Low Weights, High Reps: Feel the Burn With These Arm Exercises

We all want those arms that don’t flap in the wind when we’re waving hello, right? These five exercises with light weights make it look easy, but the small isometric moves ensure you feel the burn. Grab your two- or three-pound dumbbells and get going, but don’t worry if you don’t have weights – you can even do them without for some excellent toning.

6 Highly Recommended Breakfasts if You’re on a Diet

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the the most important meal of the day. And yes, it is, and that’s why we’ll list a few recommended breakfasts if you’re on a diet.

When we subject ourselves to a diet regimen or a diet, breakfast doesn’t lose any of its importance. In fact, it has even more value.

However, this message is often misunderstood, and some people use breakfast as an excuse to cheat on their diet. 

In this article, we’ll give you 6 excellent and varied options for breakfast that are ideal for a diet. We hope that this will continue to be your most important and nutritious meal of the day, without making you feel guilty.

But, first, how should a healthy breakfast be? These are the nutrients and ingredients that every healthy breakfast should include:

  • Carbohydrates, and if they are complex, like whole grains, that makes them better.
  • Protein (eggs, nuts or lean meats)
  • Dairy, in the form of cheese, vegetable milks, skim milk or yogurt.
  • A good dose of minerals, fibers and vitamins.
  • When it comes to calorie content, for someone who needs 2,000 calories a day, breakfast should contain between 400 and 500 calories. 

However, remember that calories themselves are not “energy,” so this range can be a little less if we are carrying out a weight loss diet.

6 highly recommended breakfasts if you’re on a diet

1. Oats with chia and kiwi

recommended breakfasts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of skim milk (250 ml)
  • 1 medium kiwi
  • 3 tablespoons of oat flakes (45 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (15 g)

The energy supply of this breakfast is important, since the milk and the oats are great carbohydrates.

In addition, there are vitamins provided by the kiwi, and the proteins and fibers from the chia seeds. It is, without a doubt, a perfect combination that contains a total of 376.45 cal. 

2. Eggs, spinach and orange juice

Mask from egg yolk

Ingredients

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups of spinach (60 g)
  • 2 slices of wheat bread
  • 1 cup of orange juice (200 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil (5 g)

Preparation

  • With the egg, egg white and spinach you can make a delicious omelette that is rich in proteins. Use the vegetable oil to cook it.
  • This, along with the vitamin C in the orange juice and the fiber in the wheat bread, makes for a perfectly nutrient-balanced breakfast.

3. Wheat bread, avocado and chia

Wheat bread, avocado and chia

Ingredients

  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1/3 avocado (50 g)
  • 1 small cup of skim milk (150 ml)
  • 2 slices of wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (15 g)

Preparation

  • Toast the bread and put the avocado and egg on top. If you would like, you can add tomato slices. Sprinkle on the chia seeds and accompany the toast with a little skim milk.

The protagonist in the recipe is the avocado. With its significant quantities of vitamins, potassium, good fatty acids for the heart and fiber, it’s a favorite when we are talking about breakfast.

However, we recommend that you don’t overuse it, since it contains a lot of calories.

4. Oats, banana and strawberries

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup of skim milk (300 ml)
  • 1/4 ripe banana
  • 1 cup of strawberries (140 g)
  • 3 tablespoons of oat flakes (45 g)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (5 ml)

Preparation

  • In this case, you can make an oat smoothie sweetened with the energy of the banana and strawberries.
  • Add all of the ingredients in the blender and process them until you have a homogenous liquid.

This smoothie is also very well balanced and contains a total of 331 kcal. 

5. Yogurt and fruit

Yogurt and fruits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of low-fat, sugar-free yogur (200 g)
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • 2 slices of melon
  • 1 handful of almonds
  • 1 cups of carrot or apple juice (200 ml)

Both the yogurt and the melon and pineapple are energy providers. Also, they have diuretic properties and are a great source of vitamins.

It’s the same with the carrot and apple juices and the fiber in the almonds.

6. Ham, wheat bread and pineapple

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of skim milk (250 ml)
  • 2 slices of ham
  • 2 slices of wheat bread
  • 1 cup of pineapple juice (200 ml)

We couldn’t forget about delicious ham, which provides the necessary proteins to start our day with a great amount of energy.

You can also accompany it with a little light marmalade if you would like. With this and the pineapple juice, you will have the ideal amount of sugars.

