30-Day AB Challenge

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I saw this on Facebook and really wanted to try it..so I’m sharing it with you all.

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Most Effective Ab Exercise: The Plank

Plank on Elbows and Toes
Plank

Plank

The plank exercise ranked number 10 in the ACE study and is a great way to build endurance in both the abs and back, as well as the stabilizer muscles.  This move is also great for building strength for pushups, an exercise that requires quite a bit of core strength.How to:

  1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
  2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
  3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.
  5. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Causes of Fatigue

By  WebMD Feature

Do you feel tired all the time? Lots of people do. It’s a sign of our overbooked times.

Getting your energy back could be simpler than you think. Start by seeing if you can relate to the top three reasons for feeling drained.

Top 3 Reasons

The most common reasons for feeling tired are about daily habits.

1. What you eat. Reaching for caffeine and sugar can backfire, leaving you more fatigued as your blood sugar levels fluctuate wildly. Instead, go for a balanced, healthy diet replete with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. “Most people feel like they’re less tired if they eat a healthy diet,” says J. Fred Ralston Jr., MD, past president of the American College of Physicians. “Eating healthy also means you’ll carry less weight, and obesity is a big contributor to fatigue.

2. How much you sleep. You saw this one coming, right? Many people don’t get enough sleep. If you’re one of them, avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours just before bedtime, turn off the TV before bed, and keep your bedroom quiet and restful.

3. How much you exercise. This is the biggie, Ralston says. His favorite prescription for plain old tiredness is regular, vigorous exercise. Finish at least three hours before bedtime, so you have time to wind down.

If you think that exercise would just make you more tired, there’s good news: Exercise breeds energy. Almost all the studies that have looked at this question have found the same thing: Sedentary people who start exercising feel much less fatigue than those who stay idle. It’s one of those surprising truths: move more and you’ll get more energy.

Ralston recommends getting 40 minutes of exercise at least four days a week, to get you going.

Do that, and a month from now, you should notice some improvement. Keep with it for three to six months more, and you should feel much better.

If you follow your exercise prescription for at least a month — and you’re also making enough time for sleep — and you’re still feeling lousy, look into other causes, Ralston advises.

Could It Be Something Else?

The most common reasons for feeling so tired all the time are those we’ve just discussed. Don’t start thinking that you’ve got a medical condition until you’ve tried those strategies and really given them a chance.

If you still feel exhausted, you’ll need to check with your health care provider to look into it. Chronic tiredness is linked to many different medical conditions, such as:

4. Anemia. “This is a very common cause of fatigue and very easy to check with a simple blood test,” says Sandra Fryhofer, MD, an Emory University clinical associate professor of medicine. “It’s particularly a problem for women, especially those who are having heavy menstrual periods.” You can remedy anemia with an iron-rich diet, heavy in meats and dark, leafy greens, or supplements if you have a chronic iron deficiency.

5. Deficiencies in key nutrients, such as potassium. Again, this is easily checked with blood testing.

6. Thyroid problems. Over- and under-active thyroids both can cause fatigue, Fryhofer says. A blood test for your level of thyroid-stimulating hormone can help evaluate your thyroid function.

7. Diabetes. People who have uncontrolled diabetes “just plain don’t feel good,” Fryhofer says. “If you feel draggy and you’re also having blurred vision or lots of urination, you should get that checked with a blood test.”

8. Depression. If your feelings of exhaustion are accompanied by sadness and loss of appetite, and you just can’t find any pleasure in things you once enjoyed, you may be depressed. Don’t keep that to yourself. Your doctor, or a therapist, can start you on the path back to feeling better.

9. Sleep problems. If you never feel rested, and nothing seems to fix that, you might look into visiting a sleep lab, especially if you snore. Snoring can be part of obstructive sleep apnea, in which people briefly stop breathing several times a night. There are treatments for that.

10. Undiagnosed heart disease. Tiredness can be a sign of heart trouble, particularly in women, Ralston says. “If you have trouble with exercise you used to do easily, or if you start feeling worse when you exercise, this could be a red flag for heart trouble. If you have any doubts, see your doctor.”

