November 2017 - Healthy For 40

Monthly Archives: November 2017

Nov 30

8 Easy Exercises for Your Sore Back [Video]

By Jennifer | Staying Healthy

Before I turned 40, sore backs were something that happened to other people. But I found out soon enough it would happen to me. Whether you sit at a desk or drive a bunch, sore backs can become a real pain.

The good news is a few simple exercises can help relieve your pain. I’ve spelled out 8 below with descriptions. If you prefer video, check out this demonstration on this hip flexor stretch.

Reduce Back Pain with This Hip Flexor Stretch

You can check out more from Unlock Your Hip Flexors Here

Here are 8 other easy exercises you can do to relieve your sore back:

1-Half lunge

Start with both feet hip width apart. Step one foot forward, such as the right foot, until it is on the floor in front of you with the knee at a 90-degree angle. The other knee (left) can rest on the floor. Return to standing by either stepping back, or pushing with your left foot until it is once again level with your right foot. Repeat by stepping out with the left foot and bringing the right knee downwards

2-Cross-legged crunch

Lay on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and the small of your back comfortably supported on the floor. Cross one leg, such as the right one, over the left leg. Using both hands, grip the thigh of the leg underneath, in this case, the left leg, and gently draw both legs towards your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and release the leg so the foot is once more flat on the floor.

3-Hamstring stretch

Lay on the floor with one knee bent, foot flat on the floor, and the small of your back comfortably supported on the floor, the other leg stretched straight out flat on the floor. Bend one knee. Using both hands, grip the thigh of the raised leg. Support the leg as you try to straighten it. Picture yourself pushing up to the ceiling with your heel. Straighten as far as you can, hold for 5 seconds, then release the leg so it is bent again. Repeat 4 more times on that side and then do the same sequence of exercises with the opposite leg.

4-Thigh stretch

Standing next to a wall for balance, and leaning with your right side or holding on to the wall with your right hand, bend your left knee. Reach down your left hand to grip the upper part of your foot around the toe area. Bring the heel of the foot close to the back of the thigh. Try to keep the knees together, with the raised leg parallel to the standing leg, not spread apart widely.

5-Yoga pose: Plank

Plank is like the upward position of a push-up. Don’t let the back sag down or thrust upwards. Keep it as straight as a board.

6-Yoga pose: Dolphin Plank

Instead of resting your weight on your hands, rest it on your forearms and elbows. Again, don’t sag. This is great for a solid core.

7 and 8-Yoga poses: Cat and Cow

Start in cow, on your hands and knees, back straight. Arch your head and neck back–pretend to moo. Now move to cat, and think of a hissing cat arching its back angrily. Bring the head down and arch the back. Move slowly back to cow, then to cat, and so on, about 10 times, keeping the movement smooth and steady.

 

Nov 30

Not All Carbs Are Bad: 4 Other Things That Are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss

By Jennifer | Try a Diet

CARRRRRBS! Run! Aahhhhh!

Lately it seems like everybody hates carbs. The current diet trends like the ketogenic diet really focus on an almost no carb existence.

While eating bacon 24/7 has a certain appeal to it, if you cut out carbs completely you will probably start to realize you miss those guys too.

With all the Keto hype, I thought it would be good to step back and look at some other diet options if you’re looking to lose fat and gain muscle.

One of these is The Renegade Diet. It is a program designed to help men gain muscle, lose fat and get ripped.
Like most diet plans, the trick is in the follow through. It makes some great points about your current lifestyle that could be holding you back. I’m going to run through some of them:

You’re Eating Too Many Calories

This should be pretty obvious to most people, but there are still those who are claiming that you can eat all you want as long as you avoid carbs. That’s just not true. At the end of the day you need to eat less. It’s really simple. If you’re eating 10-12 calories for every pound of bodyweight it would be hard NOT to lose fat. Most people stuff their faces every 2-3 hours to “crank their metabolism” or “stoke the metabolic fire,” and end up eating way more calories than they need.

You’re Not Eating Enough Calories

This is the opposite side of the coin, obviously. Some people diet too hard and in turn basically shut off their metabolism. When you cut calories too low your thyroid will shut down and losing fat will become very difficult. One easy way to monitor this is by taking your temperature when you wake up. If it starts dipping way below normal you’ll know you’ve royally messed up your metabolism.

At that point the best thing you can do is crank your calories through the roof for a few days, or even weeks until you get back to normal. Nothing else will help.

You’re Drinking Too Many Protein Shakes

When you want to get ripped it’s always better to chew as many of your calories as possible. The very act of chewing and digesting solid food burns more calories than drinking shakes does. Most physique competitors cut out shakes when getting ready for a show. Take note and learn the lesson. One small one after a workout is okay but I wouldn’t be slugging down three a day.

You’re Not Following A Diet Plan

Like I said, the trick is in the follow through. If you’re not working a plan, you will not succeed. If you’re looking for a good system to follow, The Renegade Diet is good because its not too complicated or difficult to follow. It’s designed by Jason Ferruggia and he has been featured on ESPN, Men’s Health and various other reputable TV shows and in magazines.

If you’re looking for a way to gain muscle and get ripped then The Renegade Diet is definitely something you should consider. It’s an easy to follow plan that’s designed by someone who really knows their stuff – there’s no fad here and it’s not the latest celebrity diet or program. It’s a proven and tested program which has been around for years – because it works.

We don’t hype up a lot of diet plans, but this one is solid. It’s straight forward and there’s no overly hyped nonsense here – it’s just pure and simple science that works to help you lose fat and gain muscle and work your way towards a ripped and lean body – check out the website today and see what you think.

Nov 29

This is How You Can Check Your Cholesterol Without Leaving Your House

By Jennifer | Staying Healthy

Do you get cold shivers or freak a bit when you think about going to see the doctor?

You are definitely not alone. A lot of people feel the same way. Whether its the loooooong waits in the lobby, or just the anxiety of it all, a visit to the doctor is just no fun.

The problem is, now that you’re a bit older, you need to keep on top of some important numbers for your health. One of the most important is your cholesterol.

So why is this test so important? The simple answer is because it can help you prevent heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems. It can let you know whether or not you need to make changes to your current lifestyle so that you can be healthier in YOUR future.

You Can Do Cholesterol Testing at Home

One of the reasons people give for not undergoing a cholesterol screening test is because of the inconvenience of having to go to the doctor or hospital to have it done. Today however, you can actually perform the test right in your own home, thanks to the handy cholesterol testing kits that are now available in pharmacies everywhere.

And if you don’t want to go the pharmacy? Amazon of course has them:


These home cholesterol test kits are not expensive either, so it won’t be a huge financial burden to get each member of your family checked once a year. They are also very easy to use, and you don’t need to have any medical background at all in order to perform the test. These test kits have been thoroughly tested and are quite reliable, providing highly accurate results.

Another way of doing the cholesterol test at home is to visit websites of pathology laboratories that take samples and send the results back to you. Basically, what you have to do is take some of your blood and put it in a sealed container that they provide and then mail the sample to them along with a stamped self-addressed envelope.

They will run the tests in their laboratory and send the detailed results back to you in a day or two. This method is convenient and not as time-consuming as a visit to the doctor.


Consequences of Inaction

Now that these handy testing methods are available, there is no longer any reason for you to put off cholesterol screening indefinitely. As you keep postponing your testing, your cholesterol levels may be rising beyond the healthy range and you may already be in serious trouble without even realizing it.

Ignoring a potential health problem will not make it go away and will probably lead to bigger problems in the future. Unfortunate consequences of our modern lifestyle for many people are the resultant lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.


Advancements in medical technology are making options such as these home test kits available to the greater community. So, if modern living is putting our health at risk, the least we can do is take advantage of this technology when it benefits us!

Home testing kits for cholesterol have actually been available since the early 1990s but it is only now that people are really starting to take advantage of this device to improve their health. Don’t be the last to try it — get tested now.

Once you have the results you can make informed decisions regarding your health and future. Don’t ignore possible problems. Accept responsibility for your own health and do what is necessary to maintain and hopefully improve it.