We hope that, with these recipes, you now have some  inspiration to vary your daily breakfast. And, because of them, you can start your day on the right foot without having to cheat on your diet!

The post 6 Highly Recommended Breakfasts if You’re on a Diet appeared first on Step To Health.

Chocolate Raspberry Shakeology

Chocolate might be the most versatile food out there. You can pair it with almost anything and come up with something delicious — like this Chocolate Raspberry Shakeology.

Bonus? If you’re not a fan of eating veggies, this is the perfect (and tasty) way to drink your veggies! You won’t even notice there’s a half cup of spinach it this rich, satisfying smoothie.

Don’t have Shakeology yet? Get all of the Shakeology flavors here!

Chocolate Raspberry Shakeology

Chocolate + plump, sweet raspberries and I get some veggies in? Yes, please!

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1/2 cup raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  1. Place almond milk, ice, Shakeology, spinach, and raspberries in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

(Not familiar with Portion Fix? Find out how Portion Fix can make losing weight simple.)

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1½ Protein
½ Vegetable
½ Fruit

P90X3 Portions
1 Carb
1½ Protein

Body Beast Portions
½ Vegetable
½ Fruit
1 Liquid Protein
2 Balanced Protein

Portion Fix Containers
½ Green
½ Purple
1 Red
1 tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
A great snackional or enjoy as part of breakfast.

The Case For Low Intensity & Low Impact Exercise

In a world where we’re bombarded with images of fitness celebrities with six-pack abs and exercise programs advertised to push your body to its limits, it can be hard not to feel like fitness has to be an all-or-nothing pursuit. But what happens if you can’t—or don’t want to—exercise intensely through a sweat-dripping HIIT class or compete in hardcore triathlons? Can you still be physically fit if your fitness regimen includes low-intensity or low-impact exercise? The answer, fortunately, is yes! While there’s nothing wrong with a sweat-dripping Crossfit or HIIT class, intense, high-impact workouts don’t work for everyone at every stage of life. We’re here to show you that low-impact, low-intensity exercise can be a great choice for many—with tons of health benefits. Let’s first explore the difference between low-intensity and low-impact exercise (they’re not always the same thing!) and then delve into how both can be beneficial for your body.

What’s The Difference Between Low-Intensity and Low-Impact Exercise?

Older couple practicing yoga on mats

People often use the terms “low-intensity” and “low-impact” exercise interchangeably, but there’s actually a difference—although they do have some crossover. Exercise is typically considered low-impact when there isn’t a lot of stress placed on the joints or, in applicable cases, when one foot stays in contact with the ground at any given moment. Think: walking, using the elliptical, swimming. The one-foot on the ground rule obviously doesn’t apply to swimming or the elliptical, but think about it this way: you’re not jumping or incorporating any plyometric movement in those exercises—you’re not leaving the ground—so you’re not putting undue stress on your joints.

Related: 3 Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

Exercise is low-intensity if your heart rate doesn’t get too elevated. Technically, low-intensity steady state exercise (think: a walk or bike ride) calls for 30-60 minutes spent at the fat-burning rate of 60% of maximal heart-rate effort. As you can see, a form of exercise can be both low-impact and low-intensity (a slowly paced walk or casual bike ride) or it can be low-impact but moderate intensity: think: a walk where you are going at a fast pace and breathing out of your mouth, a fast-paced bike ride that gets your heart pumping, or swimming laps continuously at a fast pace. Even Pilates and yoga—which are low-impact workouts—can be moderate to high-intensity depending on the effort put forth. (We all know there’s a big difference between a restorative Vinyasa class and a Yoga Sculpt class that leaves you drenched in sweat!)

What Are The Benefits of Low-Impact Exercise?

As you can see, low-impact exercise can vary in its intensity depending on the speed and amount of effort you put into it. So low-impact and low-intensity don’t have to go together, but they can. And whether you’re dealing with joint pain, the aches and pains of aging, recovering from surgery or illness, or simply don’t prefer intense exercise, low-impact exercise where you can control the intensity is a great choice for your health. So what are the specific benefits of low-impact exercise?

