Core Exercises: Sit-ups as Targeted Approach to Decreased Abdominal Adiposity?

Strength University

The sit-up exercise, through many years, has been chosen by many as a “spot reducing” exercise for the mid-section. When you walk into fitness facilities, you would see dozens of people on the floor, crunching away, thinking that they would get nice, tight abs by doing repetition-after-repetitions of the sit-up exercise. However, many research suggests that energy balance is still the key to weight loss and decreasing risk factors for obesity, (4).

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Relax, Relate and Release into Spring

THE FRENCH YAM

Relax, Relate, Release !

With Spring finally upon us, the time has come for us to cleanseand recharge our batteries.Here are 4 ways to ease into spring:

#1 Meditation

Empty your mind from all of the holiday buzz and winter blueswith a simplemeditation routine. Sit or lie comfortably in a relaxed position and repeat the AUM mantra out loud for 15 – 20 minutes. Repeating this mantra helps to calm the mind while relaxing facial muscles and releasing stress. Consistent practice leads to greater mental clarity, emotional stability and increased energy.

#2 Morning Smoothies

Say good-bye to heavy winter porridges. And say hello to light breakfast smoothies. Start each morning with homemade fruit and veggie smoothies packed with nourishing vitamins and minerals. Add a dose of delicious wheat grass, chlorella, or spirulinapowders for added benefits.

#3 Herbal Tisane

Now is the time to swap the usual morning caffeine kick of…

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5 Tips to Starting a New Fitness Regime (2 min read)

Millionaire's Digest

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Alexis Wilder

Founder & Owner of: Fat NO Fear

Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor and Health & Fitness Writer


It is never the wrong or right time to better yourself. It doesn’t have to be the first day of the week, it doesn’t have to be in the morning, and it doesn’t have to be at the start of a new year. It can seem overwhelming if you haven’t been physically active for some time, but anyone can start a new fitness regime, stick to it, and achieve their goals!

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List of common Chemicals that are making you Fat & Depressed

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Be Like Water

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We’ve all heard that if we eat too many calories, we’ll get fat. But there’s more to it: it’s not just the calories, but the chemicals, in our food that contribute to obesity.

Some of these chemicals — called “obesogens” — trigger our bodies to store fat even though we might be restricting calories. The effects are complex: some of these chemicals increase the number of fat cells, others expand the size of fat cells and still others influence appetite, cravings, fullness and how well the body burns calories. In addition to obesogens, other synthetic food ingredients have been shown to help us pack on the pounds and leave us feeling depressed, even when when we think we’re eating healthy.

To stop feeling that way, here are the top five chemicals to avoid in food.

  1. Growth Hormones & Antibiotics

Several drugs, growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics are routinely…

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Survival of the Fittest – Benefits of Eating Apples

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  1. Get whiter, healthier teeth

An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

  1. Avoid Alzheimer’s

A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.

  1. Protect against Parkinson’s

Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fibre foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.

  1. Curb all sorts of cancers

Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumours in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fibre intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

  1. Decrease your risk of diabetes

Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

  1. Reduce cholesterol

The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.

  1. Get a healthier heart

An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

  1. Prevent gallstones

Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.

  1. Beat diarrhea and constipation

Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fibre found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.

  1. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.

  1. Avert hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

  1. Control your weight

Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

  1. Detoxify your liver 

We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.

  1. Boost your immune system

Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.

  1. Prevent cataracts

Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts.

Credit: Best Health Mag

Brain Hacks to instantly improve your Memory!!!

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Having a sharp memory is important for a lot of reasons. Not only should it improve your professional life, but going to dinner parties and remembering everyone’s name is downright impressive. If you think you have been cursed with a terrible memory, I have good news for you: that’s not true. Anyone can improve their memory by following this simple advice. Learning how to remember things is vital. Many intelligent people have a hard time remembering things simply because they’re not attempting to recover the information (or store it) properly. Just follow these tips, you’ll see an improvement.

