Social Media Is Your New Workout Buddy –

Social Media Is Your New Workout Buddy -



Social Media Tips to Pump Up Your Workout Motivation

1. Sweaty selfie time!

Research shows that snapping a selfie can help with your weight loss goals. In particular, before and after photos can motivate you to stick with healthy habits.

Tone It Up (TIU) users share evidence of their exercise and diet achievements. “On days when we need extra motivation, we turn to our community on Instagram @ToneItUp. We scroll through the check-ins for #TIUteam to see their sweaty selfies and healthy recipe pics — there’s nothing more inspiring!” says Katrina Scott, co-creator of TIU.

2. Join a community of goal-oriented people.

Not everyone has a cheerleader in their corner IRL. And that’s OK, because social media is there to provide a virtual one. Online communities on Instagram, Facebook or even within certain apps let you connect to people all over the world and share your journey in a relatively anonymous platform, one which is available 24/7. New research found that sharing ups and downs with these online communities can be key to dropping pounds.

These online support groups can be an incredible resource for overcoming those been-there, done-that challenges and pitfalls.We created Tone It Up because we envisioned a community where women can come together and support each other to reach their fitness goals, and social media plays a huge role in that,” says Karena Dawn, co-creator of Tone It Up. Whether you just nailed a full push-up or need someone to motivate you to get up and get sweating, people in the group provide the positivity.

3. Post it publicly.

If you have a workout goal, target race pace or even just a hard workout on the calendar, make it public. Knowing that you’ve committed to a work out, a training cycle or an upcoming race, and that others will be following your progress online can motivate you to get out the door even when you don’t necessarily want to.

4. Join a challenge.

“Encouragement from others is perhaps the greatest strength that social media can offer all of us.”

Speaking of a little healthy competition, it never hurt anyone, right? Fitness and health-related challenges are everywhere on social media from #30DaysOfYoga to #runstreak, to Whole 30 and it can be a good way to kick-start a new habit or routine, while keeping you accountable.

5. Check in.

When you’re working out alone and don’t have someone to share your ups and downs with, it’s easy to lose your mojo. Instead, regularly update your social media friends on your progress and milestones. During Daily Burn 365, the live chat function allows members to discuss the day’s workout in real-time, including struggles they overcame and how strong they feel mid- and post-sweat.

6. Stay positive.

Social media doesn’t just build your physical fitness, it can help improve your mental muscles too. One of the easiest ways to re-train your brain? Affirmations.

Luckily, Instagram is full of positive self-talk. Choose from any of the hundreds of previous affirmations to turn inward, and shift your perception. Save your favorite affirmations, and share with friends to spread the love.

7. Set limits.

While social media does fire up the competitive juices, it’s important not to go overboard. Our advice? Create your own guidelines for the total length of time you allow yourself on social media each day.


Source link

How – and Why – We All Need Melatonin –

How - and Why - We All Need Melatonin -


You may think of melatonin as simply a sleep supplement. It is, to an extent. Melatonin can do so much more than aid you in getting a good nights’ sleep.

Your Melatonin Primer

Melatonin is produced by your brain – everyone has it. Some of us have less than our optimal levels, causing our sleep cycles to vary. Proper levels of melatonin help our circadian rhythm, which helps our bodies adjust to our day-to-day wake/sleep times. Too much light can disrupt it; too much dark can do the same.

Melatonin can also play a huge role in our everyday lives – from our athletic abilities to our menopause relief.

Decrease The “Bad” Menopause Symptoms

Menospause sucks – and many women over 50 know this all too well. The hot flashes… the moodiness – they can be troublesome not only to those suffering, but also to their friends and families. Melatonin can help decrease these “bad” symptoms. While it won’t totally cause them to cease (it’s Mother Nature, after all, to go through this change), it will dramatically reduce them.

Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia Relief

A randomized, placebo-controlled study of 101 patients with fibromyalgia syndrome evaluated melatonin’s effectiveness at reducing symptoms. It found that patients experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms when they took a melatonin dosage either alone or in conjunction with the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac).

