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Running Motivation: Tips for Runners at Every Level

Apr 11, 2019

Originally published on HVMN by Nate Martins.

 

You can’t buy motivation. Most runners probably wish they could.

We hit walls. Life can seem to get in the way of running–so having a playbook of motivational techniques is important for runners at every level who are fighting the same battle to log miles.

Running motivation can come in different forms when the finish line isn’t in sight–new running shoes, a new training plan, or even joining a running club. But at its purest, motivation is the human desire to do something; unlocking that desire may be even more difficult than the task itself.

Joshua Sommers finds it within himself–the hedge fund VP is also a triathlete who has competed in over 100 races. When asked what motivates him, he keeps it simple.

“The pursuit of excellence and self-improvement.”
Joshua Sommers

 

We aren’t all like Joshua, but we can learn from him. In this piece, we’ll explore what types of motivational tools different runners can use, and how they can impact your training–and your life outside of running.


Motivation for Beginner Runners  

As a new runner, it can be daunting to look at the miles ahead and know the only way to get there is with your own two feet.

 

Set a Goal
Begin at the end. Setting a goal provides something a runner can work toward. It can be a number of different things: maybe it’s weight loss, or picking a 5k race, or a certain number of miles a week, or even a half marathon. Whatever that goal is, keep it in mind each time you lace up those sneakers for a jog.

This will also help track progress. Write the goal down and place it somewhere you’ll see it every day, keeping markers of the steps taken to achieve it. After a few weeks, look back at the work accomplished and you’ll be able to see it actualized. See yourself achieving those goals and surpassing them.

Get Social While Holding Yourself Accountable
Incorporating a training partner into your new life as a runner has layered benefits. Finding a running partner will provide an immediate desire to run, even if simply knowing that person is counting on you.

Executing on a training program together, with a shared goal, can increase the level of accountability. Joining a running club or finding a running partner removes the element of choice, the ability to reason with yourself and find ways not to run. Excuses are ever-present, and a good running partner won’t take “no” for an answer.

Even though running is an individual pursuit, clubs and teams are everywhere. Besides the motivational aspect, things like networking and safety and developing a sense of community are all extended benefits of making running social.


Make it Routine

A morning run can ripple positively into the rest of your day. Acute aerobic exercise activates the prefrontal and occipital cortices in the brain, increasing “executive control.” This can help improve cognitive ability and can help control emotion.1 Morning runs can have effects that last into the night, like improving sleep quality.2 And it doesn’t stop there; studies suggest running can have overall health and cognitive benefits, especially later in life.3

Besides the mental and physical benefits, there are less social obligations in the morning. You won’t get stuck at work or be tempted by a happy hour at 6am. Even if you’re not a morning person, you can likely train to become one. Pack all your running gear the night before. Set an alarm and place it across the room, forcing you to skip the snooze button.

Developing a morning running routine provides a nice reset of the body’s clock; it can feel like adding hours to the day. Another benefit? A solid training schedule can positively impact your regular schedule.

Ted Bross is a newly-graduated medical student starting his residency. He has participated in almost 30 ultra marathons, and developing a running habit helped him with medical school.  

 

“Part of what helps me get through several of the mental stressors of medical school is pushing my body physically and relieving that stress. It makes me more of a disciplined athlete and is something that has given me a lot in my life.”
Ted Bross


Develop a Training Plan

Checking boxes on a training plan can feel really good. It also answers some of the mental questions runners ask themselves before setting out: Where should I go? How long should I run? What pace am I aiming for? Just look at the running program, where it’s all outlined. Remember to develop your training plan in alignment with those goals you’ve set. And try to incorporate one long run per week.

A comprehensive training plan should incorporate all aspects of your routine. Account for extra pre-run warm-ups and post-run stretches. Add in weekly or monthly goals. Budget some days off. Your training plan doesn’t have to be a bible, but should be a document frequently returned to, and one around which other aspects of life can be considered.

“I train on average for about ten sessions a week, for a total of ten hours a week,” Sommers said. “I’m spending all this time on it, so I want to get the most out of my workouts.”


Motivation for Experienced Runners

There’s a fine line between getting into a groove and finding yourself in a rut.


Buy Some New Gear

Sometimes you need to pick low-hanging fruit. Purchasing some new running clothes, like a new pair of running shoes or running shorts, can provide motivation to run and test all that new gear. Depending on what you buy, it may also improve your training (like a fitness tracker).

