Love Notes by Jari Love

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5 Reasons you need a massage if you exercise regularly

by Jari Love

Aaahhhh, massage. Just the word alone conjures up images of scented oils and blissful relaxation. I could go for one right about now. But, did you know that massage can help make working out better too? 

Turns out, massage isn’t just a luxury you splurge on at the spa. It can also seriously boost your workouts so you’re getting the results you want. 

“Some kind of massage for people who work out is vital,” says Kimberly Dawn Neumann, an American Council on Exercise-certified fitness instructor at Equinox gyms in New York City. “You don’t have to destroy your body to have the body you want. Taking care of it and being kind [to yourself] has its own benefits.” 

Here are five ways massage can help improve your fitness routine. 

  1. It enhances your post-workout recovery 

A good, therapeutic massage helps loosen up your muscles after an intense workout, which in turn allows you to recover from the impact better and faster than you normally would. “You spend your time tightening and toning your muscles doing weight work and they start to feel like they’re going to snap, they just get so tight,” says Neumann. “Massage helps restore some pliability.” 

  1. It soothes the pain of sore muscles 

Those muscles can really ache after you put them through the ringer at the gym or while pounding the pavement during a run. But, massaging and stretching them can help work out the knots, flush out the toxins that contribute to the “ouch” factor and get the blood flowing again so they don’t hurt so much. 

  1. It makes your muscles work better 

Regular exercise not only puts a strain on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, but it also messes with those connective fibers under the skin known as your fascia — which help the muscles work smoothly and efficiently when they’re in good shape, according to Neumann. 

“The fascia can get really gunked up with repeated exercise, and that makes it harder for muscles to slide past each other easily,” she says. Massage helps by loosening up those fibers so the muscles are doing what they’re supposed to with much less effort. And then, bingo! Your workouts get a nice boost. 

  1. It can increase flexibility 

“Massage can help loosen up the muscles and restore some flexibility,” Neumann says, adding that for most people, flexibility starts decreasing at the ripe old age of 12. “Unless you continually stretch to keep your muscles lubricated, you will get stiffer with age.” But a massage, especially one that includes some stretching exercises, can reverse at least some of that process and give you back a bit of the incredible flexibility you had as a kid. 

  1. It helps you feel better, mentally 

“If you’re just beating yourself up with high-intensity classes or weight training, that’s not going to be completely beneficial,” Neumann explains. “Massage can give you a nice balance with the happy endorphins from working out. It’s a cortisol reducer as well — a stress reliever.” 

She says the best workouts are those combining exercise with what she calls self-care. 

“Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to get the best body, damn it,’ and push push pushing yourself, remember to give yourself care. Massage can be a nice part of that,” Neumann says. “You need both the exercise and the maintenance. That’s part of a well-rounded fitness regimen.” 

Makes perfect sense and sounds great… in theory. But, what if you don’t have the budget for regular professional massages by a therapist or at a spa? 

Neumann suggests hitting up your significant other if you have one who’s willing. Otherwise, there are plenty of ways to do little massages on yourself using foam rollers, tune-up balls and other fitness accessories you can buy for a lot cheaper than booking a weekly massage. You can also just use your hands to work out the knots in the spots you can reach. 

“Many of those will have the same effect from a muscle standpoint,” she says. “You won’t have the same relaxation or the benefits of healing touch, or the fun spa part of it. But you will actually be keeping your muscles in top shape by using some of those self-massage methods.” 

So, what are you waiting for? After your next workout, hit up your guy for a nice back-and-shoulder rub, book a deep-tissue appointment at the local day spa or DIY a massage if you’re feeling adventurous. You’ll get a lot more out of all that exercise and feel much better in the long run. Via sheknows.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Steps to Eliminate Belly Fat for Good

by Jari Love

Belly fat is something that a lot of people complain about. Why? There are the obvious reasons, such as the fact that it is unattractive and unhealthy, and then there are the less obvious reasons. For instance, belly fat is some of the toughest fat to eliminate from the body.

When you start to understand how and why the body places fat around the abdominal area, however, it can help you to begin to get rid of it “for good”.

The body uses the calories or energy (same thing) that you consume in a few ways. The energy that it gets from fat is something it knows how to use up (burn) almost immediately. The energy that comes from carbohydrates might head directly into storage. This ends up as fat around the body and even on the organs of the trunk or midsection.

Considering the source of calories is a useful way to almost immediately reduce the chances for midsection fat storage. Cut your daily caloric intake of carbohydrates to around 40% or less of total calories.

Do BOTH cardio and strengthening. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that a lot of cardio is the best way to blast belly fat, but the truth is that people with a higher volume of muscle will always burn calories as they exercise and for a much longer period of time afterward. So, when you want to really tap into any stored fat (whether visible or visceral) you will want to work on strengthening as well as cardio.

Go for fiber in the daily diet. Studies have shown that people who begin consuming around ten grams of soluble fiber each day (and without making any other changes in their diets) will become far less likely to develop belly fat. That translates to a large apple, a handful of cooked beans, or a full cup of peas.

Get more sleep and less stress. Though this has very little to do with diet and exercise, if you are not properly rested and living with too much stress, it will trigger the body to store fat. This is the type of fat that usually appears on organs and the midsection.

So, with just a few fairly simple facts, you can begin to make the changes needed to eliminate belly fat, and keep it off forever.