Decrease Exercise Fatigue

A recent study conducted at the University of Seville Medical School in Spain looked at the effects on oxidative stress, immunity and fat metabolism of taking melatonin before intense exercise. Athletes took either 6 milligrams of melatonin or a placebo 30 minutes before completing an hour of continuous intense training. Upon completion of the study, the authors concluded that the melatonin supplement significantly increased blood-total antioxidant activity and decreased exercise-induced oxidative stress.

So whether you are a hot-flash hating grandmother, or a cyclist in need of a training boost, melatonin can help your life for the better.



Source link

Top 10 Nutrients Cyclists Need Most –

Top 10 Nutrients Cyclists Need Most -


You eat lots of produce and lean protein, so you’re probably all set with vitamins and minerals, right? If you’re hitting the gym on a regular basis, that may not be the case. Certain nutrients are vital for your muscles to work efficiently, and, “moderate to vigorous exercise increases the loss of some minerals, mostly through sweat,” says Kelly L. Pritchett, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Translation: Being active could mean your stores are totally tapped out. Read on to learn which of these essentials you might be missing and how to up your intake to help you perform at your peak.

1. Vitamin B

Lacking the energy to push out those last few reps? Chances are you’re low on this group of micronutrients, which includes vitamins B6 and B12, thiamin, riboflavin and folate. The body uses these to convert protein and sugar into energy and to produce red blood cells. Athletes with low levels performed worse during high-intensity exercise, according to research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Get more from: Tuna, black beans, lentils, peanuts

2. Calcium

Milk does a body good — the commercials didn’t lie. Each additional cup of skim milk consumed per day reduced runners’ incidence of developing a stress fracture by 62 percent, according to a study from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The calcium, along with vitamin D, potassium and protein in the dairy drink significantly increased participants’ bone density — and a strong skeleton is key for any high-impact activity.

Get more from: Milk, yogurt, leafy greens, beans, fortified cereals

3. Vitamin C

Up to half of people who work out in chilly conditions suffer from some degree of exercise-induced asthma. Good news: The citrus that’s in season all winter, like oranges and grapefruit, might help. Vitamin C can reduce coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath during and after exercise, according to recent research from the University of Helsinki in Finland. It also significantly decreases the likelihood of active people coming down with the common cold.

Get more from: Oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, kale

4. Vitamin D

Soaking up some sun doesn’t just boost your mood — it can pump up your power, too. In a new study from Newcastle University in England, patients reported less fatigue after receiving a dose of vitamin D. Why? Without enough of this nutrient, the mitochondria in muscle fibers can’t adequately regenerate energy after your muscles contract, making you feel tired more quickly.

Get more from: Milk, salmon, trout, egg yolks

5. Vitamin E

If you’re a gym devotee, you can slash the chance of becoming sick by consuming some of this oily antioxidant. Taking the vitamin lowered risk of pneumonia by 69 percent among nonsmokers who exercise, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Epidemiology.

Get more from: Sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter

6. Iron

To help your muscles work efficiently, you need to pump some iron — literally! An hour of working out could deplete 5.7 percent of your level of this mineral, which helps red blood cells carry oxygen to muscles. Losing too much of your stores can result in iron-deficiency anemia, which causes fatigue and zaps your endurance during lengthy sessions.

Get more from: Beef, eggs, spinach, broccoli, fortified cereals

7. Magnesium

This mineral is a powerhouse for weekend warriors to pro endurance athletes alike. “Magnesium is a component of more than 300 enzymes involved in energy metabolism, plus it plays a role in bone formation,” says Pritchett. Improved bone density is important for protect yourself from stress fractures during high-impact activities. You lose magnesium through sweat, so munch on some good sources of it before a hard weight-training session or long run.

Get more from: Leafy greens, almonds, halibut, quinoa

8. Potassium

There’s a reason marathoners grab a banana after crossing the finish line: Its high potassium content helps nix cramps and speed up recovery. How? The mineral works with sodium to help your muscles and nerves work properly. Plus, says Pritchett, “It’s the primary electrolyte in intracellular fluid, meaning it plays a big role in balancing water content throughout the body.” Consider it essential fuel following a tough workout or a strenuous outing lasting more than an hour.

