Love Notes by Jari Love

Posts in the Wellness category

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.

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

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.

Foam Roller Exercises for Your Lower Body

by Jari Love

Foam rolling helps to massage the body, loosening up tight and stiff muscles, which is a must for preventing injury. Here are 7 foam rolling exercises to try after your workout. 

IT Band 

– Lying on your side, similar to a side plank position, place the roller on the outside of your thigh just below your hip.

– Place your top arm on your hip, and using your top leg for stability, roll the length of your thigh, stopping just above the knee. Go slowly, and do not roll over the knee joint. Keep your bottom leg lifted, or lower it down to the floor if you can. Chances are high that this move will be painful, which is a sign that you really need to do this.

– If you find an especially tender point, try rolling forward and back to release this spot.

– Roll for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides. 

Tip: the IT band is a thick strand of fascia that runs the length of the thigh; when it gets tight, it can pull the knee out of alignment, causing pain and inflammation in the joint. 

Calves 

– Sit on the floor with your left ankle crossed over your right, and place the roller under your right calf.

– Lift your pelvis off the ground so your weight is supported by your hands and the roller.

– Roll the length of your calf, from the back of your knee to the Achilles tendon. Do roll the inside and the outside of the muscle as well.

– Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch legs. 

Tip: pay special attention to tight spots, allowing the tension to sink into the roller.

 Glutes 

– Lying on the floor, lift your legs, and place the roller at the back of your pelvis (aka sacrum).

– Gripping the end of the roller for stability, slowly twist your lower body to the left, then to the right, to massage your glutes. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.

– Adjust your body’s position until you find the “sweet spot” or tight spot. Direct pressure will help to release knots. 

Tip: tight glutes can pull on the IT band and adversely affect the alignment of the hips and knees. 

Shins

 – Starting on all fours, place the roller directly on your shins.

– Keeping your hands grounded, roll your knees toward your hands, stopping the roller right above the ankles. A slight twist will allow you to reach the entire muscle.

– Roll for 30 to 60 seconds.

 Tip: this move is a key to preventing shin splints.

 Piriformis 

– Sitting on the floor, place the roller in the middle of your glutes.

– Using a short and steady roll, move the roller back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.

– To reach the entire muscle, adjust your position from side to side. Apply active release on specific tight spots by holding still for five seconds. 

Tip: the piriformis muscle, found under the glute max, runs laterally from the sacrum (back of the pelvis) to the outside of the upper thigh. It is small but can get really tight. 

Lower Back

 – Sitting on the ground, lift your pelvis off the floor to place the foam roller directly in the small of your lower back.

– Using your right hand for stability, roll up and down the length of your lower back for 30 to 60 seconds. Do be mindful of your spine.

– Slightly tilt from side to side to reach the entire area. 

Tip: keeping your lower back loose and limber directly affects the flexibility of your glutes and the efficiency of your training. 

Quads 

– Resting on your stomach, place the roller under the front of your thighs, lifting yourself into a basic plank position on your elbows.

– Pull with your arms to roll up and down the length of the quad. Do not roll over your knee joint.

– Continue this movement for 30 to 60 seconds. 

For images on these foam rolling exercises, visit 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.

Mistakes Stopping You From Building Muscle

by Jari Love

Sometimes it seems like you’re doing everything you can to eat right and stick to your training program, but that tape measure around your biceps just doesn’t want to budge. You’ve reached the dreaded plateau. Nearly every athlete goes through this type of training blockade at some point, and it can be seriously frustrating. You obviously don’t want to throw in the towel, but overdoing it could leave you susceptible to injury. If lifting doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere, you might be making some huge errors that you haven’t considered. Avoid these five mistakes, and you’ll be back on track before you know it. 

