Easy Ways To Get Fit In Half The Time

If you don’t have time for the gym these days, you’re certainly not alone. Not having enough time is the #1 reason for not going to the gym and working out. Yes, it has a ton of benefits such as reduced stress and enhanced mood as well as a greater sex drive, not to mention better weight maintenance to start. However, time can be a real workout killer. So here are ways that you can get fit in half the time.

  1. Superset Exercises

    Supersets are used and then used again and again, because simply put, they work. You can get more done in less time, and you get more out of the back to back exercises alternating between the upper and lower body. You always have one part in recovery and one part in work mode.

  2. Time your rest periods

    It’s hard to maintain focus and stay on task when it comes to your rest periods. You can get caught up on your phone, talking with friends, and look that 1 minute break just turned into 5. Bring a timer with you and start the timer every time you take a rest to make sure that you stay on task.

  3. Just Keep Moving

    I know, it seems pretty simple, and that’s probably because it is. When you keep moving rather than sitting idly, say turning the TV channels, you are actually burning calories and getting things done. Crazy stuff right there. Don’t be afraid to get out there and move.

  4. HIT (High Intensity Training)

    HIT has become all the rage lately in health and exercise news. Exercises like Tabata routines get you working out in short little doses, but yet you are getting incredibly effective results in being able to burn more fat and lose more weight.

  5. Have a backup plan

    It’s easy to have a plan, get to the gym, and find out that the machines you planned to use are all taken. Don’t let this be you. Especially if you are going to the gym during busy hours, make sure that you have a backup plan just in case this very type of thing happens.

Does Green Coffee Help You To Lose Weight?

Alongside green tea, green coffee bean has become quite the hot commodity in the weight loss world. The caffeine increases natural fat burning and metabolism while healthy antioxidants reduce inflammation and improve health. You can buy both at Starbucks, and the fact that it fights tiredness and fatigue certainly doesn’t hurt. There are even some who say that it doesn’t have the same side effects as some other forms of caffeine, even normal coffee.

As far as the energy based benefits, I think that’s pretty obvious. Green coffee bean has plenty of caffeine. What about the rest of it though? Does green coffee bean really have any weight loss or health benefits?

There are plenty of supplements ranging from big brands like Hydroxycut down to a generic brand you might find at Costco or Walmart. There are studies, all of which have been funded by companies who are interested in selling green coffee bean products (surprise!). These studies do often find that people were more likely to lose weight when they used a higher dose of green coffee bean such as 400mg, but is this actually true, or are the results simply biased?

The caffeine in the green coffee bean used in these studies has an effect on energy, but it wouldn’t have actually been enough on its own to explain the substantial benefits and weight loss supposedly found. Scientists explain this by saying that green coffee bean has an ingredient known as chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that changes how the body responds to sugar. This ingredient may help to reduce the risk of diabetes (as coffee is known to).

It’s something that is still under investigation, and I would like to see an independent trial funded by the government (or someone who isn’t trying to sell us green coffee bean, a miracle supplement….). However, only time will tell if this is actually going to happen.

Cut Calories And Still Feel Full

One of the most common things we think when we think about dieting is that we’ll be hungry all the time, and it’s not completely false. When most people cut calories, it means eating less, and going through that process of shrinking your stomach, it can really leave you hungry.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to feel this way. There are plenty of foods and combinations that are healthy and can be filling, and moreover, they can actually taste pretty good. All of these things are things that people aren’t necessarily familiar with. The key is focusing on 3 things: water, protein, and fiber. The old adage that if you think you’re hungry, you might actually be thirsty is very true, more true than many might think.

When it comes to protein and fiber, you are also keeping yourself more regular, and you are helping yourself to maintain and build more muscles. Before you start jumping into all the foods you think are rich in water, protein, and fiber though, let’s take a closer look at the balance you may want to achieve. You don’t want to go into this willy nilly. If you are really hungry, reach for these foods to really get fewer calories for more weight loss while still filling up:

  1. Choose filling grains – This could be something like oatmeal with blueberries for example. If you want to maximize your feelings of fullness, you can look into 100% whole grains like brown rice and certain types of cereal. It will provide a filling fiber with oats, and the fiber can also help you to balance out your blood sugar levels while maintaining healthy regularity, as opposed to sugary breakfasts.
  2. Stick to Black – You can go with black rice instead of white rice or for that matter brown rice. Yes, brown rice can be healthy, and it has more fiber. However, black rice has a good dose of fiber and antioxidants, and it has fewer carbs than either white or brown rice. It doesn’t have white rice at the base of it, and it can still be filling with just 90 calories compared to 102 calories in white rice and 108 calories in brown rice. You can mix black rice into salads, burritos, and more.
  3. Energy Burning Greens – If you choose things like broccoli, you get veggies that can actually burn more calories. Broccoli is full of healthy vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, and this negative calorie effect can help you to lose weight. Of course, the calories that you see on the labels are actually the calories minus what you have to burn to digest them. So there really is no such thing as a negative calorie food, but they are still extremely low calorie. You can also lean toward asparagus, cauliflower, celery, zucchini, and other similar veggies.
  4. Get Into Watermelon – Watermelon is one of the fruits that is most full of water, and of course, it’s still full of taste. It is extremely colorful, and it provides you with a combination of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. It can really help you to satisfy your sweet tooth, and with 2 cups, you get less than 100 calories and nearly half the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
  5. Eat More Beans – Legumes and beans can really provide a great combo of filling protein without animal fats. Some have more fiber, and they can really help you to control your waistline. Some beans have healthy antioxidants to fight harmful free radicals, and it can be included in salads, soups, and the beans can even be eaten alone. Minestrone soup can be one of the healthiest forms of beans.
  6. Start With Soup – If you start with soup, it may be more water than anything else, but it can fill you up before you get started on your main meal. It’s easier for your body to digest, and ultimately, soups could even be a whole meal depending on the one. Go with a veggie based soup, a bean based soup, or something else that is healthy.
  7. Milk, Dairy, and Moo – Yes, there are some milks with chemicals and hormones. If you think it’s right, you may want to try alternatives like soy milk or almond milk. However, you may want to consider more dairy. Studies have shown that regular use of milk and dairy products can help you to stay satisfied and slim. With 3 servings a day of things like cottage cheese and Greek yogurt, it can even help with workouts with more protein depending on the form.
  8. Drink Your Way to Green – If you haven’t heard of the green smoothie diet, you may not be entirely familiar with this concept. Green smoothies have been all the rage though, and you can even include green juice. Green mixes are often rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and you can mix a protein blend in if you want. With just 140 calories, you can easily replace meals with a green smoothie, especially with a planned cleanse.

What Your Personality Says About Your Health

Are you type A or type B? Funny or serious? A hard worker or work only to play? Your answers may tell you more about your health than ever before. Research has grown to link certain personality traits to mortality, disability, and general health. The problem is that most of the studies have focused on one personality trait at a time. So it’s hard to nail down larger patterns, and moreover, if health is a function of personality or vice versa.

Study author Josh Jackson of Washington University in St Louis explains, We didn’t know whether your personality affects your health, or if having a disease can change your personality or how you view yourself. Our research is one of the first studies that has looked at how personality traits are associated with the onset of new diseases over time.

The researchers were able to track almost 7,000 adults between 30 and their 90’s. They filled out questionnaires and reported any preexisting conditions like heart disease or cancer. Researchers weren’t looking for Type A vs Type B. They were looking at the Big 5 Personality traits. Jackson explains, The best way to characterize personality is not with types, but instead looking at a continuum – how much of this particular characteristic do you have. It is not either-or, it’s an amount, and you can have a lot of one trait and a very little of another.

Personality Traits Could Protect You From Disease

4 years after they started the study, they followed up to see who had reported new health conditions. Then they compared this to the data on the Big 5 personality traits.

Jackson found that two traits, conscientiousness and openness, serve as protective factors. Conscientious individuals are people who are reliable and able to control their impulses. Openness is best thought of as individuals who like to play with new ideas. Those who had either of these traits in high demand were less likely to have arthritis, strokes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.

This makes sense from a lifestyle perspective. Those who are conscientious are more likely to eat healthy foods, exercise, and use fewer drugs and alcohol. They are also more likely to do things like wearing their seat belts according to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Unfortunately, researchers are not as sure why openness correlates with lower risk of disease. Individuals who are high in openness tend to like to do activities that are cognitively challenging, such as reading books and doing crossword puzzles, and there’s been some research that this is good for your health. This may help you brain wise, but how does that help you to avoid disease?

Neuroticism on the other hand was associated with chronic stress and poor health. This can weaken the immune system, and it can make wounds harder to heal and cause strokes even.

Obviously, you’re not going to completely change your personality. However, you can look at some of the habits of conscientious and open people and adopt them. Things like eating healthy and exercising for example can be adopted by anyone. You can train yourself. However, if you suffer neuroticism, you may need more help toning it down.

Scientists Have Designed Stem Cells To Kill Cancer

Another cancer breakthrough: scientists have developed a new method of stem cells that will target and kill cancer. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have tested this method on mice, and they have published their initial findings in the journal Stem Cells. The new stem cells will secrete a toxin that effectively kills cancer cells. They were also able to remove brain cells from mice without any damage to the healthy cells.