Get more from: Sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, tuna

9. Sodium

It seems like “sodium” is a swear word in the health-o-sphere — and with its prominence in processed and take-out food, it’s true many people need to cut back. But if you’re into endurance events, by sweating out sodium and hydrating with water alone, you could experience heat cramps or hyponatremia, a low concentration of sodium in the blood that can be fatal in extreme cases. “Salty sweaters (who notice a white film on their skin after a workout), heavy sweaters (who produce a high volume of sweat during exercise), people working out in hot, humid temperatures, and endurance athletes need to pay close attention to their sodium intake,” advises Pritchett. For long or grueling sessions, stash some salt packets in a pocket or FuelBelt and eat them mid-workout.

Get more form: Gatorade, pretzels, salted nuts

10. Zinc

Loading up on carbs while limiting protein and fat causes deficient levels of zinc in up to 90 percent of athletes. This can zap your energy and endurance. Likewise, recent research from the United States Department of Agriculture found that limiting zinc intake lessened cyclists’ oxygen uptake — leading them to fatigue more quickly. Make sure you have enough of the mineral for a challenging session by ordering a side of meatballs during your pre-race pasta dinner.

Get more from: Red meat, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, quinoa

Going overboard with some nutrients can be as detrimental as skimping on them, so talk with your doctor before changing your diet or reaching for any supplements. Figure out the right balance for you — then go out and set a new personal best.



Source link

Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? –

Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? -


Fueling for your workouts can require a little education, planning and practice to amplify results. You probably already know what to do post-workout, munching on a mix of protein and carbs within an hour of your sweat session. And you might even have some go-to gummies or gels for extra long gym sessions or training runs. But what about your pre-workout routine?

Pre-workout supplements, in the form of powders and pills, now saturate the sports nutrition supplement market, boasting benefits like increased energy, power and endurance to help you push harder and gain more. But they’re not for everyone or every workout. Read on to find out the pros and cons of pre-workout blends and whether they’re right for you.


The Pros and Cons of Pre-Workout Supplements

PRO: You might feel more energetic and alert.

“A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect.”

Many pre-workout mixes pack a big dose of caffeineto add a little bounce to your step. “Caffeine’s proven to help [with energy], because it stimulates the nervous system, which makes your exercise feel less taxing and makes you feel more peppy,” says Matthew Kadey, RD, a registered dietician in Ontario and author of Rocket Fuel. “The huge thing you have to pay attention to is the dose.” Kadey recommends aiming for two to six milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of your bodyweight. And make sure to give your body enough time to digest it before your workout. “It takes 45 to 60 minutes for coffee to reach its peak in your blood, so have it at least 30 minutes beforehand,” he says.

CON: The drink could make you jittery.

Forget about blasting through your sweat session if you feel like your heart is about to beat out of your chest. “Some people can have adverse reactions to stimulants,” says Kadey. Your best bet, he says, is trial and error. Be especially cautious with drinks that add a second stimulant to the caffeine, like guarine.

“A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect, and it’s common for them to use multiple stimulants,” says Kyle Pfaffenbach, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at Eastern Oregon University and nutrition consultant for the Brooks Beasts Track Club. “Many times, ingredients used are on the banned or high-risk list from USADA and WADA.” Not ingredients you want to get used to sipping pre-sweat. Check here or here for more info on specific words to look for on labels.

PRO: They can enhance your power and help you push it for longer.

Some pre-workout supplements have creatine, which can pump up your power and improve training results, particularly during anaerobic drills. Though it sounds like something that would appeal to bodybuilders only, creatine has also been shown to boost the performance of endurance athlete. It helps them reach peak power output by potentially delaying fatigue, says Kadey. The fine print? Keep in mind, experts and researchers still debate timing and optimal duration of use.

CON: You don’t know what you’re getting.