But again, start with the basics: your sleep, your diet, and your activity level. Sometimes the simplest fixes are all it takes.

Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

(Article found at www.mayoclinic.com)

Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing to exercise? Check out these seven ways exercise can improve your life.

No. 1: Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can’t do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.

No. 2: Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

No. 3: Exercise improves mood

Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

No. 4: Exercise boosts energy

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

 

No. 5: Exercise promotes better sleep

Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.

No. 6: Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there’s more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

No. 7: Exercise can be fun

Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.

The bottom line on exercise

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.

Understanding the Infamous Pudge ( And How to Get Rid of It)

Trainer Tahir Jetter explains how to tame the belly fat monster

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/wellness-empowerment/understanding-the-infamous-stomach-pudge-and-how-to-get-rid-of-it#ixzz2RPBqmO8T
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Tips on how to minimize the pudge!

Many people are self-conscious about  stomach fat—the appearance of “the gut,” if you will. Of course, a certain  amount of abdominal fat is normal, and, depending on one’s age, genetics, body  composition, etc., some may find it more difficult than others to tone things  up. Still, no matter your situation, there are several things you can do to  minimize the pudge.

But, before we begin, a common misconception about shedding fat is that you  can do so by spot-training—only doing resistance exercises, (e.g. lifting  weights) for a given muscle group with the expectation that that same muscle  group will consequently emerge triumphant, overshadowing the unsightly specter  of any surrounding fat, once and for all.

Of course, if this were true, every person that only does “15-Minute Abs” three times a week would automatically have rock-hard abs after  several weeks.  Unfortunately, it takes more than that.

Things You Can Do To Reduce The Pudge:

1. Mind Your Diet. 

Your eating habits are heavily involved in your body’s ability to shed  pounds and develop lean muscle mass. Processed foods, saturated fats, alcohol  and refined sugars should be consumed as rarely as possible.  Lower your  calorie intake and find healthy foods you like.  Think whole grains, lean  proteins, foods with complex carbohydrates (fruits and veggies), and foods with  natural, healthy fats (nuts, avocados, fish, etc).

2. Manage Your Stress.

Easier said than done, right?  Although stress is an inherent part of  life for many, it’s also a huge cause of what causes the body to produce excess  abdominal fat.

In addition to the fact that your body regulates stress by releasing  excessive amounts of the hormone Cortisol (a  process which, over time, can increase the appearance of subcutaneous  ab-fat), stress also leads to over-eating.  Most times when we over-eat  because of stress, we aren’t making healthy food choices.

So find a ritual.  Meditate, pray, pummel a punching bag with a photo  of your boss taped to it, whatever you have to do.  If you’re a habitual  stress-eater, find yourself some healthy snacks so that you don’t opt for  unhealthy selections when the going gets tough.

Ever find yourself looking for candy, or other sweets when stressed? Try  some fruit instead.  Grapefruit, oranges, and other healthy snacks are a  great way to get an influx of robust sugars that will re-energize you while  helping to take the edge off.

3. Sleep

It’s common knowledge that getting a good night’s rest (7-8 hours) is good  for you, but doing so is also crucial to allowing your body to healthfully  process fat.

Research  has shown that adults who go without sleep for extended periods of time are  often prone to gain weight as a result of certain physiological imbalances that  develop, over time.

But, is that any surprise?  Do you ever find yourself over-eating on  any days that you haven’t much sleep?  If so, what sort of foods do you  eat?  How about exercise?  How often do you feel like exercising after  having pulled a series of all-nighters?

Then, of course, there’s:

4. Exercise

Working out preferred method for getting rid of ab-fat. It’s a well-known  fact that to burn fat, you’ve got to burn calories, but there are better ways  than others to go about toning up the stomach.

So what works for the abs, specifically?  Find out Tahir’s  favorite exercises next week!

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/wellness-empowerment/understanding-the-infamous-stomach-pudge-and-how-to-get-rid-of-it#ixzz2RPBW1ctK Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook