3 Basic Yoga Poses Everyone Can Practice

Daily stretching is essential for your overall health. Everyone, regardless of your age, weight, or fitness level, can benefit from yoga practice.

Here are three simple poses that will help increase circulation, physical, and mental flow.

yoga pose

Stretch!

Legs on the wall

Find a quiet, peaceful room. There can either be carpet or hard floor, but make sure there’s nothing hanging up that you can knock over with your feet. Lie on your back and shift your legs to rest flush alongside the wall. This pose immediately relieves the tension in your feet and lower body. Also take note of the slight hamstring and glute stretch, releasing the muscles in your lower back.

Balance

How often do you find yourself stumbling and falling throughout the day? Hopefully it’s not too much, but our body often falls out of balance without regular maintenance. Did you know that your ability to balance suffers as we age?  As the body ages, once a fall occurs, it can have a downward spiral effect on your health. There is a higher and higher chance you will fall again!

If you can stand straight up on two feet, then you can try to balance. In yoga, the main balancing pose is known as Tree Pose. Stand with your feet two-fists-width apart. Then, start with your foot resting your ankle. If you can stand confidently like this, move your foot up to your calf or thigh. Do not place your foot on your knee- this will cause you to buckle out! Focus on breathing – count three seconds in, three seconds out.  If you have trouble steadying yourself, look straight ahead at the wall and focus on one area straight ahead of your eyes.

Downward Dog

As funny as it sounds, and as uncomfortable as it feels in the beginning, this whole-body poses works to strengthen the shoulders, arms and legs. Additionally, it lengthens out the spine an relieves pain in the entire back. How do you get into it? Start at hands and knee. Your hands should fall directly underneath your wrists and elbows, falling in a straight lines from your shoulders. Then, push up,  launching your hips over your knees and skyward and toes pointing forward.  Only extend the backs of the legs only as far as the hamstrings comfortably allow. To balance, spread your fingers wide and encourage balance in the padding of all of your fingers while gazing at your feet.

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/1odGdNt
via Jonathan Globerman

Advertisements

3 Basic Yoga Poses Everyone Can Practice

Daily stretching is essential for your overall health. Everyone, regardless of your age, weight, or fitness level, can benefit from yoga practice.

Here are three simple poses that will help increase circulation, physical, and mental flow.

yoga pose
Stretch!

Legs on the wall

Find a quiet, peaceful room. There can either be carpet or hard floor, but make sure there’s nothing hanging up that you can knock over with your feet. Lie on your back and shift your legs to rest flush alongside the wall. This pose immediately relieves the tension in your feet and lower body. Also take note of the slight hamstring and glute stretch, releasing the muscles in your lower back.

Balance

How often do you find yourself stumbling and falling throughout the day? Hopefully it’s not too much, but our body often falls out of balance without regular maintenance. Did you know that your ability to balance suffers as we age?  As the body ages, once a fall occurs, it can have a downward spiral effect on your health. There is a higher and higher chance you will fall again!

If you can stand straight up on two feet, then you can try to balance. In yoga, the main balancing pose is known as Tree Pose. Stand with your feet two-fists-width apart. Then, start with your foot resting your ankle. If you can stand confidently like this, move your foot up to your calf or thigh. Do not place your foot on your knee- this will cause you to buckle out! Focus on breathing – count three seconds in, three seconds out.  If you have trouble steadying yourself, look straight ahead at the wall and focus on one area straight ahead of your eyes.

Downward Dog

As funny as it sounds, and as uncomfortable as it feels in the beginning, this whole-body poses works to strengthen the shoulders, arms and legs. Additionally, it lengthens out the spine an relieves pain in the entire back. How do you get into it? Start at hands and knee. Your hands should fall directly underneath your wrists and elbows, falling in a straight lines from your shoulders. Then, push up,  launching your hips over your knees and skyward and toes pointing forward.  Only extend the backs of the legs only as far as the hamstrings comfortably allow. To balance, spread your fingers wide and encourage balance in the padding of all of your fingers while gazing at your feet.

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/1MlaEaD
via Jonathan Globerman

Building the Perfect Breakfast Shake

protein shake

 

A nutritional shake is a great alternative to a big breakfast meal in the morning. Many of us are far too rushed in the morning to spend too much time preparing meals in the kitchen. Some of us skip breakfast altogether because of this rush. Now, skipping the most important meal of the day can have a variety of consequences for an individual’s physical and mental health. Failing to eat breakfast can make you groggy, tired, and fatigued until your next meal. Some studies even suggest that skipping breakfast can directly contribute to obesity within adults. If you don’t have the time to make yourself a proper breakfast in the morning, make yourself a shake instead. Mentioned below are a few tips you can use build yourself a hearty and nutritious breakfast shake before that early morning commute.

Adding the right ingredients to your breakfast shake can bring with it a ton of nutritional value. Adding certain fruits and vegetables can add an extra boost of antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins to keep you energized throughout your day. Make sure to measure your ingredients appropriately though, and make sure your shake is strategically built to help you address a specific need. As a base liquid for your shake, make sure to add water, or coconut or almond milk. Do not add sugary fruit drinks into your shake, as it will add loads of necessary sugars that will undermine the nutritional value of your drink.

Another good base to add to your smoothie is low fat greek yogurt. Not only does it add a much-needed creamy texture to your drink, it also adds a boost of protein to your daily nutritional value. Also unless you’re bulking up, don’t put protein powder into your shake. Instead if you’re looking for another source of nutritional protein into your diet, add flax seeds, or nut butters.

Greens are a necessary component to any nutritional shake, however you should stick to ingredients you know when you’re first starting out. If you’re not accustomed to the texture and taste of juiced greens, Grace Elkus of CookingLight suggests starting with spinach. Eventually, you can add more bitter greens to ensure a healthy blend. Avocados are also a great ingredient to add to any shake. Avocados and Oatmeal are both great sources of healthy calories and fiber. Both ingredients can add just the right amount of heartiness to turn your shake into a true meal. Of course, fruits and berries will add a great deal of vitamins and antioxidants to your body’s daily diet. This nutritional boost will boost your immune system in the more frigid winter months.

Found this post useful? Follow me @JonGloberman for more nutrition news and info. Thanks for reading!

 

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/1QgWLPG
via Jonathan Globerman

How Can You Get Your Friends and Family to be Healthy?

Family Eating Together

Salad at family dinners is a great way to start.

 

There is no better time than now to live a healthier lifestyle. Because our daily choices are influenced by the people we spend our time with, a healthy lifestyle includes encouraging loved ones to also live healthier.

Think about how hard it can be to get yourself motivated to change your daily habits. It isn’t easy to get others motivated either, but their is a communal spirit in being in the boat that can encourage you to stick to a diet and exercise plan.

The following five tips were originally featured on  the Biostation blog. Jonathan Globerman explains that small changes will help guide you through the challenging task of encouraging health throughout your friends and family. It can be difficult to engage in conversation about change without sounding offensive and inflammatory, so take note of the following tips.

1. Dream big, but start small.
Good habits take time to form; the healthier they are, the harder they are to maintain. This is why crash diets are so popular. After a week or so, we fall back into our old patterns. Encourage loved ones to focus on two or three small goals. Once the positive effects from these milestones are realizes, it will be possible to keep adding on new habits.

2. Avoid making it a point of contention.
Has someone ever told you, “Are you sure you want to eat that?” when you’re about to grab a burger instead of a salad? Saying something fiercely judgemental can come off argumentative and cruel. It becomes a personal attack; you’re now the enemy, not the support that they need. What will also make this dynamic worse is if you consistently nag someone to eat better or exercise. We all know that people are motivated by positive affirmation, not negative criticism.

3. Action is more important than words.
Naturally, this one works for more than just healthy eating.  Seeing someone else succeed by dieting and exercise one of the best ways to motivate others; they see real results and know it’s worth trying it out.  Be a healthy role model!

4. Be a cheerleading squad!
Starting a new health-focused life is terrifying for some people. There will be hungry days, grumpy days, and angry days. It’s your job to stay positive and supportive and be the role model throughout the entire process.

5. If necessary, seek professional help.
No matter how hard we try, we can’t always provide the answers and help our loved ones require. When dealing with problems like eating disorders and obesity, it is a slippery slope. In cases like this, turning to a medical practice like the biostation™ can guide patients toward an individualized path toward wellness.  The results of comprehensive medical tests through the help of a professional give our loved ones the information necessary to help them achieve their goals.

 

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/201R1zZ
via Jonathan Globerman

5 Foods All Nutritionists Eat

“Eat this!” “Eat that!”  You may hear a great deal of different recommendations when it comes to the best thing for you to eat in order to maintain your health. Whether it be advice from doctors, articles in newspapers, or recommendations from friends, it feels like the consensus about the best foods to eat is constantly changing.

Nutritionists advise individuals to make healthy eating choices. As the experts in the field of food, we can look at their pantries and refrigerators for guidance on what are the best foods for us too.

Here are the foods that made nutritionist’s lists:

Eggs

Nutrition Egg

Research doesn’t show enough evidence to link egg consumption to heart disease, despite eggs’ negative reputation due to their cholesterol content. Eggs actually have a quite low calorie count (70 calories per egg) and are loaded with protein, 13 vitamins and minerals, and an anti-inflammatory nutrient called choline.

Cinnamon

Jennifer McDaniel, a registered dietitian nutritionist in St. Louis, claims cinnamon is “one of those powerhouse spices every R.D. tries to work into her diet. Research shows that just half a teaspoon a day can help regulate blood sugar.” Plus, cinnamon can help curb your appetite when your blood sugar drops. Try adding it to your coffee beans!

coffee

Avocados

avocado jonathan globerman

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats. They also are cholesterol-free and high in Vitamin K. Plus, they are easy to eat on the go, especially in salads, sandwiches, and burgers.

Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt (try brands like Fage and Chobani) help keep your immune system strong. It’s high in probiotics, high in protein, and low in sugar.  Plus, you can utilize it in recipes for every meal.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

olive oil jon globerman

Olive oil is pressed from real olives from olive trees, and the best types are extracted using natural methods.  These varieties are standardized for purity and sensory qualities. Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fats as well as antioxidants.  It’s great to sautée vegetables with or use as a salad dressing.

You can find the complete list at Red Book Magazine

This article was originially featured at Jonathan Globerman‘s website.

Count Nutrients, Not Calories

There is a misconception among people striving to eat healthier that foods with less calories are better for you.  This can steer you in the wrong direction.  You can become misguided in your diet, seeking out meals that may leave you cranky and dissatisfied.  This is because many diets require you to count your calories without considering the nutritional value of your food. Many diets promise quick weight-loss solutions through restrictive corner-cutting alternatives such as no-carb diets.

Food is rarely both nutrient-dense and calorie-dense.  Beware of options like the “Cookie-Diet,” which promises to serve all of your daily nutrition through a few servings of delicious cookies.  Consider everything you’re leaving out of your diet when you exchange it with a meal replacement.  The best way to get your nutrition is through fruits, vegetables, grains, in their natural form.

apple

So how can we reduce caloric intake without sacrificing the benefits of healthy intake?  I can provide some basic guidelines.

Vegetables and fruits are great for nutrient-density because they are full of fiber and water, but dieters often shy away from them because of their sugar content. However, these organic sugars have benefits.  Plus, they are high in fiber.  This is necessary for out digestive functioning and gives us only two calories per gram.

However, you can lower your caloric intake by watching how much fat you eat.  Fat has nine calories per gram while carbs and protein have four. This isn’t necessarily the best nutritional decision, because some fats, such as the ones found in nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and olive oil have great health benefits.

Here are some tips to get you thinking in a nutrient-counting mindset, instead of calorie-counting:

  • Eat fruit in between meals or as a component of meals.  For example, eat a banana and fingerful of almonds instead of a handful of almonds.  Or, compliment a salad with apple slices or strawberries.
  • Replaces starches with veggies.  Skip the rice by making a large stir-fry of mostly vegetables and protein (either meat, tofu, or seitan). Also, mushrooms have a meaty flavor and can be used to replace meat in burgers.  You can even purchase a spiralizer and consider making pasta out of your vegetables.
  • Remember – always fill half your plate with vegetables.  Start crafting some savory salad recipes, and soon your meals will be looking green, nutritious, and even low-calorie.

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/1NuLTh1
via Jonathan Globerman

Control Group in GMO Animal Studies Not Actually Controlled

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Caen in France is slated to be published in the journal, PLOS ONE. This study reveals that most rodent feed that is used for control groups in laboratory studies is actually contaminated with GMO’s, pesticides and toxic metals, even the studies on the safety of GMO’s.

The researchers analyzed 13 separate dried rodent chows produced on five continents and tested for traces of 4 heavy metals, 17 dioxins and furans, 18 PCBs, 22 GMO’s and 262 pesticides. They found that every feed had numerous toxins, toxins at high enough levels to cause diseases. If consumed over a long period of time, all of these diets could be expected to pose a high risk to health. The researchers found that 11 of the 13 diets contained GMO’s engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate), and nine of the diets contained detectable levels of glyphosate.

 

Lack of Control:

These findings immediately call into the question the validity of all diet-based research conducted in rodents, especially that on potentially toxic substances, like GMO’s and PCB’s. If the control diets are actually high in toxic substances, a number of rodents in the control group are then expected to develop serious health problems. This means that the toxic effect of the substance in test would have to be exceptionally high in order to stand out from the control. If a group of animals being fed one potentially toxic substance is compared to a group being fed a cocktail of substances known to be toxic, there is essentially no control group.

With no control group, the results of these studies essentially undermine any time regulators have declared that pesticides or chemical are safe for use. Our level of “normal” at which we believe animals develop health problems is inaccurate. The high rates of “spontaneous” illness found in historic control data are not spontaneous at all.

Read more about the GMO industry here.

