Love Notes by Jari Love

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Weight-Lifting Moves to Substitute for Deadlifts

by Jari Love

If your goal is to add lean muscle and mass, everyone will tell you that you need to focus on two main exercises: the squat and the deadlift. Whether you really aim to get into shape, or start building some serious muscle, you’ll want to zero-in on your legs — because developing the muscle groups in your legs will not only help you burn more calories, they will also help you tone and train every other muscle group in the body.

The problem with trying to do squats and deadlifts — deadlifts particularly — is that you need access to the right equipment. To put some serious weight on the floor, and then proceed to pick it up, you need barbells, and a ton of plates. For some people, access to those things can be hard to come by.

Still, for others, physical limitations — past injuries, doctor’s orders, etc. — prevent them from incorporating the traditional deadlift into their routine. That can present an issue for people who are serious about building muscle and getting in shape, because it’s really hard to understate the deadlift’s importance in the world of weight training.

But fear not, because we have some alternatives for you. True, the exercises featured on the following pages aren’t perfect, and they won’t get you as far as traditional deadlifts will. But they’ll do in a pinch, and will work as viable substitutes when and if you need them. They’ll help you continue to build your lower-body — but it’s still better to do true deadlifts if possible.

With that, here are five suitable deadlift alternatives that you can incorporate into your routine.

  1. Dumbbell deadlift: Likely the simplest and most effective replacement for barbell deadlifts is the dumbbell deadlift. All you’re really going to be doing is swapping the bar for dumbbells. The video above, from The Fit Lab will give you a basic demonstration. It’s a simple, easy exercise, and will work the same muscle groups as a traditional deadlift. The only issue is that the dumbbell deadlift has its obvious limitations — dumbbell sizes, chief among them. Just be sure to keep your form and posture in mind, and dumbbell deadlifts will work when you’re without access to a barbell.
  1. One-armed dumbbell deadlift: A variant of the dumbbell deadlift is the single-arm or one-arm dumbbell deadlift. This, too, is relatively simple, and you can see a quick demonstration in the video above from Jeff Fields. Fields even throws some additional resistance into the mix in the form of a band, which is a great way to add a little bit of weight when you run into the eventual issue of maxing out on dumbbell sizes. Once you have the standard dumbbell deadlift mastered, try going at it with one arm — just make sure to keep your form intact.
  1. Bent-over rows: Bent-over rows, when done correctly, can be used in lieu of a traditional deadlift. You can do them with a barbell, if you have access to one (and if you do, just do regular deadlifts), or with dumbbells, which make them a more viable alternative for most lifters. Ben-over rows, like the other lifts on this list, are also a fairly simple exercise to nail down. Yet, again, it’s all about making sure you have the correct form. The video above demonstrates it very well, so thanks to Testosterone Nation for that.
  1. Kettlebell swing: Kettlebell workouts are soaring in popularity, and with good reason. They’re versatile, fun, and can be used to work out the same muscle groups as most traditional lifts, albeit in a much different sort of fashion. Case in point, the good old kettlebell swing can be used to give your quads and glutes a workout, much in the same way a deadlift session would. Yes, it’s different, but if you’re in a pinch, swinging a kettlebell around will help facilitate the muscle growth you’re looking for. Just make sure you’re going at it with a weighty kettlebell.
  1. Pistol squat: Finally, if you’re without barbells or dumbbells, or any other piece of equipment, you can use your own body weight to fulfill your deadlift quota. One of the best exercises for that is the pistol squat — a variant of the traditional bodyweight squat. And it’s a bit more challenging than it looks — so try it out a few times, and really work on your stance and form to get it right. Even after one or two reps, you’ll really start to feel it.

via 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 | | exercise, fitness, goals, Jari Love, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Coffee Lovers Rejoice!

by Jari Love

Ask the Diet Doctor: The Workout Benefits of Coffee

Q: Is it best to drink coffee before or after a morning workout?