New gear can also serve as a reward; small goals can be treated as important steps to accomplishing larger goals.

There’s also the “gear guilt.” Shiny new toys should be used instead of sitting in the back of a closet. Some may think using money as a type of running motivation is shallow, but there are few drivers in life like cold hard cash.


Introduce Supplements

So much of success when running comes before (and after) feet hit the pavement. Nutrition should be looked at holistically, because supplements can provide a boost during the run and also help with recovery.

“Especially in the longer races, figuring out nutrition is something most people don’t spend enough time on.”
Ted Bross


Pre-run supplements include caffeine for energy, calcium for bone health and even creatine to reduce muscle inflammation. Post-run, focus on protein for muscle recovery and fish oil to reduce muscle soreness.


HVMN Ketone, a ketone ester drink, can be used both as a pre-run supplement and a recovery mechanism. By elevating ketone levels in the blood, HVMN Ketone unlocks a fuel source the body produces naturally, one fundamentally different from carbohydrates or fats. Post-workout, taking HVMN Ketone can expedite the resynthesis of glycogen (by 60%) and protein (by 2x), which enable faster recovery.4,5


Cross Train

Varying training can provide easy motivation to try a new sport–one you know can improve your running–and it’ll also keep you active on days you’re not running. It can also supplement during rehabilitation periods from physical injury, and improve overall physical performance.6

Specifically, cross training can improve VO2 Max capacity (the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen utilized during intense exercise).6 Swimming and cycling are great choices, but things like yoga can also increase flexibility and balance.7

By introducing strength workouts or cross training into your regimen, motivation can be found in presenting new challenges and accomplishing new goals.

 

Switch Up Locations
Don’t become a running rodent. Running on a treadmill can feel like a hamster on a wheel, just like running the same path multiple times a week can feel Groundhog Day-esque. The essence of running harkens back to being outside, and in a more spiritual sense, connecting with the space in which you’re traversing.

It’s easy to feel invigorated by discovering a new place or hitting a new distance, so trail running or cross country running are always good motivators for the simple fact that they place you out of your element. The simple feeling of dirt under the feet and soaking up the essence of the trail provides an immediate lift and motivation.

We’ve also heard from runners that there’s something special about running in the rain (even if it’s the last thing you want to do). It presents a new challenge, and almost a primal sense of motivation; you’re miles away from home, and the only way to return is to run back. Your heart is pounding, you smell the rain, each wet step is experienced in a totally new way–it’s an hour that can feel different than all the other hours in the day.

 

Motivation for Advanced Runners
Advanced runners can have the most difficult time finding motivation because running is such a part of their life that it becomes an unquestioned obligation.


Remember (and Embrace) the Pain and Vulnerability

Stop and ask yourself: Why do I run? If running has become numbly intrinsic, this question can serve as a reinvigorating reminder to look within and remember why you fell in love with running in the first place.

Because running is hard; it hurts; it requires time; it takes mental fortitude. Some might think this is admitting defeat–but reminding yourself that you’re accomplishing something difficult can inspire you to keep going.

In a physical sense, powerful running comes from your core. So, in essence, you’re running from the gut. There’s something vulnerable about exposing yourself in that way, and showcasing the ability to be broken down (and thus built back up).

It can all come to a head at the end of a race. Ted Bross has been there.

 

“You share some really special moments. You’re pretty raw emotionally, when you get broken down physically there’s less barrier to connect with people.”
Ted Bross

 

Ditch the Tech (This Includes Music)
Technological tools have forever changed running, giving anyone the opportunity to track pace and miles and calories burned. These also changed training by providing actionable targets to hit and measure performance.

Select one day to run untethered by technology. It can serve as a great way to reconnect with the simple joy of running, ditching the gadgets to escape the metrics. Sometimes you have to operate on feel, and it can be motivating to find that energy within yourself instead of hitting a number on your wrist. Some of your best runs aren’t necessarily your fastest.

Many of us train with music, but that can act as a barrier between you and the world in which you’re running. If you’re participating in a race that doesn’t allow music, it’s especially beneficial to train without tunes and run to the beat of your own pace.

 

Improve Your Diet

Seeing results provides motivation to continue working. The results garnered from eating healthy show themselves in training. While carb-loading has been a staple of many runners’ race day routines, growing evidence suggests that a periodized approach to nutrition is optimal, especially for long distance races. For example, a marathon runner might undertake periods of training with a low-carb, high-fat diet, to boost fat burning followed by maximizing carb fueling for a race.