  1. Not eating enough of the right foods

Sticking to carrot sticks might seem like a good way to lose the pudge and pack on muscle, but restricting your diet too much is one of the worst things you can do. Men’s Fitness said muscle growth isn’t possible without a calorie surplus. The article went on to explain that insufficient food intake forces your body into starvation mode, which causes you to shed muscle and store fat. And if you just hit the gym, you need to feed those ailing muscles as soon as you can. According to Men’s Health, eating shortly after exercise helps repair muscles. Skipping that post-workout meal could cause your muscles to break down, so pack a snack or recovery drink. 

Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can eat whatever you want, though. Even the most intense exercise regimen won’t make up for a crappy diet. About Health said eating too many refined carbohydrates and high-fat foods will keep you from achieving your ideal physique. And don’t forget about protein — BuiltLean said every individual is a bit different, but men interested in losing weight should try to eat their desired body weight in grams of protein. If you’re looking to lose weight to get to 190 pounds, that means you’ll want to aim for 190 grams of protein. If you’re trying to gain weight, you’ll want to increase the amount a bit. 

  1. Always sticking to the same routine

Many guys in the gym always head for the same weights, do the same number of sets, in the same order every single time they work out. It might be easier on your mind, but it’s also easier on your muscles. If you want to see improvements, you’ll need to step away from the arm curls occasionally. Muscle & Strength explained the body adapts to stress, so it no longer sees the need to grow once it’s used to a certain level of exertion. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to work past this plateau once you recognize the problem. Muscle & Fitness recommended changing your order, switching exercises, increasing weight, or doing more repetitions. You don’t need to develop a new routine for every session, but expect to alter your workout every 4 weeks or so. 

Changing your routine will also keep you from getting bored. According to Men’s Fitness, you’ll struggle to make gains if your workouts aren’t interesting anymore. That might mean trying something you’ve never done before, which could seem a little bit intimidating. Instead of shying away from something because you’re afraid you won’t be any good, Outside Online says to embrace the challenge. Incorporating new moves will help prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to injuries. 

  1. Screwing up sets

Even if you’re trying your hardest for every lift, you aren’t going to see results if you’re taking a 10-minute break between each set. Besides, you don’t want to be the obnoxious guy who hogs the same bench for an hour while swiping through photos on Tinder. Muscle & Fitness reported one study found people who rested less than 1 minute between sets actually burned up to 50% more calories than those who rested for 3 minutes. 

The number of sets, as well as repetitions, you complete also has a huge impact on your ability to grow muscle. Bodybuilding.com said you should be aiming for 12 to 20 sets of eight to 15 repetitions for areas where you’re trying to see growth, but you can get by with less for muscle groups where you aren’t looking to build as much. And while your ego might tempt you to pile on the weight, it’s not the best idea. SimplyShredded.com said you’ll see more gains if you stick with something managable, maintain good form, and go for more repetitions. 

  1. Not getting enough rest

Inadequate sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems, like heart disease and diabetes. It could also be the culprit behind your fitness plateau. Men’s Health said getting enough sleep is crucial, because it’s the best way to help your ailing muscles recover from lifting sessions. The article also said that constant exhaustion can make you feel like you’re working out harder than you actually are. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, make sure you’re doing everything you can to wind down. The Huffington Post suggested reducing the amount of caffeine you consume in the afternoon and shutting off all electronics at least an hour before you turn in. 

Sleep isn’t the only type of rest you should consider, because you can still be overdoing it while getting plenty of shut-eye. If you’re hitting the gym for hours every single day, that’s just too much. MuscleMag said no one should be lifting more than 2 to 3 days in a row without taking a day off. For folks who have hit a serious wall, taking a little break will do a world of good. 

  1. Overdoing cardio

Any good fitness routine involves a combination of cardio and strength training. Figuring out the proper balance is the hard part. Men looking to build muscle can completely derail their efforts if they’re spending too much time on the treadmill. Men’s Fitness revealed going overboard on cardio sessions depletes your cumulative calories, which are necessary for muscle growth. It’s especially problematic if you’re exercising on an empty stomach. The article went on to say this will force your body to burn muscle as fuel. 