A: I recommend drinking your java before a.m. exercise so you can take advantage of the shot of caffeine to optimize your workout.

Caffeine has powerful nootropic effects, meaning it manipulates neurotransmitters to alter how the brain functions. While we all think of caffeine as a stimulant, it doesn’t directly stimulate as much as it prevents or blocks the action of neurotransmitters that promote sedation and relaxation.

Your pre-workout caffeine-packed cup of coffee isn’t just going to give you the mental edge, though—it will also help you burn more fat. The exact mechanism in which caffeine works to enhance fat-burning has yet to be conclusively nailed down (as it probably works via several different mechanisms), but it primarily seems to work by increasing the breakdown and release of fat.

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

What kind of coffee should I drink?

An easy way to adjust how much caffeine you consume is to change the type of coffee that you are drinking. Dark roasted coffee has less caffeine, and light roasted coffee has more. After a short night of sleep, you might want to opt for the New England or Half City roast (light roast), but most days you’ll do fine with the French roast (dark roast).

How much caffeine is enough? How much is too much?

While research shows that caffeine is extremely safe to use—you’d need to drink 130 cans of Red Bull to get a fatal dose of caffeine—caffeine tolerance is very individualized. Just because I’ve seen studies safely use upwards of 600 milligrams (mg) of caffeine to test its effects on pain perception doesn’t mean that you could pop two NoDoz with your venti Pike’s Place before you work out. Too much caffeine prior to exercise may actually decrease performance, as it can make you feel nauseous and lightheaded. I’ve personally tested multiple different dosages of caffeine before workouts and found that 300mg is the most my body can tolerate before I start to feel nauseous.

So how much coffee should I drink?

When it comes to stimulants like caffeine, less is always better, and know your body. Those new to caffeine should start with around 100mg (a shot of Starbucks espresso has 75mg).

If you’re drinking coffee for the fat-burning effects of caffeine, studies show this seems to start around 200mg. Sticking with Starbucks coffee as our delivery mechanism for caffeine, this would equal a grande Americano (225mg caffeine) or slightly less than a tall regular brewed coffee (260mg caffeine).

One downside to caffeine is that your body adapts to it overtime. Any serious coffee drinker or energy drink fiend will tell you that it progressively takes more and more caffeine for them to reap the benefits of alertness compared to what they used to need to get the same effect.

And a final piece to consider with caffeine levels in coffee is that it can be very variable. In a test of six different samples of Starbucks Breakfast Blend, the caffeine levels ranged from 259 to 564mg. This is a huge range.

But doesn’t caffeine dehydrate you?

No; this is a very common myth about caffeine. While caffeine is a diuretic (e.g. it causes increases in urination), studies looking at caffeine use in high-temperature exercise situations show that it does not lead to dehydration or subsequent decreases in performance.

By Dr. Mike Roussell

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.

Fight Holiday Weight Gain

by Jari Love

‘Tis the season for merriment, celebrating, and complete overindulgence. All of a sudden, your typically healthy diet morphs into one based predominantly on candy, cheese, fatty meats, and pastries thanks to an abundance of holiday parties. Packing on the pounds seems inevitable. 

Interestingly, the average amount of weight an American gains during the holiday season is far less than most would assume. According to a 2000 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, most folks only add about 1 pound to their frame during this time period. The bigger problem is most fail to lose this weight once the season ends. Repeat this pattern every year, and it’s all too easy to gain 10 pounds or more in a decade. 

In order to avoid the creep of holiday pounds, you need some strategies. Nothing crazy like fasting or running an ultra-marathon, but practical suggestions that are doable. We’re here to help. These seven tips will help you keep your figure through the year’s end without losing your mind. 

  1. Avoid skipping meals 

Opting out of breakfast or lunch seems like a good way to reduce calories leading up to a holiday party complete with a buffet and tasty treats. The idea is you have more wiggle room since you reduced your consumption earlier in the day, yet this strategy rarely pays off. If you show up famished, you’ll wind up eating far more than you normally would. 

