Misconceptions About The Healthier Lifestyle

3Photo Credit: Malingering (flickr.com)

With all the really tasty junk food we have today, it’s difficult to go for a healthier lifestyle. It’s made even more difficult due to the fact that we’re all extremely busy. There’s no more time to go to the gym as some of us work after hours. After a stressful day, we simply just want to crash on our soft beds. And if working out and watching what you eat is hard enough for some, add to that the science behind each type of exercise. Targeting the abs, for one, has a lot of science behind it for the best results.

For the uninitiated, there are a lot of misconceptions. Perhaps one of the most common ones is that dieting means eating less. While this is true to some extent, it doesn’t mean you have to eat so little portions that makes your meals look like you’re in a gourmet restaurant. Dieting is a matter of regulating your carb intake, and getting more nutrients from your vegetables. If you really think about it, vegans have it nice. They can eat as much as they want and they’re still healthy.

Another popular misconception is that the more workouts you do, the better. It’s both true and false. It is true in a sense that more repetitions in your exercises can do wonders. It’s false in a sense that doing too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. By doing your workouts, you’re tearing your muscles. By overdoing your workouts, you’re not allowing them to heal up and this puts you at risk for a more permanent damage.

It’s the same with supplements. Protein powders give supplementary protein to help muscle recovery and development, but drinking them too liberally without regard for when to take them will make you big, but not fit.

It’s important that you understand that these supplements won’t work at all without the exercise. Taking from the protein powder example, you have to do your workout to shape your muscles. Protein powder is like clay and exercise is the molding process. To make the most of it, you have to mold your muscles through exercise.

This brings us to the supplements misconception: that they’re necessary. You can get in shape without them. Supplements merely provide a boost to your repetitions. You can always do workouts without doing any creatine bodybuilding and still get the same result. It will take longer, but it’s going to be worth it.
Related Links:

6 Ways to Shrink Your Belly (And 5 Don’t Include Exercise!) (huffingtonpost.com)

5 ways to flatten your belly (no crunches needed) (edition.cnn.com)

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Possible Reasons You Still Don’t Have a Six-Pack

2Photo Credit: Melanie M (flickr.com)

Keeping yourself physically fit has a lot of accompanying benefits. For one, you get to be healthier, as you can’t really get fit without a healthy lifestyle. By being healthy, you become less prone to physical ailments. Being overweight or underweight can lead to infertility, for instance. At any rate, you may notice that when staying fit, it takes a lot longer to develop a flatter belly than with any other part of your body.

There are a lot of reasons for this. For one, the abs are one of the most difficult muscles to target. Each body part, whether the legs or arms or abs, often come with two or three exercises at the minimum to target them. The exercises involving the abs, however, aren’t complemented with our more mundane activities. For instance, lifting weights in the gym can be complemented by carrying heavy groceries. Leg exercises in the gym are complemented by taking the stairs at work. With abs, there isn’t a lot of methods outside the gym.

If you take supplements, know that while they may help you burn extra calories and develop your muscles faster, they don’t burn calories by themselves. Also, most supplements give you energy and muscle development and repair anyway. They usually don’t work on abs.

You may also want to know how the supplements you use work. For instance, creatine supplements give you a lot of water weight for extra strength and more reps at the gym. While it may help you develop your biceps and do more sit-ups, they may also make your belly look a lot bigger due to water weight.

Another possible reason for your abs to not quite look the way you want it to is because you have unrealistic expectations. You may see abs from TV or movies, but yours will never look like that. This isn’t to say you’ll never have a six-pack. Your abs will have their own look once they start to surface. And if you think not everyone has abs, think again. Everybody does. They’re just hidden beneath layers of belly fat, which, again, are extremely hard and time-consuming to get rid of.

Finally, you may be doing a lot of crunches and sit-ups and other really good ab workouts, but they won’t really do any good if you’re not following proper diet and nutrition. Remember, abs are hidden beneath fat layers in the stomach. Unless they are gone, your abs won’t really show. So only by combining exercise and dieting will help you get a six-pack. Don’t worry, though, it really takes a long time to develop the abs so just keep at it so you’ll need to be determined.

Related Links:

Lose Belly Fat: 10 Best Exercises For 6-Pack Abs (huffingtonpost.com.ca)

6 fitness myths, busted (and 3 surprising facts) (edition.cnn.com)

Misconceptions About the Elusive Six-Pack

1Photo Credit: DaddyStarsky (flickr.com)

 

Within a few months of hard work and dedication, you can get the body build that you want. You may notice, however, that while your arms, chest, and legs are in good physical shape, you lack the six-pack you wanted despite your abs being flat and firm. You start to wonder what you did wrong, and become oblivious to the benefits of your strong abdominal muscles. Instead, you start to focus on aesthetics and change your workout routine in pursuit of that elusive six-pack.