Exercise after an overnight fast can also increase fat oxidation,8 which can help with weight loss and, when the body gets better at burning fat, it can also help increase endurance.

Taking HVMN Ketone can provide some of the benefits of ketosis without the necessary dieting or extreme fasting.

“My diet isn’t as good as I would like it to be,” admitted Sommers. “But that’s more a function of time and other stress factors, like if I’m traveling or if I don’t have time to cook what I want.”

Even the most elite triathletes struggle to incorporate diet into life.

Trying a new diet can have results both in training and recovery, and noticing the difference provides a motivation to continue pushing your personal best with newfound fuel. But that happens on an even smaller level. Incorporate a new fruit or vegetable into your diet.

Haven’t had Brussel sprouts since your grandma served them boiled? Give them another try (and maybe try roasting them) and fold in more vegetables over the course of your training.

Even for those unwilling to make extreme dietary changes, there are incremental benefits to be had by cutting back on refined sugars, avoiding seed oils and getting plenty of omega 3s.

 

Enjoy the Small Wins
Advanced runners arrive at a point where they can only improve so much. It’s a point of fear for many–that they’ll plateau, and eventually decline.

So the small wins are important to celebrate. Seconds off your mile pace, or increased weight while strength training or even a feeling of energy after a run–individually these are small, but together they can make a big impact. The world’s elite athletes understand the power in recognizing small successes.

Testing of HVMN Ketone illustrated that athletes go ~2% further in a 30 minute time trial.9 That can mean the difference between placing on race day and looking up at the podium, a desire shared by the crop of marathoners and cyclists and NFL teams and world champions in boxing and MMA who are all using HVMN Ketone.

Accomplishing small wins while training provides a motivation to keep achieving them, and the confidence they’ll translate to race day.

 

Motivation is an Endless Cycle
Remember: motivation comes and goes. But recognizing when you’ve lost motivation is almost as important as getting it back.

The struggle challenges all different levels–from beginner to expert runners. On the running journey, goals will be accomplished, routines will become stale, good habits will wane. This is all part of the process.

Finding the ability to motivate yourself won’t just improve your running. It’ll improve your life overall, and some of these strategies should translate to life off the running road.

Go forth. Run. And maybe find a bit of yourself in the process.

 

Scientific Citations

1. Lin Li, Wei-Wei Men, Yu-Kai Chang, Ming-Xia Fan, Liu Ji, Gao-Xia Wei. Acute Aerobic Exercise Increases Cortical Activity during Working Memory: A Functional MRI Study in Female College Students. 2014; 9(6): e99222. 10.1371/journal.pone.0099222
2. Kimberly Fairbrother, Ben Cartner, Jessica R Alley, Chelsea D Curry, David L Dickinson, David M Morris, and Scott R Collier. Effects of exercise timing on sleep architecture and nocturnal blood pressure in prehypertensives. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2014; 10: 691–698. doi: 10.2147/VHRM.S73688
3. Carl W.Cotman, Nicole C.Berchtold. Exercise: a behavioral intervention to enhance brain health and plasticity. Trends in Neurosciences Volume 25, Issue 6, 1 June 2002, Pages 295-301. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0166-2236(02)02143-4
4. Holdsworth, D.A., Cox, P.J., Kirk, T., Stradling, H., Impey, S.G., and Clarke, K. (2017). A Ketone Ester Drink Increases Postexercise Muscle Glycogen Synthesis in Humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
5. Vandoorne, T., De Smet, S., Ramaekers, M., Van Thienen, R., De Bock, K., Clarke, K., and Hespel, P. (2017). Intake of a Ketone Ester Drink during Recovery from Exercise Promotes mTORC1 Signaling but Not Glycogen Resynthesis in Human Muscle. Front. Physiol. 8, 310.
6. Tanaka, H. Effects of cross-training. Transfer of training effects on VO2max between cycling, running and swimming. Sports Med. 1994 Nov;18(5):330-9.
7. M Jay Polsgrove, Brandon M Eggleston, and Roch J Lockyer. Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes. Int J Yoga. 2016 Jan-Jun; 9(1): 27–34. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.171710
8. Patrick Bennard, Éric Doucet. Acute effects of exercise timing and breakfast meal glycemic index on exercise-induced fat oxidation. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2006, 31(5): 502-511, https://doi.org/10.1139/h06-027
9. Cox, P.J., Kirk, T., Ashmore, T., Willerton, K., Evans, R., Smith, A., Murray, Andrew J., Stubbs, B., West, J., McLure, Stewart W., et al. (2016). Nutritional Ketosis Alters Fuel Preference and Thereby Endurance Performance in Athletes. Cell Metabolism 24, 1-13.

