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    How to Exercise in the Heat

    How to Exercise in the Heat

    How to Exercise in the Heat

    Crop Over and 'summer' are finally here! And it seems like this season is going to the hottest one yet; so we’d love to share with you some tips for keeping up with your workout routine while it might seem too hot to be active.

    The sun is out and it’s burning bright, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside to workout. It just means that on the hottest days we have to get a little creative about finding ways to avoid missing a workout while not putting ourselves in harm's way.

    1. Save your more labor intense workouts for the mornings or evenings when the days aren’t as hot.
    1. Do the light workouts during the day – go for a run or a bike ride. Try to find a cool shaded path.
    1. Carry water with you everywhere, not just when you are working out – you have to keep yourself hydrated to avoid dehydration.
    1. If you think the day is just too hot to do anything but you still want to maintain your workout schedule, then find cooler places to work out or get creative with your workouts. For example, swimming or other water activities are fun ways to stay cool but stay active at the same time. There could also try also indoor spinning or cycling.
    1. Shorten your sessions – if you can’t make it through the hour that you used to make it through easily when it is cooler, then do intervals and take a break once you’ve gotten half-way through.
    1. Wear cool clothes – look for sweat-wicking fabrics.
    1. Don’t push past your limit if the limit is to keep you safe. It’s okay to start off easy and build up when you think you are getting better at managing the heat.
    Check the weather! Make sure you know how hot it is going to be and take the necessary measures to keep yourself healthy, whether that be by adjusting your diet, workout schedule, or putting on sunscreen.

    Get The Skinny on This Healthy Fat Fruit

    Get The Skinny on This Healthy Fat Fruit

    You guessed it… We are talking about everyone’s “new” favorite fruit: AVOCADO. Here is why you should be eating more of this satisfying and versatile goodness.

    1. They are not only yummy but also very nutritious

    Did someone say guacamole? Avocados are not only healthy, they are incredibly delicious. The avocado is often referred to as a superfood. It is a rather unique fruit. While most fruit consists primarily of carbohydrate, avocado is high in healthy fats. These days, the avocado has become a popular food among health-conscious individuals because numerous studies show that it has powerful health benefits. Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat. This is why they are favored by some experts who believe these substances are harmful. 

    1. They give bananas a run for their money

    Did you know that avocados contain more potassium than bananas? A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of avocado packs 14% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), compared to 10% in bananas, which are the popular go to high-potassium food.

    1. Eating avocados can help with weight loss

    Some studies show that avocados are excellent weight loss friendly food. One study showed that people eating avocado with a meal felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours, compared to people who did not consume the fruit. Avocado consumers also tend to have higher nutrient intake and lower rates of metabolic syndrome, given that avocados are high in fiber and very low in carbs.

    1. Relieves Arthritis Pain
    The anti-inflammatory properties of avocados are perhaps its most valuable attribute. Between the phytochemicals, flavonoids, carotenoids, phytosterols, fatty alcohols, and omega-3 fatty acids it contains, avocados are one of the best foods for reducing the inflammation in tissues, joints, and muscles. A study from physician and sports medicine journal showed that 300mg of avocado and soybean based nutritional supplement offer patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis some benefits.

    Debunking those Myths About Women and Strength Training

    Debunking those Myths About Women and Strength Training

    If your goal is to achieve a toned, healthy physique, strength training by utilizing some form of resistance is a much better approach than focusing only on cardio. Running on the treadmill a few days a week may help you lose body fat, but without adding on muscle, it won’t give you that tight, toned look.
    There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about strength training. They encourage many women to disregard or dismiss any training involving weights or resistance. Let’s dispel three common myths and put them to rest.

    Myth #1: Weightlifting causes women to “look bulky”
    Many women associate resistance training as something only men should do because they believe it leads to weight gain and a “bulky look.” Strength training may cause you to gain weight but if the gains you experience are gains in Lean Body Mass, this means your weight can stay the same, or even increase, but you will look more lean and toned.

    Myth #2: Lifting huge and heavy is required
    Women have the ability to lift a tremendous amount of weight, but not increase lean muscle mass at the same rate as men. Lifting heavy with low reps is just one style of strength training. This means you don’t have to deadlift 2x your bodyweight or curl dumbbells the size of your head in order to reap benefits. Strength training at whatever level you’re comfortable with yields positive results.