Low Impact Exercise…

  • Allows you to build strength and endurance at your own pace
  • Improves balance and flexibility
  • Boosts circulation and delivers more oxygen to your cells
  • Improves your cardiovascular function
  • Burns fat and calories
  • Is easy to adapt to your preferred level of intensity
  • And of course, puts less strain on your joints

Let’s talk about low-impact and fat burn for a second, because you may be wondering: just how much fat can I burn taking walks or bike rides? While more intense classes like HIIT give you more of an afterburn—increasing your RMR or resting metabolic heart rate so you tend to burn more calories at rest—low-impact, low-intensity forms of exercise like walking, swimming, or biking, still burn fat. According to an article from Women’s Health & Fitness, “lower intensity exercise digs deeper into your fat stores and…enhances your ability to use fat as an efficient fuel source.” While we’re not claiming that a daily 20-minute walk will make you a lean, mean, fitness machine (you need to build muscle and mix it up to lose weight and carve out a leaner figure), those low-impact, less-intense workouts do burn fat—especially the longer you spend doing them.

Is Low-Impact Exercise For Me?

Young woman in swimming fitness class with water weights

So should you be incorporating low-impact workouts into your week? The answer is yes—no matter who you are! Whether you have joint pain, are currently pregnant, recovering from illness or surgery, or just prefer low-impact workouts, you have the green light to hit the trail, jump in the pool, and get your yoga on. In fact, even people that love high-impact, high-intensity workouts like HIIT classes benefit from taking it down a notch from time to time to give their joints a break and reap the specific benefits low impact exercise has to offer.

Best Forms Of Low-Impact Exercise

What are the best forms of low-impact exercise? Walking, biking, using the elliptical or rowing machines at the gym, yoga classes, swimming, and water aerobics! As you can see, the options are endless. You can also try these low-impact workouts to do at home:

At-Home, Low-Impact Workouts:

Low-Impact, High-Results Workout To Do At Home

10-Minute Low-Impact Workout To Burn Calories

5 Exercise Modifications For Bad Knees + An At-Home Low-Impact Workout

In the end, when it comes to getting consistent exercise, the most important thing is to find workouts that work for you. Find forms of exercise you can enjoy, that fit into your day, and work with any joint pain or health issues you may have. No matter what stage of life you’re in, exercise doesn’t have to be intense or painful to be beneficial. Embrace low-impact, less-intense workouts and you’ll come to appreciate exercise for what it is: a lifestyle—not a punishment, a fad, or something that always has to leave you feeling sore the next day.

READ THIS NEXT: 8 Essential Stretches For Walkers

The post The Case For Low Intensity & Low Impact Exercise appeared first on Get Healthy U | Chris Freytag.

Everything You Need to Know to Train for a Half Marathon

If you happened to find yourself at one of the 2,800 half marathons in the United States in 2016, you might have noticed something: a heck of a lot of ladies donning race bibs. In fact, according to a national survey by Running USA, women account for 60 percent of the nearly 2 million people racing 13.1 miles every year. And it’s not just crazy twenty-somethings lacing up their sneakers so they can Instagram their #racebling. The average age of female half-marathon finishers in 2016 was 36.6 years old—a number that’s only increased over the past two years. Think all these women were speed demons? Nope.

The average finisher time was two hours and 23 minutes (which translates to about 10 minutes and 55 seconds per mile). The point of loading you up with all these facts? To prove just how accessible this distance is for women of all ages and fitness abilities. “The half marathon is a great, manageable distance for anyone,” says Roberto Mandje, a former Olympic distance runner and the chief coach at New York Road Runners in New York City. It’s a challenge, but an attainable one: “Yes, it requires a committed approach to training—but that commitment won’t take over your life.” And once you cross that finish line for the first time, you’ll be hooked on that “runner’s high.” Ready, set, run!

The I-Just-Want-to-Finish Plan

How it works: If you’ve never run a half, this program will help you gradually lengthen your distance over 10 weeks. Don’t stress out over how fast or slow you are in the beginning, Mandje recommends. “Just run comfortably for your first few long runs,” he says. “You can always adjust your goal half-marathon pace as your fitness and familiarity with the training increases each week.” To figure out your goal half-marathon pace, think about what time you’d like to finish the race in, then divide that by 13 miles. But be realistic—if a 10-minute mile is hard for you in shorter training runs, you might not be able to maintain that speed for the entire race.