 

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Muscle Recovery: Essential to Your Next Workout

Apr 6, 2019

Originally published on HVMN by Nate Martins.

The moment every athlete wants to avoid.

POP!

A muscle gives at the gym or on the track, leading to weeks of rehab. Sometimes it’s not even a single moment, but rather, countless hours of overuse that leads a muscle to strain or tear.

To avoid rehab, athletes need to be thinking about pre-hab. Get ahead of an injury before it happens.
Muscle recovery should be part of every training plan (specifically post-workout). But there are multiple strategies athletes can employ that lead to muscle health–even things like diet can impact how your muscles recover. Knowing what to do, and when to do it, can help avoid the injuries that’ll set you back weeks.

 

Why is Recovery Important?

An important goal of every training session is to break down muscle. Without recovery, a significant portion of that work might be a waste of time. So, what exactly happens during recovery? That’ll depend on the person and activity, but generally, four different things are happening while you’re resting.

Synthesis of protein: This is what leads to muscle growth. During recovery is when most muscle is built, because muscle protein synthesis increases by 50% four hours after a workout (like resistance training).1

Rebuilding of muscle fibers:

Microtears in muscle fibers are a normal part of exercise, happening when we put strain on our muscles. Recovery allows these fibers to heal and become stronger during that process.

Fluid restoration:

We sweat (and lose a lot of fluid through exhaled air).2 Hydrating before, during and after a workout is important, because these fluids help deliver nutrients to organs and muscle through the bloodstream.
Removal of metabolic waste products:

Acids (via that pesky little proton associated with lactate) accumulate during a workout, and recovery gives the body time to restore intramuscular pH and reestablish intramuscular blood flow for oxygen delivery (among other things).

 

While you’re resting, your muscles kick into overdrive.

Recovery can be attacked several ways–some may be surprising, because they don’t directly target the muscles themselves. By approaching recovery through a few different avenues, it can be optimized.

Consuming Your Way to Recovery

It may not seem obvious, but a combination of hydration, diet, and supplements can do wonders for the muscles.

Hydration: During and After Exercise

Drinking fluids is a mantra repeated by coaches everywhere for good reason: muscles are 75% water.

Before and during exercise, hydration is key to maintaining fluid balance and can even improve endurance (it’s equally important to not over-consume water as well).
3,4 But post-workout, consuming enough water is vital to helping digest essential nutrients and repairing damaged muscle.

The sought after protein resynthesis requires muscles be well-hydrated. And coupled with post-workout eating, saliva–which is comprised mostly of water–is necessary to help break down food, digest, and absorb all the nutrients you’re hoping to receive. In one study, adequate hydration after a 90-minute run on a treadmill showed significantly faster heart rate recovery;5 this illustrates that hydrated bodies recover from exercise-induced stress faster.

Don’t rely on the age-old test of urine to determine if you’re hydrated; that has been debunked.6

A good rule of thumb is to weigh yourself before and after a workout, drinking 1.5x the amount of weight lost.

Diet: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat All Work Together
Nailing the right nutrition strategy post-workout can encourage quicker recovery, reduce soreness, build muscle, improve immunity and replenish glycogen.

Your next workout starts within the hour your last workout ended.

Since exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein, 7 it’s beneficial to consume an adequate amount of protein after a workout. Protein provides the body with necessary amino acids needed to repair and rebuild, while also promoting the development of new muscle tissue.8

Good sources of protein include: whey protein, whole eggs, cheese and smoked salmon.

Carbohydrates have a similarly important effect–they replenish glycogen stores. The type of exercise will depend on how much carbohydrate is needed. Consuming about 0.5 – 0.7 grams of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight within 30 minutes of training can result in adequate glycogen resynthesis.7 Insulin secretion promotes glycogen synthesis, and is more stimulated when carbs and protein are consumed simultaneously.9

Carb sources are everywhere; but look to slow-release sources such as sweet potatoes, fruit, pasta and rice.

Fat shouldn’t be the main focus of an after workout meal, but should be part of it. Good fat sources include avocados and nuts. Milk is also a popular choice; one study found whole milk was more effective at promoting muscle growth than skim milk.10

Supplements: Protein, BCAAs and Omega-3s Build Muscle and Reduce Inflammation

We’ve outlined which supplements runners should take; it’s best to focus on protein, BCAAs and omega-3s–all these supplements help optimize muscle recovery.