    Myth #3: Weight Lifting does not burn as many calories as cardio
    Some women feel that weight lifting does nothing to melt the pounds off and that cardio is the only way to shed the fat. However, the more muscle you have, the more effective your body gets at burning calories, so you’re able to burn calories even when you’re at rest.

    Lifting weights can be the way to get that lean and toned body that you want. For better health, start weight training and see what a difference it can make in your life.

     

    8 Quick Everlast Balance Trainer Ball Exercises

    8 Quick Everlast Balance Trainer Ball Exercises

    *By: Tasha G-W

    If you are constantly in a rush and can spare no more than 30 minutes per day for an effective workout, the Everlast Balance Trainer Ball is the perfect equipment to whip you into shape super quick. The Everlast Balance Trainer Ball is great to burn calories, get your heart rate up, and build muscle. Doing three sets of each moves 12 to 15 times will definitely bump up your fitness level.

    1. Push-Ups - Ball Side Down

    This is just like a regular push-up except you are balancing your body while on the balance trainer ball. It will help work your core, triceps, chest and shoulders.

    2. Sit-Ups - Ball Side Up

    Tighten your stomach and lift with your core as you sit up. As you release back towards the ground, don't let your back arch over the ball. For proper form, keep your back flat with the ball.

    3. Squats - Ball Side Up

    Stand on the ball with your legs hip-width apart and squat. Hold the squat for three seconds before standing. This works your legs, glutes and core.

    4. Mountain Climbers - Ball Side Down

    Place your hands on the sides of the Everlast Balance Trainer Ball with a firm grip. Hold a steady plank position. When you're ready, lift your right leg a few inches off the ground. Bring your knee to your nose, and then switch legs. Switch legs for 30 seconds at any pace you like. Make sure you keep your stomach tight.

    5. Boat Pose - Ball Side Up

    Sit in the middle of the training ball and find your balance. When ready, lift your knees up to a 45-degree angle and balance. You can put your hands slightly on the ball to help you maintain your balance or bring them up in front of you. Try to hold this position for 15 seconds and build from there. Your ultimate goal should be one minute. But, it takes time. Be sure to tighten your stomach and breath.

    6. Jumps - Ball Side Up

    This move is just like a squat except you jump on the ball side and then jump off. When you jump onto the Everlast Balance Trainer Ball, hold the squat for two seconds before you jump off. Try to work your way up to 10 seconds.

    7. Side Lunges - Ball Side Up

    Start with your right foot sturdy in the middle and step your left foot out to the side. Squat. Bring your left foot into the middle of the ball, and step your right foot out to the side. Squat. Keep switching legs until you do 12 reps on each side.

    8. Chest Press - Ball Side Up

    Grab a set of dumbbells and lay with your back on the ball. Place your feet a few inches from the training ball and lift your hips up. With a weight in each hand, bring your arms out to a "T". Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and press up. Repeat 12 to 15 times. This helps work your hamstrings, glutes, chest, arms and core.

    Shop your Everlast Balance Trainer Ball  and other fitness or training equipment at Performance Sports Zone today.

    Foods You Should Be Eating To Improve Your Workout

    Foods You Should Be Eating To Improve Your Workout

    *By Tasha G-W

    The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. There is no diet that will do what eating healthy does. A healthy diet is paramount to success. So every day you should be eating like your life depends on it. 

    The muscles you engage during exercise, whether it’s cardio, resistance training or flexibility work, rely on the nutrition you provide them through your diet. Supplying your body with nutrients before work out, after work out and in the recovery period between workouts can impact the quality of your session and significantly affect your fitness goals. This is because eating the right foods will enhance athletic performance through muscle building, improved endurance and speed recovery.

    Beet juice for stamina

    Grab some fresh beets and invest in a juicer. Research shows that this ruby red root veggie may be more effective at boosting energy than caffeine. To bolster your performance, drink up!

    Honey for endurance

    Consuming honey before exercise provides "time-released" fuel to give athletes steady blood sugar and insulin levels over a longer duration. This natural sweetener also boosts power, speed, and endurance. Try it straight off a spoon, or mix it into your pre-workout snack. For best results, I suggest going with certified organic raw honey.