Some researchers agree. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry fed one group of mice a restricted diet only once every 24 hours while the other group was allowed to graze on a normal amount of food throughout the day. The mice on the restricted, fasting diet initially lost weight, but once researchers restored their allotted calories to a normal amount, they gained all of it back and stored more fat around their bellies. 

And keep in mind, most of the eats at these get togethers are very high in calories and low in nutrients that keep you full. A bowl of oatmeal earlier in the day will do a lot more to keep you satisfied than one measly cookie. 

  1. Socialize with your friends at parties 

Food plays such a huge role in celebrations, it can be easy to forget why you’re even celebrating. Chances are good a few friends, or at least colleagues you generally like, will be at every gathering you attend. Instead of spending all your time at the buffet table or next to the bar, mingle with your peers. Talk to them, engage, laugh, and enjoy their company. Many of us eat out of boredom, so you’re a lot less likely to overdo it if you’re actually having a good time. 

  1. Start your day with a workout 

December’s calendar probably looks as decorative as a Christmas tree thanks to so many parties and other events. Such a packed schedule often means regular workouts become infrequent workouts. Fight back with a morning sweat session, even if it means waking up a little bit earlier. It’s the easiest way to make sure you stay active without cutting into social events. 

Some evidence even suggests morning workouts may be better for weight maintenance than sweating it up later in the day. A 2010 Belgian study fed participants a high calorie, high fat diet for six weeks and divided them into a group that didn’t exercise, one that exercised after eating, and one that exercised before eating anything in the morning. Both those who remained sedentary and those who worked out after eating gained weight while those who exercised in a fasted state were able to maintain their weight. Try going for a run, hitting the stationary bike, or a circuit. 

  1. Don’t try to shed pounds during the holiday season 

Even if you’re working toward a weight-loss goal, give yourself a little bit of a break during the season of all things butter and sugar. Keep your focus on maintaining rather than shedding pounds or you’ll make yourself crazy. Even the most organized guy will probably run into a situation or two where he doesn’t have the option to eat something nutritious. A busy day at the office might mean dinner ends up being some passed appetizers and a cookie at your office party. No worries, just get back on track the next day. 

  1. Tank up on water 

Staying hydrated keeps your body functioning properly and it could also keep you from overeating. Those who know they head to the food when they get bored should grab a glass of water instead. It gives you something to do the same way a pile of snacks does without the additional calories. 

Feeling hungry? Drink some water first. SparkPeople explained the hunger and thirst cues are very similar and often difficult to tell apart. The desire to eat may evaporate after downing a tall glass of H2O. 

Also, be wary of alcohol. Those liquid calories can be a real killer. For every cocktail, beer, or glass of wine you have, follow it with a full glass of water. It slows you down and helps to balance out the diuretic effect alcohol has on your body. 

  1. Embrace the crudité platter 

Cookies and salty snacks disappear from the buffet table at a rapid pace while the crudité tray remains untouched in the corner. Embrace the veggie platter. The veggie platter is your friend. It’s the one opportunity to load up on fiber and other important nutrients. Stock you plate with as many veggies as you’d like, keeping the fatty dip to a minimum. Filling your belly with produce will leave a lot less room for the unhealthy stuff. It’s the same idea of starting a meal with soup or salad, a strategy many nutrition experts recommend to avoid overeating. 

  1. Choose your indulgences wisely 

If your mom makes the best holiday cake in the world, you should absolutely have that cake. Skip the other treats you don’t care much about, and allow yourself to enjoy something you really love. Those with a serious sweet tooth might have trouble saying no to trying multiple goodies, but they can still be smart about it. Fill one plate with a selection of treats, then split it with a bunch of friends. You’ll end up with just a bite or two of each dessert, which is just right for a little bit of a splurge.

