Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the Weekly Blog category

Cheesy Broccoli Bites Recipe

by Jari Love

Cheesy Broccoli Bites Recipe - Recipe

There are few comforting restaurant dishes I love more in this world than a hot bowl of broccoli-cheese soup. In college, I can remember going to “study” with girlfriends at Panera Bread where I would order this fatty soup in a bread bowl. I needed to fuel my brain, right?! 

While I no longer indulge in this fast-food delight on a weekly basis, my tastes haven’t necessarily changed. That’s where these amazing bites come into play. Warm, cheesy, and satisfying with only 40 calories per serving (20 if you hold the shredded mozzarella on top!) these beautiful bites will curb even the most intense broccoli-cheese cravings. They’d make a tasty light side dish or a party-pleasing appetizer.

Ingredients: 

3 cups broccoli florets, steamed and blotted dry

2 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 large egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pinch of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

Pinch of sweetener that measures like sugar, optional

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella for topping, optional

 Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with silicone or foil muffin liners and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Chop the broccoli florets into small pieces (no bigger than the size of a marble).
  3. In a large bowl, add the broccoli, cottage cheese, parmesan, egg whites, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion, and optional sweetener. Stir until everything is well combined.
  4. Scoop 2 tablespoons of the broccoli mixture down with your fingers. Sprinkle each bite with mozzarella if desired.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and enjoy warm.

 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.

By Collage Video | | health, Healthy, Jari Love, Recipe, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

Reasons You Should Not Work Out Alone

by Jari Love

No matter how much you’ve made working out a part of your daily routine there are going to be days where it’s 5 a.m. and hitting the ground running is the last thing you want to do. Rest assured, even among the physically fit, you’re not alone. Having a partner to hold you accountable will make it considerably easier to overcome those groggy hurdles. But that’s not all. There’s a reason there’s burgeoning crop of apps designed with the sole purpose of helping you seek out a compatible workout partner. To find out more about the benefits of training with someone else The Cheat Sheet spoke with Ruben Belliard, co-founder of Warrior Fitness Boot Camp. 

  1. It’s more fun 

Exercising with a workout buddy is a social experience — allowing you to kill two proverbial birds with one stone. Instead of dreading going to the gym, working out will become a way of spending quality time with your significant other, a family member, a good friend, or a new career connection. Heard of #Sweatworking? It’s a thing. Studies also show that dates in which individuals join in a common activity versus exchange resumes over wine are more often successful. The extra endorphins and pheromones don’t hurt, either. 

As a whole, your workout buddy will most likely introduce you to new routines or encourage you to try a class you had never tried before, which will not only bring variety to your fitness regimen, but create a new inimitable bond between you. 

  1. It keeps you accountable

No matter how exhausted you are from the ups and downs of everyday life, you’ll show up, because someone is relying on you. Knowing that canceling will not only impact your own wellness, but that of your scheduled partner’s, will ensure you make an added effort to follow through. There will be days that you really do not want to work out. That’s inevitable. Yet, having a partner to motivate you and get you into the gym will keep you going. Make sure to choose someone who has similar fitness goals so that your commitment levels are equal. It’s been proven that having friends who are healthy makes you healthier as well. So keep your friends close, and your active friends closer! 

Prefer group classes? Sign yourself up in advance, commit to a payment plan and force yourself into a situation in which you have little to no room to back out. 

  1. You’ll have support to try new things 

Having a buddy will help provide encouragement to try different things. Attempting a new exercise is tough, but having a sidekick alongside will help nudge you to try the more adventurous, potentially intimidating, but often remarkably effective workouts — like cardio dance classes, jumping exercises, or my specialty, obstacle courses. Like they say: There’s power in numbers, and the added confidence of having a co-conspirator of sorts by your side can provide that much needed kick to try something new. 

  1. You’ll get that extra push 

Your workout buddy will inevitably keep you competitive. Friendly competition, of course — nonetheless, it will add fuel to the fire of your workout regimen. Healthy competition between two buddies can motivate you to achieve a goal you’ve never reached for before, and intensity is the fire that drives progress. It’s been found that choosing a workout partner who is fitter than you are has positive effects on your ability to improve. Whether you’re trying to edge them out, beat their previous time, lap them around the course, or get in just one more rep, competition with a worthy opponent is unquestionably a compelling motivator and a sensation that can’t be replicated while remaining solo. Just make certain that you are not pushing too far outside of your limits and staying safe. Competition can be healthy, until it’s not! 

  1. You’ll be safer 

Having someone watching your movements and correcting mistakes isn’t only necessary for progress, but it’s also important for making sure that you are progressing safely. While pushing yourself to accomplish the next rep, it’s often difficult to keep an eye on your form, but a spotter will ensure that this crucial component does not fall to the wayside. You’ll also be able to safely attempt to push yourself into that extra (and important) rep — and to the point of exhaustion — without worrying that your muscles will give out and that you’ll risk injury. Your buddy will be there for you if something goes wrong and you need assistance. At the risk of being cliché, as in most things, when working out, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

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.