“For the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome.”

Sometimes you’ll notice an icon on a product’s label designating that it’s been certified by a third-party, like the NSF (National Science Foundation). But typically, these supplements aren’t regulated by a government agency and don’t need to meet strict guidelines for what goes into the product. “Oftentimes these workout supplements use a ‘proprietary blend’ of ingredients,” says Pfaffenbach. “It’s important for athletes to know exactly how much and what is going into their body. And with these drinks, we often don’t have that exact info.”


PRO: They can help deliver more oxygen to your muscles.

Seek out the words “nitric oxide” on a supplement’s label. This ingredient may help you go strong through a tough session likely by widening the blood vessels, which, in turn, delivers more oxygen to your muscles so you can perform at your peak, explains Kadey. You can also look for mixes made with beets, as this vegetable contains nitrates that then convert to the compound in your body.

CON: You might gain weight.

Part of the energy boost packed in these pre-workout mixes comes from a big helping of sugar. “The sugar is beneficial and necessary for really high-level athletes, but for the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome,” says Kadey. He notes that the added sweet stuff and high calories of these drinks could easily wind up on your waistline. If you’re going for a pre-workout drink, opt for one with no more than 100 calories per serving. Or instead, stick to a small snack like a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter half an hour before you exercise, suggests Kadey. “That’s enough to tide you over and top off energy stores for your workout,” he says.


PRO: They can reduce muscle breakdown.

Another common ingredient in pre-workout drinks: amino acids. Some research has shown that these protein compounds can reduce the amount your muscles break down during exercise, so you can bounce back from an intense session faster. Similarly, drinks with tart cherry juice can benefit your muscles by helping to reduce soreness. Look for these if you’re doing a workout with a fair amount of impact, like CrossFit or a long run, advises Kadey.

Finding the Right Pre-Workout Mix for You

If you want to give pre-workout supplements a go, look for ones with natural ingredients on the label — like green tea, beets or tart cherry juice. (Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Energy + Focus or Dr. Axe Bone Broth Protein Burst are just a couple good options.) And don’t take it for the first time before a race or other important workout, warns Kadey: “Never try these right before a marathon. The number-one rule is experiment carefully and work up to full doses, especially if [the mix] includes stimulants.”



Source link

Caffeine and Exercise: The Right (and Wrong) Way to Use It

Caffeine and Exercise: The Right (and Wrong) Way to Use It


Caffeine has long been hailed as a performance enhancer. In fact, from 1984 to 2004, the International Olympic Committee tested athletes for high levels of the stimulant they deemed could provide an unfair edge. (Since then, of course, stronger drugs have entered the stage — or snuck backstage.) But for your average Joe, caffeine still […]

The post Caffeine and Exercise: The Right (and Wrong) Way to Use It appeared first on .


Source link

Yes, You Can Be Allergic To The Sun. –

Yes, You Can Be Allergic To The Sun. -



An allergic reaction to the sun occurs when changes take place within the skin, and then that area is exposed to the sun. The immune system mounts an attack against what it perceives to be as “foreign” within the skin.

Sun allergy symptoms include a rash, tiny blisters, or a skin eruption. The symptoms appear in as short as a few minutes after sun exposure to several hours later.

The causes are not totally clear, but there are several risk factors for sun allergies. Those risk factors include…

  • Genetics. If you have a family member, like your mom and brother, with a sun allergy, then you are more likely to have it as well.
  • Race. Caucasians and Native Americans are more likely to develop a sun allergy.
  • Exposure to substances. Substances that irritate your skin like unnatural fragrances, chemicals in sunscreen, or disinfectants can alter your skin, which then primes you for a sun allergy the next time that area of your skin steps outside.
  • Other skin conditions. If you have any other skin condition like dermatitis increases your likelihood of having an allergic reaction to the sun.
  • Medications. Certain types of medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun and lead to a sun allergy.


There are four primary types of sun allergies.

1) Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE)

This type of sun allergy appears first as an itchy rash. After sunburn, it’s the most common sun-related skin problem that doctors see. An approximate 10-15 percent of the population is affected by this type of allergy; women more so than men.