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 | | exercise, holiday, Jari Love, practice, tips, Weekly Blog, Wellness | 0 comments | Read more

8 Best Stretches for Lower Back Pain

by Jari Love

 Back pain is the worst. The. Worst. 

And if you haven’t had a bout of back pain yet, count yourself lucky… and prepare yourself to join the ranks. It’s estimated that 80 percent of the adult population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

 I, myself, am no stranger to the pain. In fact, I’ve struggled with chronic low back pain for more than 10 years. I’ve tried everything: OTC medication, massage, chiropractic care, stretching, foam rolling and yoga, just to name a few. Most people do best with a regular pain management regimen that includes a variety of treatments, but I swear by the following yoga-inspired stretches to help keep my back limber and pain free. 

  1. Cat/Cow

 Start with a neutral spine while on your hands and knees. Take a slow breath in through your nose as you arch your lower back, stretching your pelvis and head toward the sky (Cow Pose). Breathe out slowly as you reverse the movement, tucking your pelvis under as you look toward your navel (Cat Pose). Each breath should last a count of three. Continue alternating between Cat and Cow for five full repetitions. 

  1. Child’s Pose

 Start with a neutral spine while on your hands and knees. Shift your hips back over your heels and stretch your arms forward as far as you comfortably can. Relax into this pose as much as you can, allowing your pelvis to feel weighted, sinking into your heels. Hold for 10 seconds, then shift forward onto your hands and knees (you can even shift into Cow Pose if you’d like — arching your back and tilting your pelvis up) before sinking back into Child’s Pose again. 

  1. Downward Dog

 Start with a neutral spine on your hands and knees. Then, begin by tilting your pelvis up toward the sky, and push through the balls of your feet as you lift your knees from the ground, pressing your hips up to the sky as you slowly straighten your arms and legs as much as you can. Allow your head to hang loose between your arms. If your hips, low back and hamstrings are tight, you may not be able to straighten your legs all the way. Do what you can and try “pedaling” your legs back and forth for a deeper stretch on each side by bending one knee, then the other, as you straighten the opposite leg as much as you can. While you do want to press your heels toward the ground, they do not have to touch down. 

  1. Plank

 A strong core can help prevent back pain — and the plank is one of the safest exercises to perform while experiencing back pain because it doesn’t require movement to be effective. Simply form a straight line from your head to your heels. You can start with your knees and forearms on the ground, holding for just 10 to 30 seconds at a time. As you get stronger, try the exercise with your legs extended or in a high plank position. Work your way up to holding each plank for a full 60 seconds. 

  1. Cobra

 Cobra helps strengthen the lower back while maintaining flexibility in the spine. Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched behind you. Place your palms on the ground, in line with your shoulders, but in front of your chest. Breathe in through your nose as you press lightly through your palms and tighten your back to lift your chest and shoulders from the ground. Hold for three seconds, then lower slowly as you breathe out. While your palms act as support, you should actively engage your back to lift your chest upward. Repeat the exercise five times. 

  1. Figure 4

 Figure 4 does wonders for stretching your hamstrings and hips, both of which can contribute to low back pain. Lie on your back, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your right foot from the floor and cross it over your left knee so your right hip rotates outward. Lift your left foot from the floor, bringing your left knee toward your torso. Reach your hands around your left thigh to help pull it toward you and deepen the stretch. If this feels comfortable, use your right elbow to press your right thigh away from your body, then begin to slowly extend your left knee, straightening your left leg as much as you can. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. 

  1. Happy Baby

 With a soft mat or thick towel beneath you, lie on your back, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend your knees in toward your chest, lifting your feet from the ground. Grasp around the outside of your feet with your hands, pulling your feet down toward your body (your knees should remain wide as you do so). Hold this position, stretching your low back and hips, then start rocking slowly from side-to-side to lightly massage the muscles surrounding your spine. Maintain the position for 30 to 60 seconds. 

