healthy fats into your body and your body will operate at it's most optimal and feel incredible. Your metabolism will be stoked as well, which leads to fat burning and weight loss.
Of course you need to get enough sleep, drink enough water and manage stress in your life, but when you are eating nutrient dense food, you can eat a heck of a lot more of it and NOT gain weight. You actually may even find you don't need to eat as much because your body is getting so much dense nutrition, fiber and freshness that you are not as hungry and you stay satisfied longer.
Eating processed, refined franken-foods is a recipe for a health disaster. These foods dull the body from it's natural ability to feel satisfied. Obesity is STILL the fastest growing disease among adults and children today.
Cut out the sugar, caffeine, white flour, white rice and any gooey, chewy foods that you know have been manufactured in a plant, not from a plant.
The bottom line is this: Put Good Food in. Move Your Body Everyday. Manage Stress. Sleep Enough. Drink Plenty of Water. Laugh A lot & Health will be Yours!
Listen to your Uncle Tony. You will be happy you did!
How Eminem Lost 81 Pounds
On July 20th, Southpaw — starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and Forest Whitaker — celebrated its New York premiere. But, it wasn’t just the dramatic story of down-on-his-luck boxer Billy Hope that made its debut. So did Eminem’s new physique. Not so unlike Gyllenhaal’s Hope (who Eminem was originally slated to play), Eminem had to fight his way back to being the slim version of Slim Shady.
In an article published in the most recent issue of Men’s Journal, Eminem recounted his battle with addiction and the weight loss that came with beating it. In the beginning, when he was still fighting an addiction to prescription drugs, he still worked out, but his dedication was halfhearted. “I’m not sure exactly when I finally got it. In the early days, I just went with the flow: If I could hit a gym, I’d hit up a gym. If someone suggested a workout that seemed legit, I might try it, but it wasn’t a priority.” He explains he didn’t want to get big, instead he wanted to maintain his cardio endurance. He never wanted to be out of breath anywhere…especially not onstage.
But, by the time he overdosed in 2007 at age 35, he says he was close to 230 pounds. Standing at 5’8,” his BMI was about 35, which meant Eminem — at least according to the charts — was bordering on being morbidly obese. He says he thinks his addiction had a lot to do with it. “I’m not sure how I got so big, but I have ideas. The coating on the Vicodin and the Valium I’d been taking for years leaves a hole in your stomach, so to avoid a stomachache, I was constantly eating — and eating badly.”
Eminem told Men’s Journal, that upon leaving rehab, he needed to find a new way to function. He threw himself into running, which helped ease his insomnia (something he previously tried to manage with drugs) and gave him an endorphin kick. He got down to 149 pounds, but says “I think I got a little carried away. I became a f-ing hamster. Seventeen miles a day on a treadmill…All the constant pounding from the running began to tear up my hip flexors.”
In an effort to keep up the cardio but ease up on the running, he tried INSANITY. In the beginning, he’d run one day and do INSANITY the next. “Then I stopped running altogether because it was too much to do them both. INSANITY won.” After that, he moved on to P90X and then to Body Beast, which is his current favorite.
“Now every morning before I go to the studio, I do the Body Beast workout with free weights, bench, and pullup bar at home. It’s just me, so it helps that the Body Beast dude is over-the-top. The routine is pretty intense, too. The first time I did the legs, I couldn’t walk for two days.”
Author Rebecca Swanner
Hi I'm Kelly Richards Mulloy a stay at home mom of 6. I am on a journey to change my life inside and out. Health and fitness, staying young, join me.