The Get-Faster Plan

How it works: Already raced 13.1 miles and want to do it faster this time? Increasing your miles more significantly over the course of 10 weeks helps you get used to running faster for longer early on in your training. “Complement your biweekly workouts and long runs with a day of cross-training, like aqua jogging, spinning, or working out on an elliptical,” says Mandje. Not only will you feel fitter and stronger in general, but that extra strength primes your body to perform better at higher speeds and for longer durations—which is what you’ll need on race day.

How to fuel for a half marathon

An often-overlooked part of training? Your eating plan. “What makes you run fast on race day is consistent training,” says Kyle Pfaffenbach, PhD, the performance nutrition consultant for the Brooks Beasts, a professional middle-distance running team, and a professor of nutrition at Eastern Oregon University. “And the nutrition you’re taking day in and day out is critical in making that training happen.” Here, a crib sheet for what and when to chow down.

90 minutes before: Low-fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein, like oatmeal, whole-grain toast with eggs, or whole-grain pancakes with sausage

“A mixed meal that’s high in complex carbs digests slowly, giving you a nice rise in blood glucose and insulin,” says Pfaffenbach. “Those 90 minutes give the insulin, which promotes the distribution and storage of energy, time to deliver energy sources into your liver and muscles, where you’re going to utilize them when you start running.”

Right before: Simple sugars like gels or energy chews

“As the race gets closer, nerves ramp up our physiology and it can help to consume easy to digest simple sugars,” says Pfaffenbach. “Simple sugars are the most easily digestible source of energy. Plus, as your insulin levels come back down from that first meal, a hit of simple sugars tells your body you’re not in a post-meal state, but that there’s energy coming in and you’re ready to exercise.”

During: Water and simple sugars

“If you’re just running at a little above conversation pace where you can carry on a conversation without feeling breathless, fueling is less of an issue. But if you’re trying to run every mile as fast as you can, you’re going to have to refuel over the course of 13 miles, because our bodies can only store 45 minutes to an hour of carbohydrates,” says Pfaffenbach. “I recommend 1-2 Clif Bloks or Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews every 15 to 20 minutes. They’re easy to carry, easy to pop in your mouth, and won’t make breathing difficult. As for water, there’s no prescribed amount to drink, but it’s important to listen to your body’s thirst cues to avoid dehydration.”

Right after: Whey protein mixed with carbohydrates

“Taking in a whey or plant protein powder mixed with a little bit of carbohydrates—like fruit or chocolate almond milk—after endurance exercise is really important,” says Pfaffenbach. “It’s highly absorbable, has all 20 amino acids in ample amounts, and helps to stimulate protein synthesis and other recovery processes.”

Living Life to the Fullest as an Occupational Therapist

Through my 20+ years of practice as an Occupational Therapist (OT), my skill set and how I apply my core knowledge of Occupational Therapy has evolved. I often get asked, “What is Occupational Therapy?” and given my personal experience, that can be a difficult question to answer in a few sentences. Since April is OT […]

The post Living Life to the Fullest as an Occupational Therapist appeared first on Athletico.

The One, Single Habit That Helped These 6 People Finally Lose 10 Pounds

Stop counting calories

-The-One-Habit-That-Helped-9-People-Finally-Lose-Those-Last-10-PoundsDavid Isaacsen went from 240 pounds to 185, but getting those last few pounds off meant he needed to let go of his focus on calories and shift it to the type of meals and snacks he was eating. Even though he calls himself a “good ole’ boy” who loved meat and thought vegans were “weaklings,” he gave a plant-based diet a try to see if it would help him knock those final pounds. As he learned, plants can still provide healthy protein sources.

“I didn’t really exercise or count calories, carbs, or proteins. I just ate whole food, plant-based meals: which means nothing processed, no dairy or meat. The weight melted off me, within a week I was able to lose 10 pounds,” he shared. Now, he maintains the diet and is proud that he can do 100 push-ups daily, hold a plank pose—plus get great scores on his blood tests. His next challenge? Running a Tough Mudder race in August, and turning 50 in November.

The post The One, Single Habit That Helped These 6 People Finally Lose 10 Pounds appeared first on Reader’s Digest.

The Best Slippers for Women and Men

After more than 80 hours of research, including testing 11 different styles of slippers for this update (and 14 in past years), we recommend the L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins (women’s and men’s) for keeping your feet warm and cozy when it’s chilly outside. They offer the best combination we’ve found of warmth, durability, and comfort for a slipper under $100, and they come with a satisfaction guarantee in case you’re ever unhappy with them.