  1. Easy spinal twist

 Maintaining the flexibility of your spine is incredibly important, even when you’re hurting, but if the idea of overzealous twisting makes you want to run for cover, I don’t blame you. The easy spinal twist is truly safe for everyone — just make sure you listen to your body and only twist as far as it will allow.

Lie on your back, your arms stretched out to the sides, your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor. Look over your left shoulder, then allow your knees to “fall” to the right as far as is comfortable (in a controlled fashion) while keeping your left shoulder anchored to the ground. You should feel a nice stretch through your left hip and low back. Hold for five seconds, then rotate back to center before repeating on the other side. Perform three to five sets. 

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.

How to Tell When You’re Really Dehydrated

by Jari Love

Did you know that once you hit the point of being thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? Our bodies are between 50 and 75 percent water, so once you’re dehydrated, the amount of water in the body has already dropped below what’s needed for normal body function. Here are signs that it is time to drink up!


You Feel Tired
If you feel tired throughout your day, try filling up on water before reaching for a caffeinated beverage and see if that makes a difference. After a full night’s rest it’s common to be slightly dehydrated in the morning; so don’t forget to include drinking a glass of H2O in your morning routine to jump-start your metabolism and your brain!

A Little Moody
A recent study found that mild dehydration can affect your mood and interfere with your ability to concentrate. If you’re sitting at your desk and feeling a little low, sipping water could help you snap into focus.

You’re Having Trouble Going...
Water helps to keeps your digestive system moving and your intestines flexible to avoid chronic constipation. It only makes sense that you’d have difficulty with your bowel movements if you’re not staying hydrated. Keep things moving by drink plenty of fluids throughout your day.

You Have a Headache
Mild headaches are a classic sign of dehydration. Drinking eight ounces of water when you feel the pain coming on might just keep the headache at bay. So sip up before reaching for the aspirin.

You Have Bad Breath
Dry mouth leads to bad breath. You need salvia to fight stink-inducing bacteria, so drinking water regularly should keep your breath in check.

via popsugar.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.

The Fight for Food

by Jari Love

Toned, flat abs are what you desire but why hasn’t it appeared yet? Foods, eating habits and other issues can lead to your belly to be bloated and not achieving the results you deserve.

First things first, I am not critiquing you on having a health binge! But, that handful (or two…okay, three) of trail mix each day could be a real saboteur. Dried fruit is good, nuts are great, but combined into a tempting treat they pack serious calories. A single cup of typical "gorp" or trail mix can have 500 calories and more than 15 grams of fat. Granola bars, whole grain muffins, smoothies...these can all be part of your weight problems.

Surprise, surprise, you could also not be consuming enough carbohydrates. Glycogen and water are stored in the muscles of the body and when you allow it decrease, the body triggers a stronger sense of hunger in order to get you to restore it. Such as, not have enough carbs during the day and delaying the time you refuel yourself. This can easily allow you to gain weight.

Are you filling yourself up with a fibre frenzy? Trying to improve your diet by adding in all the extra fibre to shed the extra weight? You could be adding too much fibre too fat for your digestive track to catch up. Slowly take in more fibre, drink more water and get plenty of exercise. The waiting period will only take as little as two to three weeks before you can free up room for full fibre.

Forbidden foods for the body can also be the reason for the unexplained bloating. Your body may not be able to tolerate some of the foods consumed. An issue like celiac disease can cause irritation and an inability for the intestines to absorb nutrients, leading to bloating.

These are things that you might just not realize when you are wondering why you aren't getting the results you want. Don’t give up know that when you work hard and become more educated you’ll understand and know how to change that. Especially when it comes to the habits we can work on getting rid of.

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.

Top Tips for Firming Up a Saggy Butt

by Jari Love

If you ask people to identify the least favorite part of their body you will find that many get upset about a saggy bum or bottom. Although the lower body contains the largest muscle groups, we often have trouble keeping these muscles in top condition – and this is the primary cause to a saggy butt.