PMLE is less common during the winter months, but it appears as soon as you spend more time outdoors in the spring and summer. The more time spent outside and in the sun allows you to become less sensitive to the light with rashes being less severe as the summer wears on.

2) Actinic Prurigo

Actinic Prurigo is a hereditary form of PMLE seen mostly in the Native American populations. It’s common for several generations to display the same sun allergy, which begins early in childhood. The symptoms for this type of sun allergy are generally more severe.

3) Solar Urticaria

Young women are most often affected by this form of sun allergy. You may experience large hives that are itchy and red after being exposed to the sun. This is a more rare form of a sun allergy.

4) Photoallergic Eruption

This kind of sun allergy occurs when you expose skin to sun that has been affected by some form of chemical, like fragrance, sunscreen, antibiotics, or cosmetics.

Certain medications cause the skin to be more sensitive to sunlight, leading to this form of sun allergy. Medications like antibiotics (sulfonamides) or even common over-the-counter pills like ibuprofen and naproxen can lead to this form of sun allergy.


No one wants to deal with a sun allergy during the long days of summer. You’d rather be enjoying the outdoors with friends and family than wrapped up inside (that’s what winter is for!). If you’re living with a sun allergy, here are the best ways to prevent a reaction.

Wear sunscreen.

Not just any sunscreen. Be sure to use high-quality, natural sunscreen. It needs to be at least SPF 15 with broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. And you need to apply it 15 to 30 minutes before you plan to be outside. Also remember to apply sunblock to your lips with sunscreen chapstick.

Avoid peak time.

In the continental U.S., the peak time for sun is between 10 am and 3 pm. Try to stay indoors during these hours.


Make sure your sunglasses offer ultraviolet light protection.

Avoid sudden, long exposure to sun.

If you have a known sun allergy, then you’re most sensitive in spring and early summer when you start to spend more time outdoors.

Plan ahead to spend small amounts of time outdoors. Gradually increase how much time you spend outside so that your limit the severity of your reaction. Spending the first sunny, warm day outside for several hours is sure to cause a severe reaction.

Wear protective clothing.

Via Sutton Dermatology

If you are super sensitive to the sun, then protective clothing is a must. Long sleeves, pants, and a hat will cover most of your skin.

Beware of chemicals.

Via healthnutnews

Look into swapping your fragrances, cleaning supplies, and other body care products to products that offer natural ingredients. The less exposure you have to harsh chemicals the less likely you’ll be to have a reaction to the sun.


Source link

You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism With These Everyday Tasks… –

You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism With These Everyday Tasks... -


You might complain about the endless rush of daily life and meditate for a few minutes during the day, but there’s one thing you typically don’t want to slow down — your metabolism.

Think of it like an engine: Your metabolism is those series of chemical reactions that convert what you eat and drink into energy that your body can use. Your metabolism is influenced by your age, sex, body size and composition. That means men typically have faster metabolic rates since they tend to carry more muscle and less body fat than women. Your metabolism also decreases with age (more on that below).

While you know that sitting around all day can cause your metabolism to plummet (and exercising regularly can boost it), there are other simple things you may be doing to clog your engine. Here are seven ways that you’re slowing down your metabolism.

7 Common Mistakes That Slow Down Your Metabolism

1. Fasting for too long.

While you probably have heard that skipping meals isn’t great for your metabolism, leaving big gaps between your meals doesn’t help either, says Lauren Antonucci, RDN, owner of Nutrition Energy and certified sports dietitian. “You get a thermic boost every time you eat. Your metabolism revs up to process the food you’re eating,” she says.

But when you eat breakfast at 5 a.m., lunch at 4 p.m., and dinner at 9 p.m., you’re not doing your metabolism any favors. Instead, Antonucci suggests eating every two to three hours to keep your metabolism humming. All about intermittent fasting? While it can help decrease your calorie consumption, the drawback is that if it isn’t done with correct guidance, it can lead to unhealthy eating choices and weight gain. Our recommendation: Call in the pros.