Lead author Khalid Shah described his research saying, Cancer-killing toxins have been used with great success in a variety of blood cancers, but they don’t work as well in solid tumors because the cancers aren’t as accessible and the toxins have a short half-life. Now we have toxin-resistant stem cells that can make and release cancer-killing drugs.

In short, doctors would ideally be able to target cancer cells rather than radiation, which doesn’t discriminate. They would leave healthy cells unharmed, allowing them to come back and replace cancer cells or fight them off more effectively.

The researchers started with mice with brain cancer, surgically removing their tumors. They then extracted the genetically engineered stem cells and put them in place of the old tumor in a gel. Their biggest concern at that time was that the gel might kill healthy brain cells as well, and they were successful in getting around this issue.

Next, Shah plans to target other types of cancer, and of course to test his theories and treatments on human subjects. He believes that we can now cure brain cancer, but there will be plenty of work ahead to perfect and apply this to other types of cancer. It’s still amazing news.

Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine at University College London said, This is a clever study, which signals the beginning of the next wave of therapies. Cells can do so much. This is the way the future is going to be.

Running Is Not Therapy

You’ve heard it a million times. If you’d only exercise, you could fight depression the natural way. Running is my therapy! If I couldn’t run, I’d go nuts. While this sounds appealing, it’s not true. In fact, it’s dangerously misleading.

Yes, any kind of regular exercise gives you a boost in your happy chemicals, but as far as making the difference between you being nuts or not, that’s a far cry from the truth. Running is certainly cheaper than therapy, and it comes with more benefits, but life isn’t that simple. The idea of the old trope I’ve heard of You’ll never need a psychiatrist if you have a good running buddy is not only false, it’s dangerous.

Referring to running as some kind of therapy is one thing. It can still be misleading, but I can see it being a release. Actually saying that you should choose running over professional help if you need it is something else, and it could lead to not getting help when you need it and letting it get worse. It’s much like the Scientologists’ ideas that have led a number of people to go off medications they need. This could lead to suicide, threatening behavior towards others, and various other issues. It’s completely unaware of the facts.

I understand that these people aren’t literally saying choose your running buddy over a psychiatrist if you’re feeling suicidal. But it can easily be taken that way, and it’s another way of saying you’re weak if you can’t take it on your own. And don’t get me wrong, I love running, but it can only do so much. I’ve been there, dependent on the runner’s high until it just wasn’t enough.

For some of us, there is damage running just can’t heal, even if you have the best running buddy in the world. Suggesting that it’s more than that is a disservice to runners and the mentally ill. It trivializes serious problems. When dealing with the truly dark stuff, you shouldn’t be trying to get by with the bare minimum. You should be getting down to the root now before you’re in the hospital after your latest suicide attempt, or worse, you’re dead.

Getting Out of a Bad Relationship Could Help You Fight The Battle of the Bulge

There are plenty of reasons why you should get out of bad, or even abusive relationships. The chronic stress that an abusive relationship can cause could affect you for the rest of your life, and even short term, an unpleasant relationship can make you unpleasant, hard to be around, and in general unhappy. According to science, there’s another side effect. A bad relationship could make you fat.

Researchers from Ohio State University have studied the idea, finding that a contentious relationship increases your risk of obesity, because it changes the way your body reacts to fatty foods. Who knew it could change your body chemistry that much.

Researchers took this question seriously, and the idea seriously. They brought in 43 couples who had been married for at least 3 years, and they asked them about psychological history such as depression and mood disorders as well as their marriage satisfaction. They then fed the subjects high-fat meals and asked them discuss or resolve one of the issues they had. They watched and broke it down into psychological abuse, distress maintaining conversations, hostility, or withdrawal.

Those with a history of mood disorders who also experienced hostile interactions in these confrontations burned fewer calories in the fatty meals they ate, and they also had more insulin in their blood. So it’s not just eating more fat. It’s actually not being able to process it as effectively.

Martha Belury, co-author of the study said, Insulin stimulates food intake and the accumulation of fat tissue in the abdomen. And adding that on top of the lower energy expenditure creates a higher likelihood for obesity. But it doesn’t stop there: Elevated triglycerides lead to heart disease. Along with high insulin, elevated triglycerides indicate metabolism of sugars and fats is impaired. These are hallmarks of increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

In short, if you live in an unhappy relationship, it may be time to cut the ties and get out. More than 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, and it’s not all because of bad relationships. But for those who are experiencing this phenomenon, it seems obvious. Get out of the relationship.

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