Nov 22

The Truth About the Paleo Diet for Beginners: Who it Works for and Why

By Jennifer | Try a Diet

It’s hard to keep up with all the different diets these days. Prior to 40 hitting the horizon, I never paid any attention. It was all background noise.

Then I needed to get rid of a few pounds. One of the first plans that caught my eye was the paleo diet. It caught my attention for the simple non scientific reason that I heard someone call it the “Caveman Diet.”

Well, turns out there’s more to it than that. The good news is that it’s still pretty simple. We’ll break it down for you here to give you an idea of how it works and whether its a good fit for you. Plus, we’ll point you in the right direction for some good resources.

What is the Paleo Diet? (The Simple Answer)

The paleolithic, or simply paleo diet – is a fairly popular diet which revolves around the concept of only eating foods that humans could’ve eaten in primal times, basically an all natural, no processed foods diet.

In a paleo diet, you can’t have any foods that prehistoric humans couldn’t have gotten. This means you can only have foods that are completely natural, either coming from animals or from plants and trees.

This diet has a lot of benefits to it. Since you’re cutting out processed and factory-made foods, you’re cutting out a ton of unhealthy foods from your diet. This alone will yield weight loss and health improvement results almost immediately.

Additionally, the lack of processed foods containing harmful ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup can lead to you having more energy and even an increased life span.

The paleo diet is supposedly how our bodies were meant to live, so we perform better on it. The meals you’ll eat on the paleo diet will leave you feeling more full, which helps prevent you from overeating, a major contributor to weight gain in the United States.

As long as you keep your portions controlled under this diet, you won’t be hungry, and you’ll be plenty satisfied. A paleo diet still allows you to have enough food options that you’ll never quite be bored of the meals, but is restrictive enough that you won’t be overwhelmed by options or be allowed to just go overboard.

No unhealthy food means you’re most likely going to lose weight, but just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean you can have as much of it as you want. For example, you can have just about as much broccoli as you’d like, which fits within the limits of the paleo diet.

However, if you were to eat an excessive amount of almonds, which is also allowed, you’d be taking in too many calories. One of the few drawbacks is that this diet can get to be a bit more pricey than a diet full of junk food.

Processed factory foods are often far cheaper than real natural foods, but there are a few ways around that if you know how to shop smart. However, the increased cost is worth it given the results.

The paleo diet can even help with inflammation pain, as naturally occurring foods like vegetables and fruits can help immensely with that. They contain all of the right nutrients to help your body fight disease, whereas the chemicals in factory foods can lead to increased risk of disease.

Is the Paleo Diet a Good Fit for You?

The paleo diet isn’t necessarily for everybody. For many people, it can be an effective way to lose weight and cleanse your system of overly processed foods and chemicals. However, given the restrictive nature of the diet, some groups of people may find it a bit too difficult.

For example, this diet isn’t particularly suited to vegetarians. The paleo diet involves a fair amount of meat, and if you don’t eat meat, you’re going to be left with fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Vegetarians could normally have things like grains instead, but you can’t have that on a paleo diet. Another group that might be affected by the paleo diet is those who are active on a regular basis.

The paleo diet doesn’t really allow major sources of carbs like pasta, bread, or legumes, so if you require a lot of carbs for your exercise, you’ll find it pretty difficult to get the carbs you need.

That being said, the average non-active person will find the amount of carbs adequate for their daily needs. If you work an office job and don’t attend the gym regularly, then you won’t need as many carbs as someone with a physically demanding job who works out multiple times per week.

It might be a difficult diet for beginners, but not necessarily impossible. This diet cuts out a lot of things that we’re used to eating almost daily, like bread, chips, soda, and more. Some people aren’t really used to a diet without these common processed foods, but it’s not too hard to make the change.

If you don’t live near a place where you can easily get access to natural and organic foods like eggs, chicken, and vegetables, you might find the paleo diet to be a bit tough. It’s very easy to walk into your local Walmart and grab a bunch of processed food at a low price, but consider going to a nearby farmers market and getting more natural foods.