Everyone wants a flat tummy, but it’s not enough for some people apparently. They  start incorporating a ton of crunches and sit-ups in all forms and varieties, not knowing that if they simply continue doing what they’re doing, they will eventually have the six-pack they so desire. This is one of the most common misconceptions of the six-pack: that it’s easy to get them. The reality is that the six-pack is the one of the last muscles to develop when you regularly work out.

Another misconception is the fact that crunches and sit-ups alone can help develop the six-pack. This isn’t entirely true. While crunches and sit-ups help, you will never have a six-pack if you do not continue your current nutrition plan and diet. Six-packs appear only when the fat has been drained out of your belly, and a good combination of diet and abdominal exercises will yield the fastest result. If you are building mass and taking creatine, your six-pack development may come even later as you will be filled with water weight.

Finally, there’s a misconception that doing a bunch of sit-ups and crunches everyday can get people a six-pack quicker. In reality, doing too much of it can be counterproductive. There’s a reason that gym-goers have rest days. When you work out, your muscles get pulled and torn. This is no different with abdominal workouts. Doing too much and not allowing your abdominal muscles to recover risks serious damage.

The best way to go about getting a six-pack is a healthy diet and nutrition, regular trips to the gym for exercise, and sufficient rest. If you’re taking supplements, you can go for those that not only help you build muscle but fat burners as well. For instance, if you’re taking creatine, you can take a look at the different forms of creatine and see which ones you can benefit most from considering your current exercise regimen.

Related Links:

The Big Fat Six-Pack Myth (huffingtonpost.com.uk)

There’s more to fab abs than just exercise (edition.cnn.com)

Weight and Fertility: Are They Connected?

Bonn, Fitnessstudio

Photo credit:   BArchBot (commons.wikimedia.org)

Being a parent and having babies is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Feeling the warmth of a new life you have brought into this world in your arms brings an unexplainable joy in our hearts. Seeing this bundle of joy grows and enjoys life with you; his parents are just a wonderful journey every parent would love to experience.

Unfortunately, not all couples are given the opportunity to have children. Some are just too busy with their work and profession making them pre-occupied with other things instead of building their family. Some couples on the other hand face health problems or risks that deprive them from getting children. Being overweight or underweight is one of the common reasons why some couples are incapable of conceiving a child.

Weight and Fertility

Is there a connection between weight and the fertility in both men and women? It definitely has. Men who are overweight experience infertility while women, whether underweight or overweight experience infertility as well. The additional weight or the lack of it causes the reproductive organs to function below or above what is normal. Weight really has a big impact in fertility.

Women are the most affected when it comes to weight and fertility issues combined. The increase or decrease in weight often affects the menstrual period. Irregularities in the menstrual cycle can really lead to infertility problems. The production of estrogen in the bodies of women is also affected by the extra fats in the body. Hormonal imbalance can also be attributed to changes in weight.

Men, on the other hand, produce low sperm counts when they have a lot of excess weight. The excess fats around their reproductive organs causing the temperature around this area increase. As the temperature increase, the quality of the sperm cells produced is lowered and some are even killed in the process. There are more related information about weight and fertility available online and in health journals.

Losing weight is really necessary and keeping the body healthy is a must before planning to have children. Here are some simple tips a couple can follow.

1. Get professional help

Ask for a professional advice from your doctor. Talk about your plans on having a baby and let him advice you on how you can safely lose weight with conceiving a baby in mind. You can also ask him about supplements that can help you achieve your ideal weight like d-fine8, protein whey, creatine and other available dietary supplements in the market.

2. Schedule working out together.

Having a “buddy”, whom you can get moral support from while working out will make your weight loss journey a fun activity. Since the both of you are working towards common goals, you will push each other to do more and really excel effort to achieve your goals.

3. Keep each other motivated.

Losing weight most of the time can be frustrating. Tell your partner about your worries and struggles during this period. Talk about the things both of you can achieve if you manage to surpass the challenges that you would be facing during the shaping up chapters in your life. Always support each other’s back.

4.  Have time for relaxation.

Do not pressure yourselves too much. Enjoy and relax from time to time. Stress is also one of the big factors that could affect your fertility so you should also try to stay away from it.

5. Plan ahead and monitor your progress.

To become really successful with your plans in losing weight, device a plan both of you can follow. Create a healthy new menu for your household, include work-out sessions in your daily schedule and try to get into a new sport. Having a plan and following this plan will also help you measure your progress.

Resource Link:

The Connection between Fertility and Weight (infertility.about.com)

Fertility and Weight Loss (doctoroz.com)

Different Forms Of Creatine Explained

Creatine is one of the most popular supplement being used by athletes and bodybuilders. It is a substance naturally found in the body so there aren’t any risks involved when supplementing with it. Because of its popularity among people who want to build muscle fast, manufacturers are selling all kinds of creatine in different forms that it’s easy to get confused which one you really need. Let me explain the different forms of creatine sold in the market and how they differentiate with each other.