Does Exercise Make You Hungry?

by Jari Love

If you’ve stuck to a new workout routine, chances are you know what the fuss is all about: the exercise-induced endorphins, the sense of accomplishment after you crush a workout, the realization that you actually like being sweaty. But one thing that may not make you love your workout routine: that ravenous, want-to-eat-everything feeling you get after a workout. 

Since weight loss is a combination of burning enough calories and eating fewer calories to create a deficit, if you’re trying to drop pounds, chances are you don’t exactly love the fact that you want to eat all the calories in your fridge when you’ve spent the last 45 minutes burning just a fraction of that. So what exactly makes you hungry after you work out, and how can you change your habits? 

Why You’re So Hungry After a Workout 

It could be the type of workout you’re doing. Studies have shown that the more intensely you exercise, the less ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) your body produces, so a long, low-intensity session could be the reason why you’re ravenous. But other research in women shows that even those who exercise intensely eat more calories after exercise than those who don’t work out, so this isn’t the only appetite-inducing culprit. If you’ve just finished an intense session and still feel like downing an entire pizza, it could be dehydration. Many times our bodies mistake thirst for hunger, so if you’re not adequately hydrated during a workout, you may feel superhungry afterward. 

One study found that the more fit you are, the less you feel like rewarding yourself with food after a workout, so another reason why you’re famished after exercise might be your body and brain haven’t gotten used to your workout habit yet. 

How to Prevent Disproportionate Hunger After a Workout 

If you’re noticing that you’re eating more than you should after a workout, it can be discouraging to want to keep up with your routine. But regularly exercising at least 20 to 30 minutes a day is important for not just weight loss, but also for preventing diseases, boosting immunity, and feeling happier — which means quitting your gym routine because you may be eating a few extra calories is not a good excuse. Instead of forgoing fitness altogether, try these habits to see if they make a difference in your post-workout meal habits. 

– Try doing HIIT (high-intensity interval) workouts instead of low-intensity ones; these bursts can help suppress your hunger hormone.

– Drink enough water before and during your workout; here’s how to make sure you’re getting enough.

– Make sure you’re strength training at least three times a week; muscles boost your metabolism so you’re burning more calories all day long, even when you’re sitting at your desk.

– Eat a small pre-workout snack at least 30 minutes before your session so you perform better and won’t deplete your body of all its energy stores.

– Have a high-carb, high-protein snack after a workout, then eat your dinner a little later. It will help build muscle and energy stores, and eating a low-calorie pre-workout snack before sitting down to a meal can prevent you from overeating when you’ve got a full plate in front of you.

– Stick with it. As your body adapts to your new healthy habit, you’ll figure out what works for fueling it while still sticking to your weight-loss goals. 

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.

Ginger Has Healing Powers

by Jari Love

Ginger has a multitude of healing powers. These powers have been proclaimed for thousands of years in alternative medicine and many have been backed recently by modern studies. We runners should care particularly about its ability to: 

Improve circulation 

Aid in digestion 

Strengthen immunity 

Relieve muscle soreness 

Taking approximately 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger may help with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). In terms of digestion, it’s just a fact that all runners are concerned at some point with how their bowels are functioning, and ginger helps with constipation and diarrhea. 

And while moderate daily exercise boosts your immune system, an intense long run or speedwork temporarily compromises it. Start ramping up your miles or pushing your speed and many of you likely will be sidelined for a week (or more) feeling under the weather. Now, in addition to carbohydrates, adding anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger can actually make your immune system stronger even during those hard workouts. 

How to enjoy – Fresh ginger can be found in your produce department and looks like an ugly, knobby root. You’ll typically only use ¼- to ½-inch piece each time (more if you’re juicing), so even a small piece will last a good amount of time in the refrigerator. When using, peel the outer layer and grate into a saute pan if cooking a savory dish. Or place a hunk in your blender or juicer. Alternatively, you can add ginger spice to your dishes or enjoy candied ginger throughout the day.

 

h/t runnersworld.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 | | Jari Love, Recipe, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

When to Eat When Trying to Lose Weight

by Jari Love

Group fitness class members ask me all the time when the best time to eat is to lose weight. Can I eat after 8? Oprah says I shouldn’t, but what does research say. Should I eat a big breakfast and little dinner? Should I eat 5-6 meals a day, or 1? So many questions out there on when the best time to eat to lose weight. This article does a pretty good job at answering those questions. 

We have all heard the age-old advice to eat less and exercise more to lose weight. But a number of recent studies suggest that the key to dieting success is not just in how many calories you eat, or don’t, but in when you eat them. 