1.)   Use the “snooze button:” To remember random information like an address or phone number, instead of repeating it to yourself, just rehearse it every 15 seconds or so for a few minutes. Don’t wait longer than that or else the memory will decay.

2.)  The peg system: This may seem like a bizarre method to recall information, but he human body peg system works. What you do is imagine parts of the human body itself and use them as “pegs” to store information. You visualize an image of what you are trying to remember and associate it with a corresponding body part.

3.)   Just sincerely FOCUS: Many people listen to music or have the television on while they study, but this actually significantly impairs the ability to memorize information. You can’t actually multi-task, you just jump in between tasks. So, to memorize information, just focus and limit other stimuli.

4.)   Linking: If you link items together in a list (even if they are unrelated), it’s easier to remember them. A common way to link items together on a list is with a short story, where you incorporate every item.

5.)   The keyword method: This is a useful trick when you need to memorize vocabulary when learning a foreign language. To use it, take a sound that you recognize from the new word, visualize that sound and then relate it to the new word you are learning.

6.)    The method of Loci: This is also known as the Journey Method and the Roman Room Method. This old memory technique uses a “memory palace” or house. You mentally walk through an area where you have stored information. By walking through different rooms or areas, you can remember the information you stored in those rooms.

7.)   Use the chunking method: According to research, you can hold about five to nine (seven on average) items in your working memory at one time. However, we can remember things like a phone number (10 digits-long) by chunking the information into groups. Therefore, that 10 digit phone number is only really three pieces of information.

8.)   Setting the information: There is a phenomenon called context-dependent memory, where you can give yourself clues for remembering things based on the sensory input you are experiencing at the time of the memory. Researchers found that when test participants learned something underwater, they could recall the information better when underwater again.

9.)   Using music to enhance memory: You shouldn’t distract yourself with music if you’re trying to remember something. Instead, putting long strings of text TO music (like lyrics) is an effective way to remember something. Think of all of the songs you learned in grade school to remember facts; that’s this mnemonic at work.

10.)   Smell enhances memory: Smell is one of the most powerful memory recall devices possible. This sense memory is exceptionally strong because the nose is able to go directly to your memory center. If you were studying for a test and wearing a certain perfume, if you wore the same perfume during the test you may perform better.

Credit: viralnova.com

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You know what’s good with a Donut? A Cappuccino – Happy Cappuccino Day!!!

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National Cappuccino Day is observed annually on November 8.

Traditionally prepared with espresso, hot milk and steamed-milk foam, a cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink.

The word cappuccino comes from the Capuchin friars and is the diminutive form of cappuccio in Italian, meaning hood or something that covers the head.   This popular coffee beverage got it’s name not from the hood on their habits but from the color of the hooded robes that the friars wore.  (The Capuchin friars is an Order of friars in the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans.)

Heart-Cappuccino-In-Cup-Wallpaper

  • In 1945 Achille Gaggia invented the modern espresso machine which further popularized the cappuccino.
  • Mid 1990′s – Cappuccino was made more widely available to North Americans as upscale coffee houses sprang up.
  • Late 1990′s to Early 2000′s – Cappuccinos became popular in the United States concurrent with the boom in the American coffee industry.
  • Start of 21st Century – A modified short-cut version of the cappuccino started being served at fast-food chains.
  • While steaming the milk you must pay close attention to attain the correct ratio of foam, thus making the cappuccino one of the most difficult espresso-based beverages to make properly.
  • A skilled barista may create artistic shapes while he/she is pouring milk on top of the espresso coffee.

Credit: National Calendar Day

Eat more Oatmeal!!! – The many benefits of eating Oatmeal

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Helps control weight.

Let’s face it, we could all use some help at times, but did you ever think oatmeal could help control your weight? It’s true! According to a research study published in the October 2009 issue of “Molecular Nutrition & Food Research” a compound in oatmeal known as β-glucan reduces appetite by increasing the hunger-fighting hormone cholecystokinin.