How do you get these muscles back in shape? You use “targeted” workouts and you partner them with fat burning exercises that help to define all of that gorgeous muscle you are working so hard to build. Keep in mind that you will not see changes overnight. It is going to take the average person from four to six weeks before they see and feel the major muscle groups begin to take shape. However, within eight to ten weeks most people have the “lifted” and rounded bottom they covet.

The Way to the Best Backside

What sort of exercises are needed? If you visualize the muscles of the buttocks, you already know that the “gluteus maximus” are the defining muscles in this area. That tells you that anything you can do to challenge and strengthen them is going to make a big difference. Additionally, you can always boost the effectiveness of any exercise by adding some hand weights when possible – such as five pound dumbbells, etc.

The exercises to use at least three times per week  to firm up a saggy butt are:

  • Squat - This is “the” exercise for lifting the butt. It is done by standing with the feet at shoulder width apart. Toes are pointing forward. Put your hands in “prayer position” in front of you or hold the arms straight out at shoulder height. Bend the knees and begin to squat until the thighs are parallel with the ground. Remember to squat downward – not forward. Pause for one breath when your thighs and shins are at a 90-degree angle and then lift to original position. Do three to five sets of eight to twelve squats.
  • Deadlifts - This benefits you by demanding that your butt muscles do most of the lifting of a heavy barbell from the floor. The most effective is the “straight-leg deadlift” done with a rack. The barbell is roughly three inches above the knee and this is a safer approach to the lift. You begin at the center of the bar with right palm facing towards you and left palm facing away and thighs touching the barbell you stand straight and use the legs to lift the barbell from the support pegs. Take two steps back, and tuck the navel towards the spine to ensure proper back position (flat back). Let your buttocks begin to project behind you as you lower the bar to the ankles (keeping knees slightly bent). Lift your head and look at the wall in front of you. Contract your butt muscles as you raise the bar and return to your initial position. The barbell is close to, but not touching the body. Do three to five lifts in sets of eight to twelve.
  • Lunges - When perfected, the lung is highly effective at butt lifting. The best version is the walking lunge and it is done by standing with the feet together (hold weights at the top of the shoulders for even greater results). Take a large step forward with the right foot, bend the knees and lower the body into the lunge. Check your form to be sure that the thigh is parallel with the floor and the knee is above or slightly behind the toe. Lift with the bent leg (standing up out of the lunge), and then step forward on the left foot. Repeat fifteen times on each leg.

Perform these sets at least three times per week, and do at least 30 minutes of daily fat burning, cardio work and you could see your new and shapely butt in the next four weeks.

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.

4 Natural Ways To Soothe An Angry Gut

by Jari Love

It’s pretty much impossible to dodge the occasional upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation. Tummy trouble is just a part of life. Fortunately, a cranky belly tends to feel better quickly if you keep hydrated and stick to easy-to-digest foods.

But for people with “functional bowel disorders”—doctor-speak for conditions that cause chronic stomach pain and other digestive problems—a stomachache isn’t just an every-now-and-then thing; it’s a debilitating ailment. The most common bowel disorder is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects roughly one in 10 Americans, according to H. Christian Weber, MD, a gastroenterologist at Boston Medical Center. For the millions of people with IBS, letting stomach pain run its course isn’t an option.

Fortunately, there are several drug-free methods proven to calm an angry gut.

1. Ditch these foods.
Whole wheat, honey, beans, and even garlic can cause trouble—or not. The tricky thing about bowel disorders is that everyone’s gut is different, so what irritates one person’s gastrointestinal tract may be harmless for someone else’s. That said, something called “the low FODMAP diet” should work for just about anyone, Weber says. FODMAP is short for “fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols” (say that three times fast), and it targets natural sugars that pull water into the intestines and make digestion difficult.