This diet can actually help people affected by diabetes – both type I and II. It can greatly lessen the effects of the condition, especially the obesity that accompanies type II. By cutting back on carbs and increasing the amount of fats, it actually helps your body fight back and increases insulin sensitivity.

If you’re planning on going paleo while pregnant, it’s best to wait until after you give birth to start this diet. According to various research, your baby could suffer from a variety of birth issues if you don’t get enough carbs in during pregnancy.

Given that the paleo diet is very low carb, this makes it unsafe for pregnant mothers. In general, though, the paleo diet is safe and helpful for a majority of people. If at any point during your paleo diet you start to experience signs of sickness, try stopping and trying out another diet.

 

Nov 22

4 Tips to Help Guys Over 40 Build Muscle

By Matt | Getting Fit

Ahh, the 20’s….

I’m not talking about the 1920’s. I’m talking about those years in your life when you could eat whatever and still be in awesome shape.

Many guys who are above 40 often find that they’ve let themselves go. Even those who were active and had athletic bodies in their twenties may notice that their fit bodies have now…changed.

It’s not your fault. This is usually because family and career commitments took priority while exercise and fitness was relegated to become something that they’d do if they had the time.

Usually the time never came and the muscles just got weaker and smaller due to atrophy.

In fact, after the age of 30, most men experience some muscle loss every year. If you don’t use it, you lose it. To make matters worse, testosterone production decreases and your metabolism drops too. Now you’re dealing with faster weight gain, lower stamina and weaker muscles.

It may seem like it’s impossible to build strength and muscle after all these years of neglect. Yet, the human body is marvelous and dynamic and if it’s challenged, it will respond. You just need to know how to go about doing it.

At the age of 40 and beyond, you’ll most probably not be able to train in the same way that you used to… or the way that younger guys do. Your body will take a longer time to heal and the chances of getting injuries are also higher. With age comes a decrease in mobility, flexibility and limberness.

You’ll need to take these into consideration when you begin your training. In this article, we’ll look at 5 ways to build muscle once you’re in your forties. Adopt them and you’ll be safe and still progress well. It’s never too late to start.

1. 80% intensity

This is a good rule to follow. If your maximum is 10 reps, always do 8. The goal here is to increase volume and not intensity. If you do 3 sets of 10 reps, you may wish to go up to 4 or 5 sets.
Unlike the younger guys who can lift hard to failure and be fine after 2 days, you might either strain your joints or suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness for 4 to 5 days which might mean you not working out because of pain.

This is time wasted and you could have actually been training.

So, aim for volume and over time you will get stronger. Then you may raise the poundage/resistance and still be at around 80 percent of your maximum effort. As long as you’re getting stronger, you’ll probably be gaining lean muscle and boosting your metabolism.

2. If It Hurts, Go Light

If the weight you’re using hurts your joints, use lighter weights. If bench presses hurt your shoulders, you should give push-ups a try. They work the same muscles and are just as effective.

If leg presses hurt, try bodyweight squats. In fact, before even working with weights, it would be a good idea to just stick with bodyweight training for about 2 months. They’re just as effective for building strength and muscle. If you apply point 1 above and go for volume, you’ll see amazing improvements.

3. Stretch after Every Workout

This goes without saying but it’s especially crucial when you’re older. Tight muscles not only cause aches and pains but you can actually strain a muscle or joint if you aren’t flexible enough.

Spend at least 7 minutes doing light cardio before your workout. This will get the blood flowing to your muscles and warm them up. Remember to also do about 15 minutes of light stretches after every workout. This will ensure that you can lift weights through a full range of motion and you’ll gain more muscle over time.

4. Focus on Form

When it comes to muscle building, good form is everything. Always maintain good form when executing the exercises. Do not jerk, kick or do strange flicks and whips with your body just so that you can get the weight up and say you did an extra rep.

If you can’t do an extra rep with good form, then don’t. It just means you aren’t strong enough yet. Give it time and keep training. Over time you’ll get stronger and be able to do that extra rep with good form.
Slow and steady wins the race. As long as your form is good, your progress will not be impeded by injuries due to strain or jerking.