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Believe & Acheive

Don’t walk through life just playing football. Don’t walk through life just being an athlete. Athletics will fade. Character and integrity are the ultimate vision, the ultimate goal.

Train Hard Fight Easy

It doesn’t matter how good you are. Sport is all about playing and competing. Whatever you do in cricket and in sport, enjoy it, be positive and try to win.

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The fitness regimen must also focus on maintaining sound mental health besides physical fitness. Mental fitness is also very important for athletes if they are aiming to achieve glory at national and international sporting events. Lack of mental fitness hampers the athletes’ capability to compete at their optimum best. .

Creative and Easy Ways to Get Your Veggies In

We all know what to do, we all know we should do it. But eating your vegetables  can be a struggle. According to the Food Pyramid Guidelines, we should be aiming to eat 2-3 servings of vegetables a day. That boils down to roughly 2 1/2 cups. Easy to do? Maybe to some. But to others, not so much.

So, today let’s focus on creative and easy ways to get your veggies in. You might even fool your own taste buds if veggies aren’t on your top preferred list!

  1. Green Smoothies, what? 

There has been a growing movement over this past year called the Green Monster Movement. Bloggers, fitness enthusiasts and everyone in between is starting to make their smoothies green. You might be wondering how this help you with getting your vegetables in. Join the movement and start making your smoothies green by adding spinach, lettuce, kale or any green that you prefer! And the best part? You cannot taste the green guys at all!

So here is a basic recipe to get you started:

  • 1 cup of milk or preferred beverage
  • 1 cup of spinach or preferred green
  • 1 banana or desired fruit of choice
  • 7-8 ice cubes

Blend away and enjoy.

The recipes are endless: add various fruits, yogurts, protein powders, peanut butter and more. Cater your green smoothie to your taste. While you are at it, check out this collection of smoothies at the Green Monster Movement website.

  1. Green Oatmeal

Yes, that is exactly what you read. Similar to your smoothies, thrown in some spinach during your oatmeal cooking process. This does not work well if you prefer to microwave your oatmeal, unless you take an extra moment to throw the mixture in the blender or food processor to mix in the greens.

On the stovetop, adding spinach to your oatmeal works beautifully!

Basic recipe:

  • 1/2 cup of dried oats
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup of spinach

Bring milk and water to a boil. Add spinach leaves. Lower heat and allow spinach to wilt slightly. Add dried oats and allow to simmer until desired consistency. Add your toppings and you are done!

  1. Sweet potato pancakes

A delicious and hearty way to get in a healthy vegetable and starch! Double win.

Next time you decide to make some flapjacks, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of canned sweet potato (or 1 cooked potato peeled and mashed) to the mixture. You may need to add additional milk or water if mixture is too thick. Cook, as usual, an enjoy.

There you have it! Three easy ways to get some vegetables into your day that are tasty, healthy and mighty delicious! 

Food, Fitness and Fighting Fibromyalgia

Food, Fitness and Fighting Fibromyalgia

Millions of people suffer from a condition known as “Fibromyalgia” and don’t even know it. Since there are no tests that can conclusively confirm a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia (also called “Fibromyalgia Syndrome or “FMS”) and, because there are no visible signs of the condition, it has been named “the invisible disability.”

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia: Fatigue is the primary symptom of this mysterious condition. It is most often accompanied by pain or aching in the soft tissue of the neck, feet and/or shoulders and can include muscle spasms as well as a burning sensation. A person may have some or all of the symptoms which can vary in intensity from mild to quite severe. The pain and discomfort may interfere with work and daily routines. Although anyone can have FMS, it typically affects more women than men. The condition can be exacerbated by, among other things, consuming certain foods.

Self-Care Options For Treatment of Fibromyalgia: First, avoid eating wheat and products that contain wheat such as certain breads & biscuits, pasta, cereals, and crackers. According to Dr. Peter D’Adamo, author of “Eat Right for 4 Your Type,” wheat contains lectin proteins that are unfavorable to all blood types but, especially to Blood Type “O.”

Second,consider supplements that reduce inflammation, support nerve health and/or fight fatigue to keep in the home arsenal of natural defense weapons. A few examples of the foregoing supplements are: Vitamin B6, ultra-purified fish oil, Ashwaganda, Ginseng, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Pantothenic Acid. Some local sources for supplements include Earth Fare, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Whole Foods.

Physical therapy can also be very beneficial for individuals with chronic problems. Click here for a complete listing of professional service providers in the Greenville area. Home treatment options for physical therapy include far infrared saunas and steam saunas. A local resource for home saunas is Hot Springs Pool and Spa of Greenville and Arden, NC.  If purchasing a sauna is cost prohibitive, consider joining a fitness club that has a sauna or steam room on-site.  Most importantly, stretch, keep fit and well hydrated and eat a diet free of artificial anything.

Best training practices: Periodization

From training in or training at the multitude of Cortland gyms, people are always looking for that “edge”, that way of training in order to get the maximum amount of results with the least amount of time.  Well here is the secret:  periodization.  This means simply, mixing up your routine in which you increase intensity, increase weight, increase exercise volume (sets) and increase repetitions.

The idea is to constantly shock your system, confuse your muscles to avoid adaptation, and to allow the quickest and most effective muscle growth.  However, it doesn’t have to just apply to your skeletal muscle and can be used to enhance your cardiovascular system to enhance fat burning.

This article is dedicated to breaking down how it works, followed by a routine for muscle building/toning and topped off with a killer cardio routine.