There’s a long list of foods forbidden for people on a low FODMAP diet, including watermelon, lentils, and chickpeas. But passing on hummus is a no-brainer compared to suffering through chronic stomachaches or diarrhea. Also, you may only have to give up your favorites for a few weeks, says Stephanie Moleski, MD, a gastroenterologist at Thomas Jefferson University. After a 2- to 6-week “elimination phase,” during which you ditch every FODMAP food possible, you can reintroduce items one at a time until you’ve identified your triggers.

2. Get off the couch.
Exercise is a potent remedy for everything from depression to Alzheimer’s disease. A workout can also quell the discomfort associated with digestive disorders, research suggests. “Endorphins are painkillers,” Weber says. And exercising releases them while upping the amount of oxygen circulating in your body, which makes you feel better—albeit temporarily. Weber says exercise doesn’t really address the underlying causes of your angry gut. Still, if you’re looking for natural relief, a little sweat is a great way to sidestep ibuprofen. Research isn’t clear about whether aerobic exercise is better than strength training, so Weber suggests you try both and stick with whatever type makes you feel best.

3. Assess your stress.
A big interview, public speaking, or other stressful activities can launch stomach cramps, feelings of nausea, and gas. Some experts attribute this to something called the brain-gut axis. Basically, your brain and your gut talk to each other. When one’s upset, the other may feel junky, too. (Some research suggests those with bowel disorders like IBS also tend to feel depressed or anxious.)

As a result of this brain-gut connection, stress can be a big trigger for people with chronic stomach problems, Moleski explains. “When you’re having a lot of stress, it’s going to wreak havoc in the intestines,” she says.

There are several quick ways to slash stress. Finding a method that works for you may make your gut happier in the long run. In one study, people with bowel disorders spent 15 to 20 minutes a day fighting stress with yoga, meditation, or prayer. After 9 weeks, they reported less pain, lower anxiety, and better quality of life.

4. Grab some peppermint.
Although he doesn’t usually recommend supplements, Weber says anyone looking for a natural way to ease stomach pain could try peppermint oil, which studies show can calm symptoms of IBS. But Weber cautions against picking up peppermint supplements at your nearest health store. They’re only lightly regulated by the FDA, and are often loaded with unnecessary additives that could do more harm than good. He advises talking with your doctor before trying a supplement.

via prevention.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.

Quick Tabata Workout

by Jari Love

Tabata workouts are short and intense bursts of exercise that are designed to burn maximum fat and calories. The idea behind Tabata is that you work as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds, then take 10 seconds to rest, and then repeat that for a total of 8 times. This is the first HIIT workout ever created, by a guy in Japan.

You can use any exercise in a tabata workout, but the main thing is to chose an exercise that will work all your muscle groups and elevate your heart rate.

Start any workout with a little warm-up to get your blood flowing before doing any intense exercise. Then set a timer, either on your watch or phone and get to work. It is a total of 4 minutes, so there’s no room for excuses in not getting a workout done on this busy Monday.

Here’s your workout! Let me know how it goes. I have instructions below on how to do a burpee.

Browse Tabata Workouts

To do a burpee, start standing straight up with your core engaged like you’re being punched in the stomach. Then bend your knees and reach your hands down to the floor. Hop your feet back, keeping your core strong, not letting your back sag, into a plank. Do a pushup (if you can). Finally hop the feet back to your hands and stand up. If you’re advanced, you can add a tuck jump when you stand up.

Burpees work your quads, glutes, core, shoulders, and chest. Best workout ever!

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.

Sitting all Day? Try These Stretches

by Jari Love

When you sit, your body slumps, your metabolism slows, and you…spread. At least, that’s what all the experts say. But if you’re in a job where you must sit—or you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a standing desk—you’ll be happy to learn that there are ways to undo the damage—plus boost your calorie burn.