“There has been so much energy on what we eat and on carbohydrates and it’s only very recently that there have been studies to say that we have been ignoring timing and timing might be as important,” said Ruth Patterson, professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego. 

However, the study was done in mice, and it is unclear whether people could benefit from limiting their hours of eating. “The really strong evidence is in rodent studies mostly where [timing calories] is a huge powerful predictor of overall metabolic health and chronic disease prevention,” Patterson said. 

Studies are starting to trickle in suggesting that fasting, as well as other strategies such as eating the bulk of your daily calories early in the day, could pay off in terms of weight loss. 

“If you are interested in modest weight loss over time or better metabolic health, then this could be the way to go, [but] if you really want to lose a lot of weight fast then you’re still going to have to cut way back on what you eat overall,” Patterson said. 

Cut out Midnight Snacks 

Patterson and her colleagues are carrying out some of the first work to see whether the benefit of fasting that was reported in rodent studies holds true in people. So far, they have found in a large cohort study that women who reported going more hours at night without eating have better control of blood sugar levels. 

Although it is only a guess at this point, Patterson believes that it would improve weight loss if we did away with eating between about 8 at night to about 8 in the morning. She and her colleagues are doing a pilot study to test this schedule in a small group of older women. It is too soon to say how it affects weight loss and overall daily calorie intake, but Patterson said that the women report that the schedule is simpler to follow than the usual dieting strategy of counting calories. 

“We think that nighttime fasting is a feasible lifestyle [while] something like diet is not,” Patterson said. Other fasting methods, such as severely cutting calories two days a week to only a few hundred, known as 5-2 fasting, may be less feasible, she said. 

Early to Dine 

A couple of recent studies suggest that eating the bulk of calories in the first part of the day could lead to greater weight loss. One study of a weight loss intervention in Spain found that adults who ate their largest meal of the day before 3 p.m. lost more weight over a 20-week period than those who ate their largest meal after 3 p.m. 

The benefit of frontloading calories seems to stem from the fact that we are programed to burn more energy at the beginning of the day. A region of our brain acts like our body’s internal clock and sets our circadian rhythms; it controls the activity level of the tissues in our body and also seems to make us metabolize meals in the first part of the day better than meals later in the day, said Frank Scheer, director of the medical chronobiology program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and one of the authors of the study in Spain. 

“We need more research, but to me, you can try [frontloading calories] if you don’t have any medical issues,” said Joan Salge Blake, clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University. People who have diabetes or hypoglycemia and need a more steady supply of glucose might not be good candidates for this strategy.+ 

Nibbling or Pigging Out? 

A study of just seven men way back in 1989 propped up the long-held belief that many smaller meals throughout the day trump three big ones. It found that men who ate 17 snacks a day had lower levels of cholesterol than those who ate the same diet concentrated into three meals. 

The jury is still out on the effect of noshing instead of gorging on weight loss, and one recent study found that two large meals a day were better for weight loss than six smaller ones, at least in diabetics. There have not been many studies on the topic because there is so much focus instead on the types of calories you eat, Blake said. A new study is underway that will compare the effects of three and six meals a day on appetite as well as markers of heart disease risk. 

“I think there could be a benefit to weight loss if you break up the meals, as long as the calories are controlled, [because] you are less likely to be starving and eat everything in front of you,” Blake said. 

Breakfast, Not Most Important Meal of Day 

Despite what your mom told you, breakfast might not be the most important meal of the day. A study of college students found that skipping a meal, whether breakfast or lunch, did not lead the students to eat more later in the day compared with the students who did not go hungry. As a result, the meal skippers ate fewer calories overall. 

“I’m a strong believer, our data and others’ suggest it, that humans do not accurately compensate for calories, which means that if you skip a meal or eat less, you’re not going to eat more on subsequent occasions. That’s a good sign,” said David Levitsky, a professor of nutritional sciences and psychology at Cornell University and co-author of the study. 

If you are thinking of skipping breakfast, make sure that you still get enough nutrients from the other meals, Levitsky said. Most Americans get the bulk of their fiber from cereal, which could be problematic for those banishing breakfast, he added. 

However, Patterson warned, it might not be worth skipping breakfast, even if it does help keep your total calorie intake down. 

“In kids, we know breakfast really affects academic performance, and you would think perhaps the same thing would apply to adults,” she said. 

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

Get Motivated, Get Moving

by Jari Love

Get Motivated, Get Moving 

Do you have a hard time getting to the gym, sticking to your healthy eating habits, or pushing yourself as hard as you can at the gym? 

Motivation and determination can get you almost anywhere. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated and meet your health goals. 