While most athletes think protein is best left to bodybuilders, protein can repair the muscle damage that occurs during a workout, reduce the response from the “stress hormone” cortisol, and speed up glycogen replacement. Protein also accelerates the resolution of muscle inflammation.11,12

Whey, casein and soy are some of the most popular proteins. Whey is absorbed the fastest by the body, and is largely considered the most effective protein for muscle protein synthesis.13 Casein protein is geared more toward long-term recovery because it takes hours to absorb. Try introducing whey immediately post-workout, while using casein protein before bed; protein ingestion before sleep has been shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.14

Serious athletes should be taking about one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

If someone doesn’t consume enough protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can be a useful supplement.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. During exercise, the body breaks down protein into amino acids; those are absorbed and transported through the body to create new proteins that encourage building muscle. BCAAs help enhance muscle protein recovery by introducing more amino acids into the body. They preserve muscle glycogen stores, which fuel the muscles and minimize protein breakdown. Studies show BCAAs as effective for muscle recovery (as well as immune system regulation).15

Omega-3s, found in fish oils, have anti-inflammatory properties that help sore muscles.16 Kado-3, by HVMN, is a supercharged krill and fish oil stack designed to assist daily brain and body metabolism. Ingredients in Kado-3 work together; like astaxanthin oil (a powerful antioxidant) to fight against the buildup of free radicals, and Vitamins K and D to protect bone health.17,18,19


HVMN Ketone can also help muscle recovery. Those using HVMN Ketone have seen decreases in the breakdown of intramuscular glycogen and protein during exercise when compared to carbs alone.20 It also expedited the resynthesis of glycogen by 60% and protein by 2x when added to normal carb / protein post-workout fuel.21,22

 

Resting Your Way to Recovery

Rest should be accounted for in any training program.

Sleep: A Necessary Reset

On its face, sleep should be the easiest way to recover. One study found that lack of sleep can lead to muscle degradation.23 But many find it difficult to get the ideal seven-to-nine hours per night.

Sleep improves other facets of health that tangentially affect muscle recovery; the central nervous system (CNS) also recuperates during sleep, which is important for muscles, because the CNS triggers muscle contractions and reaction time. Hormones like cortisol and testosterone, which produce protein synthesis, are also working while we sleep.

To help optimize sleep, it’s important to set a routine.

Our screens can negatively impact sleep,24 so 60 – 90 minutes of screenless time before bed can do wonders. The blue light emitted from our devices tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime and we need to be awake, decreasing our natural melatonin.
It’s also important to create an optimal environment for sleep. Things like blackout curtains, a cooler temperature setting in the bedroom, or a quality mattress can all encourage better, more restful sleep.

Rest Days: Muscles Don’t Take Breaks, But You Should

On a much smaller scale, what’s happening during sleep is also happening on rest days. Work rest days into your training program because they give the body time to repair tissues that have been broken down.25

Depleted muscle energy stores, micro-tears, fluid loss–all the things that happen during a workout need time to recuperate and grow stronger.

Recovery time depends on your specific routine. Runners can have an especially difficult time doing this. For highly active runners who log miles six days per week, they should also incorporate recovery runs. About half of these runs should be at recovery pace, a slower less-strenuous pace that allows the body to recycle lactate as it’s produced. By increasing blood flow, recovery runs may actually accelerate the recovery process.

Also try to avoid intense workouts or hard runs on back-to-back days. Complete rest days vary by person, but a good goal is one or two rest days every week or ten days. Injury-prone athletes may increase the number of complete rest days during this period.

Techniques & Exercises for Recovery

Let’s get into the specifics of what you can do to help the body recover faster. By using exercises targeted at certain muscles, not only will those muscles recover faster–they’ll also get stronger in the process.