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/1MnUxuy
via Jonathan Globerman

Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is terrific!

Turmeric is a perennial plant native to southwest India. A member of the ginger family, turmeric is cultivated most commonly for it’s rhizomes. The rhizomes are boiled, dried and ground to produce a fine orange-yellow powder. That powder is how most people consume turmeric, especially in America. The spice is commonly used in Indian cuisine, especially in curries. It is high in vitamin C, vitamin B1, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and other vital nutrients and minerals.  Aside from it’s culinary applications, turmeric has many holistic health benefits. Turmeric is used heavily in Siddha medicine — a traditional medicine system related to Hinduism.
Let’s explore a few ways that people use turmeric to improve their lives.

Digestive and Respiratory Problems

Turmeric extract has been used to treat digestive tract problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, for centuries. This long used treatment was proven effective during studies among otherwise healthy results. The turmeric extract improved symptoms. The plant has also been used to treat respiratory issues. The essential oil can relief coughs, reducing wheezing and even treat asthma.

Anti-inflammatory

The most important active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is what creates the earthy, peppery flavor and smell, as well as it’s yellow color. Under clinical settings, curcumin has been observed to reduce post-surgery inflammation. Turmeric has also been recommended by medical professionals to treat sports injuries. The discomfort of back pain, sports injuries or whiplash is caused by inflammation, which turmeric is known to do.

Totally Topical

Another great benefit of turmeric is it’s ability to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, brighten skin, and treat acne. Turmeric can be applied topically to the face and neck as a mask. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are compounded by it’s anti-bacterial and antioxidant qualities.
These are just a few of the ways people use turmeric to improve their health. With so many applications, it’s no surprise that turmeric has been used medicinally for so long.

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/1FvQkzM
via Jonathan Globerman

Why Do Some Get Fitter Than Others? Part 2

Continuing from the last post….

Next, the scientists examined the animals’ hearts. Normally the left ventricle of the heart in animals and people becomes larger and thus able to contract more forcefully after endurance training. The high-responding rats showed these structural changes in their left ventricles, evidence that they were developing athletes’ hearts. The other rats showed almost no physiological adaptations; it looked like they had not exercised at all.

Ulrik Wisloff, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology explained that this is likely why the animals lost fitness training. If hearts don’t adapt to the demands of exercise, workouts will not strengthen their bodies.

While looking at the gene expression in the animals’ heart cells, scientists found over 360 genes operating differently in the two different groups. These genes direct processes that should increase the size of the heart but were not working as effectively in the animals that were bred to be resistant to exercise.  Humans have the same genes in our heart cells.  It is impossible to know if our genes respond exactly the same as the genes of rats but it’s possible that they may. However, the interplay of genes and exercise is extremely complex. We are still only in the early stages of understanding effects of environment, heredity, nutrition and even psychology on rates of exercise.

We should monitor our body’s response to exercise. If after months of training and someone is still not able to run any farther than he or she could before, it is time to change the workout. It is likely that the genes that control the body’s response to that activity are different than those involved in responses to aerobic exercise.

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/1LmrvNE
via Jonathan Globerman

Why Do Some Get Fitter Than Others?

Scientists are puzzled as to why some people’s bodies respond better to working out than others. According to some studies, genetics must be involved because response to exercise seems to run in families. But which genes are involved? And how exactly do these genes increase or stunt the body’s response?

The NY Times writes about a recent study in rats. In the study, rats with a certain set of genes responded vigorously to exercise; they became much more fit after a few weeks of running. Rats with other genes gained little cardiovascular benefit from the same exercise program; their heart muscles didn’t react as expected.

People who exercise diligently but see no results should consider revising their workout routine. The range of response to exercise can be extremely large. A study published in March examined overweight men and women who enrolled in five months of endurance or weight training. By the end, the men and women were, on average, 8% stronger or more aerobically fit. But 13% of those in the endurance group lost aerobic capacity and 30% of those in the strength-training group were weaker.

Another rodent study conducted at the University of Michigan and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, scientists created two strains of rats that would or would not respond well to working out. First, they had rats run for several weeks to see how much distance the animals added before tiring out. They also noted how well they were adapting to the workouts. They found that the males who added the most mileage were bred with females who responded similarly. The animals that added the fewest miles to their runs mated to one another.

Several generations later, the scientists had rats that should be significantly high or significantly low responders to exercise. The first part of the experiment supported this. The two different types of rats were set on treadmills with identical workouts. After a two month training program, there was a significant difference with the types of rats. Rats there were bred to respond well to exercise training increased the distance they could run before tiring by 40%. The other rats lost about 2% of their endurance during the training.

To be continued…

from Jonathan Globerman http://ift.tt/1TnyN59
via Jonathan Globerman