Reduces blood pressure.

We all know that heart disease is a major problem in North America and throughout the world. One studypublished in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet which includes plenty of whole-grains (such as oats or wholemeal bread) is just as effective as taking anti-hypertensive medication to lower blood pressure!

Reduces cholesterol.

Have you ever heard of soluble fiber? Well, compared to other grains, oats actually have the highest portion of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps your intestinal tract trap substances associated with blood cholesterol.  Studies show that people with high blood cholesterol who eat just 3 g of soluble fiber per day can reduce their total cholesterol by 8% to 23% (remember that one cup of oats yields 4 g)!

Lowers risk of colon cancer.

Cancer of the colon is horrible and can be very painful. One study, pooled by researchers in Britain and the Netherlands, published evidence that there was a link between people who ate a high fiber diet (mainly from whole grains and cereals like oats) to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. This study also covered nearly 2 million people and specifically found that for every additional 10 grams of fiber in someone’s diet, there is a 10% reduction in their risk of developing colorectal cancer!

Stabilizes blood sugar.

What does this mean? We have all experienced a “sugar crash”/ “mid morning slump” after a big meal or sugary breakfast; well, with oatmeal, this doesn’t happen as much. As a result of oatmeal’s high soluble fiber content, its sugar is released more slowly into the blood stream (aka, it has a low glycemic index). It’s important to note that steel cut oats will have more of an effect on stabilizing your blood sugar than instant oats, because they are less processed and thus have more soluble fiber. Another added bonus, is because it takes longer to digest, you will feel full longer

Athletic performance.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how beneficial oatmeal was in giving me energy before my swimming practices while on the National Team for my town. Oatmeal, is a great carbohydrate and protein source, providing calories and energy for energy needs. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to favorably alter metabolism and enhance performance when ingested 45 minutes to 1 hour before exercise of moderate intensity.

Helps you sleep.

Our society has ingrained in us that oatmeal is a breakfast food, although it is also a wise choice before bedtime. In fact, the Scottish recommend a bowl of oatmeal in the evening to get you feeling nice and sleepy.

Why is oatmeal good before bed? Well, oats actually contain melatonin and complex carbohydrates that can help more tryptophan get into the brain and help you sleep, according to Dr.Oz. Furthermore, oatmeal contains many vitamins, including B6, which is a co-factor that also aids in the production of more serotonin in the brain.

Credit: Life Hack

American Beer Day!!! – What’s your favorite Beer? – Types of Beer that are bad for you

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(Credit: iStockphoto/Stratol)

There are more than 2,100 breweries that manufacture beer in the United States. They range in size from industry giants to brew pubs and microbreweries.

  • The U.S. produced 196 million barrels of beer in 2009.
  • The U.S. consumes roughly 20 US gallons of beer per capita annually.
  • In 2008, the United States was ranked sixteenth in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China.
  • Prohibition in the early twentieth century caused nearly all American breweries to close.
  • After prohibition was repealed the industry had consolidated into a small number of large-scale breweries.
  • The majority of the new breweries in the U.S. are small breweries and brewpubs, who, as members of the Brewers Association, are termed “craft breweries” to differentiate them from the larger and older breweries.
  • The most common style of beer produced by the big breweries is American lager.
  • Most of the smaller breweries, which were founded in the 1980′s, produce a range of styles.
  • Beer styles originating in the United States include:
    American pale ale, Pennsylvania porter, American IPA, steam beer, amber ale, cream ale and Cascadian dark ale.

Check out which Types of Beers you should avoid: 8 BEERS THAT YOU SHOULD STOP DRINKING IMMEDIATELY!!!

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The Simpsons: No Tv and No Beer

How to begin rebuilding your Life & Make it Ridicously Amazing!!!