Active Recovery: Getting Stronger and Building Muscle

This type of recovery focuses on exercise intensity at low-to-moderate levels. Studies have shown that it’s best for the performance of endurance athletes.26 Active recovery is successful mostly due to its ability to more rapidly remove blood lactate, facilitating blood flow and giving the body the ability to process excess lactate produced during periods of intense exercise.27

Cross training is also a great way to engage in active recovery while enhancing aerobic fitness without putting the body through the same stress as your normal workouts. Try:

  • Cycling: The motion is similar to running without the joint impact. Ride at an easy pace in the low-intensity zone (around 120 – 140 heart rate)
  • Yoga: A beginner’s class should do just fine. Practicing basic yoga through online videos is sufficient, using poses such as sun salutation (to boost circulation and release tightness) and warriors one and two (to activate thigh and calf muscles while helping stretch hips)
  • Plyometrics: Even 15 – 30 minutes of bodyweight exercises can help boost circulation while stretching muscles. They’ve even been shown to increase sprint performance.28 Try exercises like planks, calf raises and lunges

Ice Baths: Taking the Plunge

Some athletes and coaches swear by ice baths, with trainers mandating post-practice cold water immersion (CWI). They consider ice baths essential to helping tired muscles, and feeling better for the next intense training sessions.

The idea here is that cold therapy constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, reducing swelling and tissue breakdown, flushing metabolic debris from the muscle.

But one study showcased that the “hypothesized physiological benefits surrounding CWI are at least partly placebo related.”29 This suggests that if you think ice baths help, then they may have a beneficial impact on recovery and subsequent training.

If you’d like to try an ice bath, fill a tub or large container with water, enough to submerge your hips. Add enough ice so the temperature of the water drops to about 55 degrees. Then sit in the bath for about 15 minutes.

Stretching & Foam Rolling: Increase Range of Motion

Stretching is important both before and after a workout because exercise can shorten muscles, decreasing mobility. Stretching helps flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to work in their full range of motion.30 One study found that hamstring flexibility led to increased muscle performance.31

Post-workout stretches are often forgotten by athletes in a rush, but it’s essential to account for these stretches in a training schedule. Generally, it’s best to hold stretches for about 30 seconds and repeat each once or twice. Target these muscles, which usually take a beating from a variety of workouts:

  • Piriformis
  • Chest and Anterior Deltoids
  • Hamstrings
  • Lats
  • Quads
  • Lower Back

Complementary to stretching, foam rollers help sore muscles,32 and they can be used on almost every muscle in the body.

Our muscles go through a constant state of breakdown, then repair. Fascia, the connective tissue surrounding our muscles, gets thick and short over time because the body is attempting to protect itself from more damage. Sometimes, trigger points form–sore spots, caused by fascia contraction, need release.

Ultimately, this affects range of movement and causes soreness.

Foam rolling (called myofascial release) can help release those muscular trigger points, and as one study found, can lead to overall improvement in athletic performance.33 The result is decreased muscle and joint pain, and increased mobility.

Selecting a foam roller depends on your needs; a larger roller can allow you fuller sessions (meaning, if it’s large enough, you can lie on the foam roller and do some great shoulder / upper back workouts). A denser roller will also mean a more intense massage.

Target these often overused areas: glutes, iliotibial band (IT band), lower back, shoulders and sides.

Technology: All the Data You Need

While technology and wearables can’t directly help with recovery, they’re able to gather important data that may inform recovery techniques. Being able to track aspects of training, sleep, heart rate and hydration can provide insight into how the best tackle specificities of recovery.

 

 

  • Hydration: Wearables like Nobo B60 and Hydra Alert help monitor hydration through different means, but mostly through sensors. Nobo is like a watch, mounted to the wrist or calf, while the Hydra Alert is placed in a urinal or toilet to monitor hydration through urine. However, many of these types of devices haven’t been independently validated for accuracy.
  • Training: It seems there are countless devices to measure training. The IMeasureU is versatile, using motion data to track training. Similar to hydration wearables though, there isn’t clinical validation for this technology.
  • Heart Rate and Breathing: The Hexoskin is like a smart t-shirt with electrocardiogram (ECG) and breathing sensors, along with an accelerometer. This measures heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate, steps, etc.
  • Sleep: Many training devices also can monitor sleep. These devices can illuminate what we don’t know happens during our sleep, and can also showcase our sleeping patterns to help us understand why we may be waking up so tired. The Fitbit Charge 2 is especially responsive to monitoring sleep, and has been validated through a third-party study.34

Understanding our inputs with data provides us with a way to maximize our outputs and reach peak performance–even in recovery.

Recovery is the First Step to Better Training

Recovery takes time and dedication; it often gets overlooked in workout schedules because it isn’t accounted for.

Active recovery, sleep, diet, and supplements like HVMN Ketone can be used to kickstart the recovery process and make training more effective.