2. Avoiding the weight room.

You’ve heard over and over that muscles burn more calories — and it’s true. Studies have found that strength training revs your resting metabolism rate. That also explains why your metabolic rate declines, as you get older. “Your muscle mass decreases over time because you’re typically not doing as much resistance training,” says Antonucci. Schedule regular strength training sessions as part of your workout schedule.

3. Eating inconsistent daily meals.

If you eat breakfast first thing in the morning some days and don’t eat until lunch on other days, then you might be wrecking your metabolism. Whether you eat three meals a day or nine seems like it should be NBD, but a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that an irregular meal schedule might negatively affect your metabolic health. Instead, aim to eat a consistent number and schedule of meals each day.

4. Not eating enough.

If you want to lose weight, you should just eat less, right? It’s not quite that simple. Antonucci says that chronically dieting or consistently eating just a little less than what your body needs, whether inadvertently or on purpose, can wreak havoc on your metabolism. She sees this often in her athletes, especially those training for endurance events like Ironman triathlons. “Their caloric needs can be ridiculously high and they don’t eat enough,” she says, which can also lead to fatigue and injuries.

“Guessing your metabolic rate is a shot in the dark,” says Antonucci. That’s why she recommends metabolic rate testing for anyone who’s having trouble losing weight or athletes who are constantly injured or fatigued. “It’s like a VO2 max test except you just sit and breathe into a mouthpiece for 15 minutes,” she says.

5. Skimping on your zzzz’s.

Sure, dark circles and a long-standing caffeine habit are downsides of skipping sleep, but they’re not the only ones. Researchers have found that sleep deprivation can significantly impact your metabolism — and not in a good way — by decreasing energy expenditure. Plus, when you’re sleepy, you don’t move around as much, says Antonucci. “Studies have shown that people who sleep less move less during the day. You may not exercise or you may choose to take a cab rather than walk because you’re tired,” she says. So be sure to get a full night sleep regularly!

6. Neglecting protein.

A calorie is a calorie, right? Not quite. Your body requires different amounts of energy to process the various macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. “The cost of processing protein is higher than the cost of processing fat,” says Antonucci. “You need protein to increase muscle mass and to fuel your metabolism.” A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a higher protein diet increased resting energy expenditure.

But Antonucci also advises that it’s not a license to eat only protein. A balance of macronutrients is key. “You need enough carbs to have enough energy to move through the day. And you need enough good fats to keep you satiated,” she says.

7. Stressing out.

You know that stress is bad for your health, but it turns out that it’s also bad for your metabolic rate. Researchers from Ohio State University found that stress affected how women metabolized food. Those who experience one or more stressful events the day before eating a high-fat meal burned 104 fewer calories in the hours following the meal compared to the non-stressed women. While that may not seem like a lot, researchers said that over the course of a year, that could mean an 11-pound weight gain. Just one more reason to chill out!



Source link

Why All Cyclists Should Take Tumeric Daily –

Why All Cyclists Should Take Tumeric Daily -


From boosting memory to alleviating pain and inflammation, turmeric has been shown to help a whole host of health issues. The delicious, brilliant-yellow-colored curry spice deserves a place in your daily diet thanks to its many health-boosting benefits.

Here are three of the many reasons to eat more turmeric:


A root similar to ginger, turmeric contains a potent compound that, not only gives it its signature yellow color, but also its anti-inflammatory properties. In a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry researchers found that curcumin improved the healing of tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the tendons that help maintain our structural integrity. That’s great news for anyone suffering from tendonitis, whether from a tennis or golf injury or gardening.


Recent research in the Journal of International Molecular Sciences found that curcumin helps to prevent kidney stones from forming in the urinary tract. It appears to prevent them from crystallizing in the first place. Considering the painful nature of kidney stones, anything that helps prevent their formation should be well-received.