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Make a commitment to yourself

I (name),

Make a commitment to myself,

To spend so much time improving myself and my life that I have no time for worry,  judgement, criticism, whining and complaining;

To forgive, release and let go of my attachment to any past struggles and allow every challenge life sends my way to make me better not bitter.

Starting now, I make a commitment to let go of what’s behind me and start appreciating what’s in front of me;

To let go of all the pointless drama, all the toxic relationships, thoughts and behaviors that are present in my life and to constantly shift my focus from the bad on to the good;

Once you truly commit to rebuilding your life and making it ridiculously amazing, nothing and no one will be able to stand in your way.

Forgive, release and let go of past hurts and resentments

Fill your heart with love. Forgive, release and let go. Not necessary because those who mistreated you deserve it, but because you do. Let forgiveness liberate you from your past. Allow it to take away all the resentment you kept in heart for all this time and allow yourself to fill in that empty space with love, inner peace and compassion.

If others mistreated you in the past it doesn’t mean you have to continue their work. Look how beautifulMark Twain talks about this: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Embrace with grace all that you face

Shift your focus from the bad on to the good, from the pain on to the gain, from resentment on to the forgiveness, gratitude and appreciation. Learn to embrace with grace all that you face.

Appreciate everything life sends your way, whether good or bad and know that “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie

Visualize your achievements and create your destiny

Ask yourself the same question I asked myself a few years ago when I decided to let go of my attachment to my past and begin rebuild my whole life: “If there were no limits to what I can do, be and have, how would my life look like?”

Let your imagination run wild. Dare to dream big. Don’t settle for less than you are worth.

The richer your imagination, the more beautiful your life will be.

“The power of imagination is incredible. Often we see athletes achieving unbelievable results and wonder how they did it. One of the tools they use is visualization or mental imagery… they made the choice to create their destinies and visualized their achievements before they ultimately succeeded.” ~ George Kohlrieser

See in your mind’s eye the life you would love to live, the person you would love to become and the relationships you would want to have. Live your life from the end and act as if all of the things you need and desire are already present in your life. Feel the feelings that come from having all those wonderful things happen to you and allow those feelings to be with you at all times.

Dreams won’t work unless you do

Act upon your heart’s desire. Do the things you need to do in order to get where you want to get. Read the books you need to read, contact the people you need to contact, build the skills you need to build.

Find a mentor. Dare to ask questions. Do whatever it takes to move yourself closer to making your dreams come true.

Trust that with every step you take, your life situation will improve and you will become even more happier than you already are.

Take one step at a time

Because of the many years of past conditioning and the intense training you have in holding on to toxic thoughts, behaviors and unhealthy relationships, giving up on all that is toxic in your life won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. Chances are that you won’t see major improvements in your life immediately, and that’s okay. Be patient and gentle with yourself while working on rebuilding your life and remember to enjoy the journey.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~ Greg Anderson

Take one step at a time and keep in mind that a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.

Develop a deep trust in life

You have to have faith. You have to have trust… Trust in yourself, trust in the people you interact with and trust in life.

Put your fears aside. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Develop a deep trust in the wisdom of life. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~ Matthew 17:20

Give yourself permission to “fail”

Give yourself permission to “fail” and make “mistakes”.

Trust me when I tell you that in every “mistake” there is a lesson to learn, lesson that will be very beneficial to you as you continue walking on your life’s chosen path.

“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.” ~ Richard Bach

Be good to yourself

Love yourself and be good to yourself because if you do, the world around you will start mirroring your behavior. Take good care of your mind, body, heart and soul. Exercise, drink plenty of water, eat healthy and delicious food.

Nurture good thoughts. Act in compassionate and loving ways, towards yourself and the world around you. Spend time alone, spending at least 5 to 10 minutes per day in silence would make you help make you feel refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed.

Go outside. Spend some time in nature. Look at the plants, the sky, the stars, the moon and the trees. Celebrate the miracle of life.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein

Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling.  They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.

Credit: Purpose Fairy