    Salmon helps build muscle

    The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon have been found to fight heart disease and even helping with type 2 diabetes. But animal research shows it may also be a potent muscle booster. Athletes that consume fish oils have improved muscle development. Their bodies typically use twice the amount of amino acids to build new protein tissues, especially skeletal muscles. So consider including wild salmon a few times per week in your next meal prep.

    Watermelon reduces muscle soreness

    Scientists discovered that watermelon juice helps relieve muscle soreness when consumed before exercise. The effect is likely due to citrulline, which is a natural substance found in watermelon that has been tied to improved artery function and lowered blood pressure. It has even been nicknamed "nature’s Viagra". If you are like me and don’t like bottled or juiced fruit, eat it fresh and bite into the white rind a bit—that's where citrulline is found in higher concentrations.

    Dark chocolate to curb exercise-induced stress

    Stop feeling guilty about indulging in a little chocolate! Research published in the European Journal of Nutrition shows that consuming dark chocolate improves exercise. In the study, healthy men were asked to eat 3.5 ounces of 70% dark chocolate two hours before a two-and-a-half-hour bout of cycling. Compared to a control group, the chocolate eaters experienced higher blood antioxidant levels and reduced markers of exercise-induced cell stress.

    Water for hydration

    Water is one of the most critical nutrients in exercise. Staying properly hydrated involves replacing the fluids you lose through sweating and heavy breathing. Hydration keeps your heart rate from climbing too high, which, in turn, helps regulate your body temperature. Don’t be stingy with your water intake.

    Compression Sleeves: Do They Really Work?

    Compression Sleeves: Do They Really Work?

    *By Tasha G-W

    You have probably seen people at races or running around the streets that have those compression socks or sleeves on. Maybe you have thought to yourself, “Do those really work?” Marathon runners have been sporting compression socks for several years. However, in more recent times they have become very popular amongst gym goers, athletes and the every day runner.  For many, it’s difficult to decide whether they’re just a fancy accessory, or a weapon that improves our performance whenever we hit the pavement, dirt, or treadmill. This article will explain the concept behind compression and how it can benefit you.  

    Understanding how compression socks and sleeves work requires a basic understanding of how blood flows through your body. The heart pumps oxygen containing blood to your extremities and working muscles through arteries. Once the cells use the oxygen and other nutrients from the blood, the then deoxygenated blood, along with lactic acid and other waste products enter the veins to get taken back to the heart. Once the blood gets back to the heart, it’s oxygenated from the lungs and the process is repeated.

    Keeping oxygenated blood flowing to muscles is important for performance. The more oxygen the cells have, the better they will function. Improved blood flow through the muscles simply means higher oxygen levels. The increase in blood flow is also great for recovery. During this time, your muscles will not only receive oxygen, but also key nutrients that will help prevent soreness and lead to faster recovery. Recovery is important to success in running because it prevents injuries accumulated over time. If you can recover faster, you can run harder and more often.

    Additionally, muscular vibration during physical activity contributes to fatigue. Think about how much shock and vibration goes through your leg muscles whenever you pound the pavement with 3-5 times your body weight while running. Over time, those little vibrations of the muscles add up and they become fatigued. During exercise, the body produces lactic acid as a waste product. If this lactic acid is not removed from the muscles, it can contribute to soreness and decreased ability to perform. 

    Compression socks and sleeves provide graduated compression, meaning the compression is higher (tighter) at the foot and ankle and lower (looser) as it moves up the calf and lower leg. This type of compression helps to fight the effects of gravity and assist the body in venous return (deoxygenated blood flowing back up to the heart). Multiple studies have shown that with consistent compression, the walls of the arteries will dilate, increasing the blood that flows through them. Arterial blood flow has been shown to increase up to 40% during activity and 30% during recovery. This means more oxygen and nutrients flowing through the body.

    There are many benefits to compression calf sleeves for runners. They can help you prevent and push through injury. They can boost your performance when you hit the pavement, and as a bonus, they simply look sharp. They help to make you feel good, work good, and look good. What more could you ask for from running apparel? Grab your compression sleeves here now!