You’ve probably heard of curcumin’s benefits for memory but you might not realize just how quickly it starts working. Research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology showed that within only one hour after taking a supplement containing one of turmeric’s active ingredients, curcumin, study participants had a significant improvement in memory and attention tasks compared to the placebo group.


Source link

Why Bike Fittings Are A MUST For Every Cyclist –

Why Bike Fittings Are A MUST For Every Cyclist -


The 411 on Fittings

A bike fitting is exactly what it sounds like — a professional service that helps personalize the fit of your bike for the way you ride. “It’s hard to get a bad bike,” says Alex Lugosch, co-founder of 3D Bike Fit, a fitting studio in San Francisco, CA. “But it’s really easy to get the wrong bike.” So how do you know which one is right? And which saddle and shoes are best? Fittings take away the guesswork. They ensure your positioning on the bike will allow you to have the most enjoyable, effective ride possible. If your bike fits you properly, you should be able to ride for three to four hours on it comfortably.

Cost Considerations

Many people are initially turned off from fittings, especially beginners, because of the price. Though they range in cost, a quality bike fitting generally comes in around $200 and usually takes no less than two hours. While that may seem like a lot, Lugosch reminds people to put it into perspective asking, “What’s more expensive ultimately — a fitting or buying a $1,000 or $2,000 bike that you only ride for six months because it’s uncomfortable?” It’s also important to keep in mind that this is a professional service and therefore paying less than the average rate may not provide you with the resources you need.

Finding a Fitter

The next step is finding the right place to have your fitting done. For this, Lugosch says that reputation is worth factoring in. “If you’re reading about a bike fitter in a cycling publication, there’s a reason the journalists picked up on those fitter,” he says. “Yelp is a good resource as well. Just be sure the shop or studio has lots of reviews.” Experience helps fitters get better, so look for ones that see lots of cyclists.

Ask the fitter what certifications they have and where they stand on protocol. Lugosch suggests telling them you want to be sized according to stack and reach (looking at the bike as a square, in its entirety, and measuring how long and tall the whole bike is) as opposed to top tube typical geometry (only the length of the top tube is taken into consideration, which doesn’t mean anything particularly when two similar bikes have different seat tube angles). And, it’s important to make sure that fitting is the person or shop’s primary function. “You don’t want to get a fitting from a random bike shop owner,” says Lugosch. “Because you could end up spending a lot of money and not see any improvement in your riding style.” The goal is to find out what bike fits you best and why.

Digging Deeper

While two hours may seem like a long time to adjust your saddle and purchase new pedals, a fitting entails a lot more than that. A good bike fitting always starts with a physical exam. “The fitter should evaluate your flexibility, the structure of your bones, and ask about previous injuries,” says Lugosch. “They use that information to create a profile about you, and extrapolate that to a position on the bike.”

If you’re told almost immediately by your fitter that they will create a custom bike for you, that may be a red flag. This “fitter” may just be interested in selling you a bike, and having you spend more than necessary. “Look for someone who has an understanding of how the body works,” says Lugosch. “You want a fitter to be able explain how the changes they are making will impact your position on the bike.” And while making a sale shouldn’t be the fitter’s purpose, it’s normal and expected for them to suggest different accessories that would make your riding better and more comfortable. So don’t be afraid to take these suggestions and make purchases. “You want to leave with everything you need,” says Lugosch. “

The Learning Curve

Post bike fitting, you should have a thorough understanding of what you need to work on to improve your riding experience. For example, if you’ve been running all your life and just recently started biking, you may need to work on flexibility issues, like tightness in your hamstrings. Or maybe you need to see a professional to correct your pelvic or spine alignment. Knowing who you are as a rider and how you can improve are definite takeaways from this process. “You should also have a thorough understanding of what you looked like when you rode before, and what you look like now,” says Lugosch. “Those should be different.” If your back was rounded before, maybe it’s straight now. You may now sit on a firmer saddle that allows for longer rides. You should be able to pinpoint changes.