Creatine Monohydrate
This is the most popular kind of creatine. It has the purest creatine formula  with 88% creatine and 12% water. Research and studies all use creatine monohydrate and it has been tried and tested for decades. It is inexpensive and is the most widely sold of its kind. However, you need to make sure that you’re getting the purest form. Some sold in the market contain impurities. You have to be careful where you’re getting it. Older forms of creatine monohydrate are hard to digest and cause intestinal discomforts like diarrhea. The newer ones are micronized to reduce incidence of stomach upset. Micronized creatine monohydrate has better absorption and is said to be purer. Bloating is also another side effect although with proper dosage and use, it can be prevented.

Creatine Ethyl Ester
This a newer kind that’s been gaining popularity among users. This one has an ester attached in its molecules. It’s main advantage over the monohydrate is that it is absorbed by the body faster with 99% absorption. Also chances of stomach side effects are highly unlikely. However, an advantage users have pointed out is the taste. It has an unpleasant taste that’s why it is better taken in capsule form which is much more expensive.

Creatine Citrate
Another form of creatine but this time molecules are bounded to citric acid. Citric acid increases  creatine absorption and it provides or helps synthesize aerobic energy to the muscle tissues. However, claims of it significantly giving users more energy and fuel are still to be proven. No issues of stomach discomforts. However, creatine citrate is not sold alone, manufacturers usually mix it with other energy formulas.

Creatine Malate
Creatine malate is attached to—you guess it—malic acid. Now you see how it goes with the naming of these creatine variations. They are just usually combined with other substances to provide better absorption with other added benefits. Creatine malate is a newer product and studies are still being conducted on its effectiveness. However, malic acid in theory works like citric acid—it helps in synthesizing energy.

Creatine Phosphate
Creating phosphate was created due to the fact that in the muscle tissues, creatine would bind with phosphate molecules so why not give it in a forms that already bonded? This would then result to faster production of ATP in the cells. ATP is the fuel needed for muscles to contract. However, there are still no studies showing that doing it this way is better than just taking straight creatine monohydrate.

Creatine Nitrate
Nitric acid will be metabolism into nitric oxide in the muscle tissues. Nitric oxide promotes vasodilation, bringing in more oxygen, resulting in better pumps and contractions.

While there are other many forms of creatine out there and others still being created, these are the few that always come up in creatine supplements. I’m sure in the future there would be other variations that claim to be better but for now, if you’re just starting out with supplements, it is better is you take the monohydrate first and then take it from there or you can try mesomorph pre workout. It is a pre workout drink that has a mixture of more than one creatine variation for more added benefits.

Related Article:
The Benefits Of Creatine Supplementation

The Benefits of Creatine Supplementation

Creatine supplements have been around for years and used by many athletes and bodybuilders for building up muscles. It is one of the numerous supplements that have undergone scientific research in order to produce better quality and to meet the requirements of the industry. Over the years, creatine supplements have provided increased energy for bodybuilders to utilize so they can lift heavier weights at the longest possible time.

Formulation Varieties

It is a fact that not every single bodybuilder has the same experience or result when taking this supplement. These days, there are various formulations to choose from such as creatine ethyl ester or CE2 or CEE which was developed to improve the standard effects of the monohydrate formula. This formulation is quite popular because it has been backed by science to improve strength, muscle mass, and stamina. Although it has been proven safe over the years, it also has some negative effects such as bloating, dehydration, diarrhea, and cramps.

Side Effects of Intake

The inability of the monohydrate formula to absorb efficiently is one of the probable causes of the aforementioned side-effects. It is partially soluble in fat which results to minimal cellular absorption when ingested. The rest of the unabsorbed formula takes up space and water as it sits outside of the cells. This is often thought of as the main reason for causing bloat and water retention which causes weight gain.

Absorption Rates

The introduction of an ester to the monohydrate formula has created a more absorbable creatine which, theoretically, results in less bloating and water retention. However, as a caution, it is essential to drink sufficient amounts of water to prevent dehydration. Lower doses of creatine ethyl ester also allows for better and efficient absorption, but has similar effects as the monohydrate formula.

Best Intake

This formulation is more beneficial for those who are taking it as a pre-workout supplement as the absorption of creatine is enhanced by the ethyl ester. For bodybuilders who load up and cycle this supplement, the ethyl ester may not be as beneficial. However, this formulation is believed to be more stable with the stomach acids as it prevents the conversion of creatine into creatinine.

Photo Credit: Avery Watts (flickr.com)

Integration with Workout Programs

As a general guideline for anyone who will take any type of supplement, it is still vital to include proper exercise and diet to ensure better results. You can also learn more about Dfine 8 here if you want detailed information. By working closely with a trainer and nutritionist, you can attain a better physique without compromising your health in the process.

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