The best training starts with mindful recovery to help muscles rebuild for the next training session. This, ultimately, can improve training by putting your body in the best position to perform. The process of muscle breakdown happens during exercise; immediately after, the process of muscle restoration and strengthening begins–you could be compromising gainful training by skipping these all-important techniques to help the body rebuild.

Scientific Citations

1. MacDougall JD, Gibala MJ, Tarnopolsky MA, MacDonald JR, Interisano SA, Yarasheski KE. The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Can J Appl Physiol. 1995 Dec;20(4):480-6.
2. Mitchell, J W. Nadel, E R. Stolwijk, J. A. J. Respiratory water losses during exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 32(4):474-6. May 1972.
3. Montner P, Stark D M, Riedesel M L, Murata G, Robergs R, Timms M, Chick T W. Pre-Exercise Glycerol Hydration Improves Cycling Endurance Time. Int J Sports Med 1996; 17(1): 27-33.
4. Hew-Butler T, Rosner M H, Fowkes-Godek S, et al. Statement of the Third International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference, Carlsbad, California, 2015. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: July 2015 – Volume 25 – Issue 4 – p 303–320.
5. Moreno I L, Vanderlei L C M, Pastre C M, Vanderlei F M, Carlos de Abreu L, Ferreira C. Cardiorespiratory effects of water ingestion during and after exercise. Int Arch Med. 2013; 6: 35. Published online 2013 Sep 23.
6. Heneghan C, Gill P, O’Neill B, Lasserson D, Thake M, Thompson M, Howick J. Mythbusting sports and exercise products. BMJ 2012;345:e4848.
7. Kerksick C, Harvey T, Stout J, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Oct 3;5:17.
8. Biolo G, Tipton KD, Klein S, Wolfe RR. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jul;273(1 Pt 1):E122-9.
9. Rasmussen BB, Tipton KD, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Wolfe RR. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Feb;88(2):386-92.
10. Elliot TA, Cree MG, Sanford AP, Wolfe RR, Tipton KD. Milk ingestion stimulates net muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Apr;38(4):667-74.
11. Rieu I, Balage M, Sornet C, Giraudet C, Pujos E, Grizard J, Mosoni L, Dardevet D. Leucine supplementation improves muscle protein synthesis in elderly men independently of hyperaminoacidaemia. The Journal of Physiology, 08 August 2006.
12. Yang C, Jiao Y, Wei B, Yang Z, Wu JF, Jensen J, Jean WH,4, Huang CY, Kuo CH. Aged cells in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. Aging (Albany NY). 2018 Jun 27;10(6):1356-1365.
13. Tang J E, Moore D R, Kujbida G W, Tarnopolsky M A, Phillips S M. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. American Physiological Society. 01 September 2009.
14. Res P T, Groen B, Pennings B, Beelen M, Wallis G A, Gijsen A P , Senden J M G, Van Loon L J C. Protein Ingestion before Sleep Improves Postexercise Overnight Recovery. 0195-9131/12/4408-1560/0 MEDICINE & SCIENCE IN SPORTS & EXERCISE Copyright 2012 by the American College of Sports Medicine.
15. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
16. Mori T A, Beilin L J. Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammation. Current Atherosclerosis Reports November 2004, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 461–467.
17. Barros MP, Poppe SC, Bondan EF. Neuroprotective properties of the marine carotenoid astaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids, and perspectives for the natural combination of both in krill oil. Nutrients. 2014 Mar 24;6(3):1293-317.
18. Pashkow FJ, Watumull DG, Campbell CL. Astaxanthin: a novel potential treatment for oxidative stress and inflammation in cardiovascular disease. Am J Cardiol. 2008 May 22;101(10A):58D-68D.
19. Machlin L J , Bendich A. Free radical tissue damage: protective role of antioxidant nutrients. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Vol. 1, No. 6 December 1987.
20. Holdsworth, D.A., Cox, P.J., Kirk, T., Stradling, H., Impey, S.G., and Clarke, K. (2017). A Ketone Ester Drink Increases Postexercise Muscle Glycogen Synthesis in Humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc.
21. Stubbs, B.Cox, P.; Evans, R.; Santer, P.; Miller, J.; Faull, O.; Magor-Elliott, S.; Hiyama, S.; Stirling, M.; Clarke, K. (2017). On the metabolism of exogenous ketones in humans. Front. Physiol.
22. Cahill, G.F., Jr. (1970). Starvation in man. New Engl J Med 282, 668-675.
23. Dattilo M, Antunes H K M, Medeiros A, Mônico Neto M, Souza H S, Tufika S, de Mello M T. Sleep and muscle recovery: Endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses Volume 77, Issue 2, August 2011, Pages 220-222.
24. Exelmans L, Van den Bulck J .Bedtime mobile phone use and sleep in adults. Soc Sci Med. 2016 Jan;148:93-101.
25. Parra J, Cadefau J A, Rodas G, Amigo N, Cusso R. The distribution of rest periods affects performance and adaptations of energy metabolism induced by high‐intensity training in human muscle. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 169: 157-165.
26. Crowther F, Sealey R, Crowe M, Edwards A, Halson S. Influence of recovery strategies upon performance and perceptions following fatiguing exercise: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and RehabilitationBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted. 2017 9:25.
27. Monedero J, Donne B. Effect of Recovery Interventions on Lactate Removal and Subsequent Performance. Int J Sports Med 2000; 21: 593–597
28. Rimmer E, Sleivert G. Effects of a Plyometrics Intervention Program on Sprint Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2000, 14(3), 295–301 q 2000.
29. Broatch JR, Petersen A, Bishop DJ. Postexercise cold water immersion benefits are not greater than the placebo effect. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Nov;46(11):2139-47.
30. Page P. Current Concepts in Muscle Stretching for Exercise and Rehabilitation. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Feb; 7(1): 109–119.
31. Worrell T W, Smith T L, Winegardner J. Effect of Hamstring Stretching on Hamstring Muscle Performance. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 1994 Volume:20 Issue:3 Pages:154–159.
32. Pearcey G E P, Bradbury-Squires D J, Kawamoto J E, Drinkwater E J, Behm D G, Button D C. Foam Rolling for Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness and Recovery of Dynamic Performance Measures. Journal of Athletic Training: January 2015, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 5-13.
33. Peacock CA, Krein D D, Silva T A, Sander G J, Von Carlowitz K A. An Acute Bout of Self-Myofascial Release in the Form of Foam Rolling Improves Performance Testing. Int J Exerc Sci. 2014; 7(3): 202–211. Published online 2014 Jul 1.
34. de Zambotti M, Goldstone A, Claudatos S, Colrain IM, Baker FC. A validation study of Fitbit Charge 2™ compared with polysomnography in adults.