If you’re using your bike just to commute less than two to three miles to work every day, than a fitting may not be worth your time and money. However, if you want to enjoy cycling as a part of your life, a fitting can make an even bigger difference than the actual bike you ride. “Biking isn’t a painful sport,” says Lugosch. “The only pain you should ever feel on your bike is pain you inflict on yourself.” If you are feeling aches, numbness, or having muscle spasms, something needs to be changed.

Lugosch’s recommendation for those who want to get the most out of the sport?

“Spend $1,000 less on your bike and $1,000 more on the fitting and accessories.”



Source link

3 Weight Loss Success Strategies to Lose the Last 15 Pounds –


Weight-loss success is much more likely if you follow some important behavioral strategies in addition to the choices you make for every meal. Based on my many years of experience working with hospital patients and the clients in my private practice, We’ve identified 3 Success Strategies that go a long way toward helping people stick to a weight-loss plan.

These strategies are simple—no need to reorganize your life to fit them in. Just start working them into your daily routines, and before you know it, you’ll be much better positioned for weight loss success.

When you are at rest, your body wants to conserve energy, so your metabolism slows down. Just as you shut off the lights when you sleep, your body turns down many of the processes involved in metabolism. When you wake up, you want to turn everything up and start burning calories and fat as soon as possible. That’s why I recommend eating breakfast within one hour of waking up.

By eating a nutritious, energy-revving breakfast (try these 20 flat-belly breakfasts), you are jump-starting your metabolism. When you add healthy food to your tank, so to speak, you prime your engines and get them ready to go, go, go for the day, so you can do everything that you have to do as well as those things you want to do, while feeling energetic.

Despite what you may have heard or read, it still stands that if you skip breakfast, you’re telling your body to stay in conservation mode. You’re setting yourself up to feel tired, lethargic, and irritable. When no fuel comes into your tank, your body starts thinking about holding on to calories and fat rather than burning them because it doesn’t know when more food will come. This is absolutely not the way you want to start your day. Even if you don’t feel like having breakfast, push yourself to have something—an apple, an orange, some yogurt, maybe a glass of vegetable juice. Something is better than nothing.

healthy lunch

Many people follow this kind of daily eating plan: They either skip breakfast or have a small bite in the morning. They go light on lunch. Then their hunger roars like a starved lion in the middle of the afternoon, at which point they start eating sweet/salty junk food. Then at dinner, thinking they didn’t really eat much during the day, they help themselves to giant portions of their evening meal, followed by dessert and bowls of ice cream and chips while sitting around watching TV for a few hours before bed.

This is not the way to eat.

It’s much better for your body to eat early and often. That means having a healthy, lean, green breakfast; a morning snack to keep your metabolism humming; a healthy lunch; an afternoon snack; and a dinner that’s smaller than you’re probably used to, with a small snack in the evening. Ideally you should eat the bulk of your calories at breakfast and lunch.

Researchers have found that people who consume most of their calories before 3 p.m. are more likely to be successful at weight loss than those who pile on the calories later in the day. And get this: It takes 24 hours for your blood sugar to stabilize after a late-night meal. Eating earlier gives your body plenty of time to burn up calories and stabilize your blood sugar before you get into bed.


We Americans are an exhausted bunch of people. Although sleep researchers recommend 7 to 8 hours per night, studies show that 30 percent of us get fewer than 6 hours of sleep a night. Being chronically tired truly interferes with your health. Lack of sleep is associated with higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, and cancer. In fact, studies show that getting fewer than 5 hours of sleep per night is associated with a higher body-mass index. The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your risk of obesity. Insomnia causes hormonal changes and cravings for carbohydrates. And when you deprive yourself of adequate sleep, fatigue lowers your ability to resist trigger foods. Instead of eating, try taking a power nap for a bigger, more effective payoff.

Nighttime sleep even has an effect on daytime hunger, influencing the production of the hormones that regulate appetite. When we’re over-tired, we tend to eat more than we do when we are well rested. Overall, people who sleep less appear to weigh more. Be sure to get your 7 to 8 hours a night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, see your doctor; you may have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. If you have trouble getting the sleep you need, try these fabulous sleep boosters.


Source link