Your muscle adapt almost immediately (see Muscle Adaptation) from the first workout.  Therefore, causing an almost immediate strength gain, added stamina, and muscle hypertrophy/hyperplasia.  Hypertrophy is an increase in muscle cell/fiber size whereas hyperplasia is an increase in the number of muscle cells/fibers.  Same can be said from your first session of cardio.  Your blood oxygen increases, your VO2 max increases (maximal oxygen volume) increases, and your physical ability to perform the exact cardio routine the second time is almost always slightly easier.

Simply put, your body adapts due to the strains placed upon it.  A survival mechanism if you will.  That’s why when you take a substantial amount of time off from working out it seems just as difficult as the day when you began once you start up again.  Then within a few workouts, you find yourself going through the motions with ease.

Being blessed with this ability is something we all have in common and we can all utilize to maximize our results.  Featured in the second part of this article is an example of a 4 week arm routine that could potentially add a full inch to your arms (diet, rest, and other factors play into its effectiveness).

How to Use a Sauna After a Workout to Boost Performance

The sauna is somewhere that many people head to after exercise in order to unwind and relax after an intensive session. Besides it just being an indulgent experience that leaves you feeling refreshed after the fact, many people wonder “is the sauna good for muscle recovery?” The short answer is yes. It is thought that going to a sauna after working out or playing sports actually poses real benefits, including but not limited to muscle recovery, and by the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll feel compelled to stop by the sauna after each session in the gym.


Why Is the Sauna Good for Muscle Recovery?

Once you’re battling sore muscles after working out, getting into a sauna will help to relieve the soreness. When you exercise, your muscles are put to work in a more intensive way than they are used to, which, in turn, causes tears at the microscopic level. These tears are what is responsible for the muscle soreness, tightness, sensitivity and cramps cause by the resulting inflammation. Your body immediately begins to work to heal those tears by enhancing the circulation of the blood and bringing plenty of blood rich with oxygen to the muscles that are lacking it from working out. Of course, heat also naturally relaxes the muscles to bring you relief right away.

In the long term, saunas work to stimulate the growth of your muscles, helping to strengthen and firm them up, to make them more resilient in recovery down the line. Heat therapy, also known as hyperthermia, is shown in studies to produce more heat shock proteins. These proteins help to repair the damaged proteins that are already present in the body while also protecting it against oxidative damage. This is all to say that it may increase muscle building while reducing muscle breakdown.

Should You Use the Sauna Before You Work Out?

The short answer is no. Using a sauna before you hit the gym may actually be detrimental and may make working out harder. As the heat and steam relax your muscles, they become looser, which could cause damage in intense workouts. The injury seems more likely to occur if the muscles are not at their usual tension in order to support the weights and take you through other various parts of your routine. You should instead hold off on the sauna until after you have completed your workout routine, treating it as something of a reward and reaping the benefits that it has to offer in terms of muscle recovery.

At the end of the day, the answer to the question, “Is the sauna good for muscle recovery?” is a resounding yes. Heat therapy not only helps to relieve the symptoms of stiffness, soreness, tension and tightness, but it may also boost the healing of the micro-tears in the muscles that occur during an intense workout. Taking a pause in the sauna as you leave the gym may help you recover sooner and get back to the gym as soon as possible.

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How To Bench Press Better Than Before

Learning how to bench press is a great way to build muscle mass and strength. Safety should be a top priority, so when doing this type of exercise always use a power rack to guarantee that injury does not occur. The first step is to set up the safety pins to a height that is most comfortable for you. This is essential so that if the weights were to fall they will be caught by these all-important safety pins. Best of all, when using a power rack you will not need a spotter. Next, follow these easy steps to get the most out of your next bench-pressing session.

Bruno Benching With Good Form

Bruno Benching With Good Form

1. Initial Setup

Position yourself flat in a lying position on the bench with your eyes aligned directly under the bar, then, lift up the chest while squeezing the shoulder blades. (Note: feet should be resting flat on the floor)

2. The Bar Grab

Carefully place your pinky directly on the thebar’s ring marks. The bar should be held at the base of the palms using a full grip. (Note: the wrists should be perfectly straight)

3. Time to Un-rack

Inhale deeply and carefully un-rack the bar by simply straightening or fully flexing your arms. The bar should then be moved over the shoulders while quickly locking the elbows.

4. Lower the Bar

While keeping the forearms vertical, lower the bar to the mid-chest region. At the same time tuck in the elbows approximately75Â. (Note: hold your breath as the bar reaches the bottom of its travel)

5. Bar Press

Finally, the bar should be pressed from the mid-chest region to an area above the shoulders. The butt should be maintained on the bench at all times with the elbows locked once the bar reaches full top-position of travel. (Note: remember to breathe once completing the movement)

Upon completion of the entire bench-pressing cycle, re-rack the weights. In most cases, five or 10 repetitions will be more than enough depending on how much weight you are benching. Once you have completed the last rep and your elbows are locked that it is then necessary to return the bar to a safe position on the rack. Carefully and slowly move the bar horizontally from a position directly above your shoulders back onto the power rack.

Bench Press from Frame Kings

Bench Press from Frame Kings

As a note of caution avoid aiming directly for the uprights as this could result in an accident if you were to miss them unexpectedly. It is better to aim for more easily identifiable vertical parts of the rack as a way to ensure that the bar is returned safely and securely to a parked position. Once the bar has come into contact with the power rack’s uprights, simply bend your elbows in order to lower the bar in a more controlled way onto the uprights.

Bench pressing is an excellent exercise for those wishing to build muscle mass and strength. Consider these simple yet important tips on how to bench press to get the most out of this valuable exercise while also maintaining the highest levels of safety at all times.

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