Source: Martin, Laura J., “How to Lose Belly Fat”, WebMD

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Exercises to Get Rid of Foot Pain

by Jari Love

Whether from running, non-stop errands, uncomfortable footwear, or some other culprit, we’ve all experienced foot pain at one point or another. With the holiday season coming up the pain is likely to reach a high, which is why we’ve opted to go on the offensive and enlisted the creator of the MELT Method, a self-treatment technique that helps people treat chronic pain, Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, and asked her to show us some exercises that we can do to strengthen our feet.

1. Mini soft ball treatment

Assess

Stand with your feet side by side, hip-width apart. Close your eyes and notice your feet. Scan up your legs and notice your joints and muscles and whether there’s any tension in the body.

  • Position point pressing: Step onto a large soft ball (part of the MELT Hand and Foot Treatment Kit) in the middle of the underside of your foot. With your feet side by side, hip-width apart, gently shift your weight on and off the ball 2-3 times to find tolerable pressure. Apply tolerable pressure to that point as you take a focused breath. Then place the ball just in front of your heel. Apply tolerable pressure as you take a focused breath.
  • Glide: Keeping your toes on the floor, slowly move the ball from side to side in front of the heel. Glide from side to side as you work your way to the back of the heel and then back to where you started.
  • Direct: Shear With the ball just in front of your heel, wiggle your foot left to right with a slightly heavier compression. The ball should barely move. Hold the compression and take 2 focused breaths.
  • Rinse: Place the ball directly under the big toe knuckle. Apply tolerable compression to that point, then press the ball toward your heel in a continuous motion with consistent pressure. Lift your foot to move to the next knuckle. Repeat from each one.
  • Friction: Finally, rub your foot and toes over the ball lightly in a quick, scribble-like motion for about 10-15 seconds.

Reassess

Close your eyes and notice whether you sense any changes in your leg. Repeat all of the techniques on the other foot.

2. Take a friction break: If you have less than a minute, use the large soft ball and rub your foot and toes over the ball lightly in a quick, scribble-like motion for 20 seconds, then switch feet. This wakes up the feet and stimulates the sensory nerves, the lymphatic system, and the superficial connective tissue.

3. Build your foot strength: Place your large soft ball on the floor and try to grab it with your big toe and second toe. Then move the ball under your second and third toes – then third and four toes, and fourth and fifth toes – and repeat the move.

4. Strengthen your arches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart and in line with your sits bones. Keeping the soles of your feet on the floor, slowly open your knees as wide as you can without lifting the heels or the balls of the feet. Pause and take a focused breath, then slowly bring your knees back together. Do 5 repetitions.


For images, visit cheatsheet.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | fitness, goals, Jari Love, stress, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

7 Health Foods You Should Stop Throwing Away

by Jari Love

You have no problem spending $20 every week on fresh fruits and vegetables. But when you pick off the “weird” parts of the produce and discard them before cooking, you aren’t just tossing a few bucks in the trash—you’re also throwing away some serious nutritional benefits. Also, just because a fruit or vegetable doesn’t look “perfect” doesn’t mean it’s not full of nutrition. It can save you lots of money in some grocery stores that offer “off” fruits and veggies.

These forgotten spare parts come jam-packed with vitamins and heart-saving amino acids, says Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Add them to your kitchen arsenal and reap the surprising rewards.

  1. Cantaloupe Seeds – Their Hidden Powers: These seeds are usually the first to go when you crack open a melon, but they’re high in protein, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium, says Bonci.

 How to Eat Them: Roast them in the oven and toss with olive oil for a nutrient-packed snack.

  1. Onion Skins – Their Hidden Powers: These flaky exteriors are high in quercetin, a compound that can help lower your blood pressure and support a healthy immune system, says Bonci.

How to Eat Them: Add them to a stew or broth for extra flavor, then pick them out before serving.

  1. Watermelon Rinds – Their Hidden Powers: These rinds contain the amino acid citrulline, which can help improve your blood flow, says Bonci.

How to Eat Them: Throw them in a quality blender with watermelon flesh (the red part you normally eat), strawberries, and a dash of orange juice for a refreshing smoothie.

  1. Broccoli Leaves – Their Hidden Powers: These leafy greens are a triple threat with high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, says Bonci.

How to Eat Them: Cut them up and throw them into a stir-fry along with the rest of the broccoli. This is one simple way to make your diet better.

  1. Celery Tops – Their Hidden Powers: They’re super flavorful and full of muscle-building magnesium, bone-strengthening calcium, and vitamin C, says Bonci.

How to Eat Them: Use them like an herb and add to a vegetable or chicken soup.

  1. Orange Peels – Their Hidden Powers: You already knew they smell fantastic, but they’re also rich in digestive system-soothing fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C, says Bonci.

How to Eat Them: Use a cheese grater to sprinkle some on top of fish or chicken.

  1. Swiss Chard Stalks – Their Hidden Powers: Their vibrant, reddish-purple color signals that they’re high in carotenoids, which act as disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re also full of Vitamin K, an important nutrient for boosting bone health, says Bonci.

How to Eat Them: Sauté them with mushrooms and onions for a tasty side dish. Via yahoo.com

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

By Collage Video | | fitness, goals, Jari Love, story, stress, Weekly Blog, Wellness, Yoga | 0 comments | Read more

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