Identify your Motivation 

Having a goal=having motivation. What is your goal? Once you find your goal you will find that motivation to achieve that goal quickly follows. Take a minute to identify what your goal is—be specific, vague goals like “losing weight” or “being more attractive” are not specific enough to motivate most of us. Here are some specific motivation inducing goals: 

  • I want to have the energy to play with and keep up to my kids
  • I want to improve my cardio-vascular health and reduce my cholesterol to extend and improve my life.
  • I want to lose 15 pounds before my class reunion so Football star Bobby will be sorry he broke up with me
  • I want to run 5 km in under 30 mins 

Once you have that specific goal in your mind it is easy to find the motivation to make choices that will help you achieve that goal. 

Document your Goal 

Write down your goal. Once it is written down it feels more official and you are more likely to stick to your plan. Write down your goal and stick it where you will see it often—by the fridge, in the car, on your bathroom mirror. By frequently reminding yourself of your goal you can keep your motivation for achieving it high. 

To take it one step further, write down steps you need to take towards that goal and give yourself a mental boost each time you achieve that step for the day. It doesn’t have to be a huge step, but everytime you take the stairs rather than the elevator, for example, feel proud of yourself. Each time you see your written goal, or steps it takes to get there, take a moment to visualize yourself accomplishing your goal this will help maintain your focus. 

Make a Plan 

Once you know what you want then it is time to map out how you will get there. Make a plan you know you can stick with rather than just putting down grandiose aims. 

Figure out what you need to get done to achieve your goal and how you will fit these steps into your schedule. Write it down. Once you know why and how you are going to achieve your goals the motivation will come naturally. Also choose an exercise program that you enjoy—don’t force yourself to jog everyday if you hate jogging. 

Call a Friend 

Tell everyone about your goal. Once you tell people you’ve made it real. Enlist the support of your friends, family and co-workers. If you make yourself accountable to people other than yourself you are more likely to follow through on your plan. Calling a friend to workout with you, or swap healthy recipes with when you are feeling less than motivated can also pull you out of your funk and re-light that motivational fire.

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.

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.

Recovering From Your Holidays

by Jari Love

It happens to all of us. You go on holiday, or Thanksgiving comes and goes, and you’ve made less than optimal healthy living choices. Holidays can be tough on our resolutions to keep up with our exercise and diet plans, and you can be left feeling sluggish, bloated, achy, out of sorts and maybe your clothes feel tighter than they should. The good news is you can get back to feeling like yourself quickly and back on track with your healthy lifestyle with these 5 steps: 

Step One: Shake it Off- Don’t beat yourself up for poor choices. The holidays happened, maybe you ate things from your “never eat list” or maybe you didn’t exercise when you should—you can’t change it, shake it off and get refocused. 

Make a commitment to yourself. Write it down. Tell other people. Put it in your calendar. The poor choices stop now. Instead of saying “oh well my healthy eating plan is ruined, I may as well have this brownie”, say “today is a new day. Today I am starting on the path to a new, fitter and healthier me.” 

Step Two: Drink Up- The quickest way to get back your energy is to clean out your system by flushing out the toxins and other garbage from your system which you may have accumulated. Drink lots of water this will help you restore balance, combat dehydration as well as combating any water retention. 

Start your day by drinking a tall glass of water with a little lemon, and carry a water bottle with you throughout your day. Make sure you drink even more than you normally would and get at least 10 cups of water throughout the day—more if you are exercising. 

Don’t add artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will work against your hydration efforts. To add flavor, slice fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to place in your water. 

Step Three: Whole Foods- To oppose the effects of poor eating choices you need to go clean right away. Set a goal for yourself that for the next four days you need to be extra careful about what you are eating. Eat only whole, real foods. Fruit, vegetables and some lean meat. For these four days try and avoid carbohydrates and focus on filling up with green veggies and lean meat. 

Avoid processed and packaged foods. This is a pretty good general rule for clean eating, but be particularly mindful about avoiding foods like processed meats, cheese, snack foods like granola bars, baked goods and alcohol for the next four days. 

Step Four: Juice it Up- Remember: Go Green to Get Clean. Juicing, or doing a mini cleanse can reduce the negative effects of your holiday binge. Making your own juices or smoothies with hydrating and cleansing ingredients will stop those sugar and fat cravings and re-set your body’s metabolic and digestive processes. Avoid ingredients like carrots, oranges, and tropical fruits due to their high sugar content. 

Here is a detoxifying blend to kick-start your morning—serves 2: 

  • 1 cucumber
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 leaves of curly Kale
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup water or ice cubes

 Step Five: I like to Move it Move it- The best way to get yourself on track and detoxify your body is to sweat it out. Head to the gym and power out a solid 30 minutes of exercise that gets your heart rate up and your body sweating. 

Follow these five steps and not only will you recover from your holiday indulgences, but you will find yourself motivated to keep pushing your limits and boost your healthy lifestyle plan.

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 | | health, Healthy, healthy aging, Jari Love, Recipe, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

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