So how much is too much? It really depends on the individual. Born Fitness suggested keeping it to three or four sessions, lasting between 30 and 40 minutes. If you prefer high-intensity intervals, stick with two to three sessions. Even with these guidelines, though, you may have to adjust depending on how your body reacts.

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.

Running vs. Walking for Weight Loss

by Jari Love

The whole question of what kind of exercise is best for weight loss or weight control is a tangled and complicated one. Does the exercise burn mostly fat or carbs? Does it stimulate “afterburn” after the workout is done? Does it leave you feeling extra-hungry so that you overcompensate by eating too much? All these factors are very hard to control in the lab over long periods of time, so there’s something to be said for “free-living” experiments, where you simply observe a very large number of people over many years and try to figure out which behaviors led to which outcomes. (This approach has problems too, of course, like distinguishing cause from correlation — no single approach is perfect.)

Anyway, that’s a long-winded intro to a new study from Paul Williams at Berkeley National Lab. He’s the man behind the National Runners’ Health Study, which has been following more than 120,000 runners going back to 1991. His latest study, just published online in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, compares a cohort of 32,000 runners from that study with 15,000 walkers from the related National Walkers’ Health Study, with an average follow-up time of just over six years. The goal: look at how much the subjects increased or decreased the amount of walking or running they did during that time, and see how it affected their weight.

Running v Walking

Of course, you can’t directly compare running and walking through time spent or even distance covered, because they’re at different intensities. Walking is typically classified as “moderate” exercise, at 3-6 METs (1 MET is the amount of energy you burn while lying around on the sofa); running is typically classified as “vigorous,” at more than 6 METs. In theory, though, you’d expect that if you compare a similar change in METs burned, the weight loss should be similar regardless of whether you’re walking or running.

That’s not what Williams found. An increase or decrease in METs burned through running produced a significantly greater loss or gain, respectively, of weight compared to the same increase or decrease in walking METs. In particular, for the heaviest 25% of subjects in the study, calories burned through running led to 90% more weight loss than calories burned through walking.

Why is this? This study can’t answer that question, but Williams suggests a few possibilities — it’s well established that vigorous exercise stimulates more “afterburn” than moderate exercise, for example. He also notes studies that have found that post-exercise appetite suppression is greater after vigorous exercise, though my impression is that some other studies have found precisely the opposite. The data certainly isn’t perfect, and I wouldn’t take this study as the “last word” on weight loss and exercise intensity. That being said, I have to admit that it makes sense to me!

Via 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.

Reap the Benefits of Running

by Jari Love

If you’ve ever felt embarrassed about your morning mile as you scroll through friends’ marathon medals and Ironman training on Instagram, take heart—you may actually be doing the best thing for your body. Running just six miles a week delivers more health benefits and minimizes the risks that come with longer sessions, according to a new meta-analysis in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

 Research done by some of the world’s most foremost cardiologists, exercise physiologists, and epidemiologists looked at dozens of exercise studies spanning the past 30 years. Combing through data from hundreds of thousands of all types of runners, researchers discovered that jogging or running a few miles a couple of times a week helped manage weight, lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar, and lower the risk of some cancers, respiratory disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Even better, it lowered the runners’ risk of dying from any cause and extended their lives an estimated three to six years—all while lessening their risk for overuse injuries as they aged.

 That’s a lot of return for a pretty small investment, said lead author Chip Lavie, M.D., said in a video released with the study. And all of those health benefits of running come with few of the costs that people often associate with the sport. Contrary to popular belief, running did not seem to damage bones or joints and actually lowered the risk of osteoarthritis and hip replacement surgery, Lavie added.

 Plus those who ran less than six miles per week—only running one to two times per week—and less than 52 minutes per week—well less than the federal activity guidelines for exercise—got the maximal benefits, says Lavie. Any time spent pounding the pavement more than this didn’t result in any increased health benefits. And for the group that ran the most, their health actually declined. Runners who ran more than 20 miles a week did show better cardiovascular fitness but paradoxically had a slightly increased risk of injury, heart dysfunction, and death—a condition the study authors termed “cardiotoxicity.”