 First, chairs and couches lead to trouble for the simple reason that they support your body weight. With a chair holding you up, your ankles, knees, and hips stiffen, your muscles weaken, your shoulders round forward, and your back hunches. Even worse, your circulation slows, which depresses your metabolism.

 Yikes. Okay, now for some good news: In a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers tracked nearly 13,000 women for 12 years to find out how much health damage sitting could do over the long term. Yes, years spent on the couch or hunched over a desk was linked to a greater risk of weight gain, heart disease, and an earlier demise—but only for women who sat still. When the researchers separated the women into three groups—low fidgeting, moderate fidgeting, and high fidgeting, they discovered that the most active sitters completely dodged any increased health risks. These women sat as much as 7 hours a day, but by continually tapping their fingers, bouncing their legs, and, the researchers suspect, hopping up frequently, they were able to avoid the health impacts of lounging.

 So if you’re trapped in a chair, be sure to add some fidgeting and get up to wander around every 20 minutes or so. And try out the 6 stretches below. They’re designed to counter the muscle-weakening, joint-stiffening, and shoulder-hunching effects of spending too much time on your keister.

 What to do: Hold each of these static stretches for 30-seconds, and try to do the series in this order, twice a day. 

  1. Supported Backbend

 Why: Bending backward helps improve posture, and supports the muscles that stabilize your spine. 

How: Stand facing away from a wall, your heels about one foot away from the baseboard. With your arms over your head, elbows bent backward so that your palms are facing the wall, slowly lean back and catch your body weight with your hands. Walk your hands down the wall until you begin to feel a stretch. (You may also need to step further away from the wall as your back bends. 

Be sure to start slowly; as your back gets stronger you’ll be able to go deeper into the backbend. Place the tip of your tongue in the roof of your mouth, drop your jaw, and breathe in and out through your nostrils as you hold the backbend. 

  1. Lunge With Rotation 

Why: Build strength in your legs and shoulders while stretching your hips. The twists will also help maintain healthy spinal movement (healthy discs). 

How: From a standing position, take a big step forward with your right foot into a lunge, taking care that your right knee does not extend past your toes. Place your hands on either side of your right foot. Now lift your right arm toward the ceiling and turn your gaze upward at the same time. As you exhale, try to rotate a little deeper into the rotation. Switch sides and repeat. 

The lunge is not as deep as a “runners lunge,” and the bottom hand touches the knee, not all the way to the floor. 

  1. Shoulder Opener 

Why: Sitting tends to pull our shoulders inward and collapse our chest. This opens the shoulders and chest.

How: Stand up straight and tall, holding a towel or belt in each hand behind your back. Raise your arms behind you as high as you can without feeling discomfort. Pull your shoulders back and together as you lift the towel.

  1. Low Cobra With Feet Elevated 

Why: Stretching through hip flexors (they get really tight from being bent in a seated position for too long); strength for the glutes; openness in the chest and shoulders; strengthening for the lower back.

How: Lie face down with your ankles resting on a foam roller or set of yoga blocks. Press your forearms into the floor and pull your shoulders back as you raise your head up and back. 

  1. Star Reach 

Why: This move lengthens the body by stretching the shoulders, chest, mid-back, hips, and ankles, and it’s the perfect antidote for chair-tightened joints and muscles. 

How: Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width. Reach your arms high in the sky with palms facing forward. Spread your fingers. Rise high on your tippy toes. You’ll experience an exhilarating stretch from the extension of the ankles, knees, hips, chest, and shoulders. 

  1. Number 4-Sit 

Why: This little muscle in your rear end atrophies and tightens with prolonged sitting. With a simple stretch you can keep your piriformis active and flexible. 

How: While seated, cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Use your right hand to apply a tiny bit of pressure to the inside of your right knee, and then slightly lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your right piriformis (on the side of your glute). Hold the stretch there as you inhale. When you exhale, attempt to apply a tad more pressure and lean a half an inch further forward into the stretch. Continue with each breath. Switch sides and repeat. 

via prevention.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.

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