 “This certainly suggests that more is not better,” Lavie said, adding that they’re not trying to scare people who run longer distances or compete in events like a marathon as the risk of serious consequences is small, but rather that these potential risks may be something they want to discuss with their doctors. “Clearly, if one is exercising at a high level it isn’t for health because the maximum health benefits occur at very low doses,” he said.

 But for the majority of runners, the study is very encouraging. The takeaway message is clear: Don’t be discouraged if you can “only” run a mile or if you’re “just” a jogger; you’re doing great things for your body with every step you take.

 via shape.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.

Natural Ways to Recover After a Workout

by Jari Love

It might make walking up stairs and lugging groceries more arduous, but the soreness you feel after a workout is necessary for progression. Why? To strengthen your muscles you need to induce muscle damage — a so-called micro trauma — during your workouts; this causes the fibers to repair themselves and become stronger and denser in the process. Don’t reach for ibuprofen just because you’re barely able to wiggle your way out of bed however. Not only have pain killers like ibuprofen been shown to be ineffective, but some studies say it may even reduce the ability of muscles to repair themselves. The truth is there’s nothing that will completely alleviate your pain, but there are some ways to mitigate it. Here’s a look at nine natural ways. 

  1. Watermelon juice

 Watermelon juice has long been touted by athletes for its ability to help with post-workout muscle soreness, and the effect was bolstered in a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The soothing effect is attributed to the amino acid L-citrulline, which is thought to improve athletic performance by helping get more oxygen to muscles, allowing them to repair themselves faster, and potentially increasing muscle protein. Remember however to always opt for pure, unsweetened watermelon juice like WTRMLN WTR. 

  1. Pomegranate juice

 Pomegranate is beloved for being an antioxidant-packed juice, and now preliminary research is showing it may help decrease muscle soreness. One study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, for example, gave 17 resistance trained men either pomegranate juice or a placebo. Pomegranate juice was supplemented twice daily after high-intensity exercise involving both the arms and the legs. Strength and muscle soreness measurements were made at baseline and six predetermined time periods post-exercise. There wasn’t a statistically significant improvement in leg strength, but arm strength was significantly higher post-exercise with pomegranate juice compared with the placebo. 

  1. Protein and carbs 

It’s crucial to get a mix of protein and carbs into your system — ideally within 20 minutes of completing your workout. Protein will provide the amino acids essential for the muscle-building process, while carbohydrates will give your body fuel to repair the muscles you’ve damaged in the process of working out. 

  1. Listen to music 

In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a team of Israeli researchers had 10 people complete a series of six-minute sprinting workouts. After 15 minutes, blood lactate concentrations (which is used to measure muscle fatigue), dropped about 11% more among sprinters who listened to music compared to those who didn’t. The runners who listened to music took about 120 more steps during the 15-minute cool-down period, and that low-intensity movement is thought to be the key to helping speed up their recovery times. 

  1. Epsom salt baths

 Epsom salt has been shown to help alleviate muscle pain and inflammation when combined with hot water. When you bathe in epsom salt, the salt’s minerals (namely magnesium and sulfate) are quickly and effectively absorbed through the skin, which brings on near-instant relief, though not necessarily long-lasting relief. 

  1. Blueberries 

A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that people who drank a blueberry smoothie prior to and after working out had significantly less muscle soreness. The thinking is that the blueberries’ natural compounds lowered levels of muscle repair-blocking free radicals in the blood. 

  1. Topical solutions 

Applying arnica and muscle-soothing gels before and after your workouts will boost circulation and ease pain thanks to anti-inflammatory properties. 

  1. Foam rolling

Many studies have shown that foam rolling, a form of self-myofascial release, enhances recovery. If you don’t have a foam roller on hand, a tennis ball can also be an effective tool. 

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids 

Load up on foods rich in omega-3 fats like chia, hemp, and flax seeds. Nuts (especially walnuts) are also a great source for these fatty acids which will help speed up recovery and reduce inflammation. 

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.

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.

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