 

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Score Yourself on the Four Levels of Love

Feb 13, 2019

Score Yourself on the Four Levels of Love

When I was working towards becoming certified as a divorce recovery coach, one of my favorite parts of the education process was a simple, yet profound understanding of the different types of love taught by my mentor, Tony Robbins.

The reason why it was so important to me, and I hope to you, is because it gave me a practical way in which to determine the level of love I was giving to those important to me. As you read through the four levels of love, you will gain the greatest benefit if you will:

  • Be brutally honest with yourself.
  • Recognize what level of love you are currently living, not how you aspire to love.
  • Stop allowing yourself to fall into self-judgement, and instead be aware of your hunger to love in a higher level.

 

Level One

Baby Love: Baby love is a love that has ceased to mature beyond the stage of infancy. This level of love is adorable and endearing, like a baby. That is, until it doesn’t get it’s own way. Then, it will cry, yell, scream, and act out in ways that come off as demanding. I’ll bet you know people like this. When everything is going their way, they are very pleasant; when it doesn’t, they turn on you like a rabid Doberman! They become vengeful, angry, and will make you pay by punishing you. Perhaps they withdraw from you or even consciously or sub-consciously hurt you. Can you remember a time when you yourself have behaved in a baby-level love? We all have.

Level Two

Horse-Trading Love: Horse-trading love, or whoring love, as Tony calls it, is a love that is transactional. You give to me and I give to you. A whore gives love and gets money in return; it’s a transaction. Level-two type of love operates in the same fashion. When you are giving to me, kind to me, considerate, sensitive, and thoughtful, I have the wherewithal to give back to you. When you become unkind, inconsiderate, insensitive, and thoughtless, especially over a period of time, my reservoir of love dries up. This type of love, although more mature than baby love, has destroyed more marriages, friendships, and relationships with family members.

Level Three

Unconditional Love: Unconditional love is the kind of love that gives because of who I am as a being, not because of how you are behaving in the moment. It does not “measure” to make sure I am getting as much as I am giving. It does not adhere to the “tit for tat” method. It is the kind of love that sets no conditions, no boundaries, and is unchanging, even in trying times. In Greek, the word is “agape,” which is likened to the way in which God loves us and the way we show god-like love to others.

Wikipedia refers to it as “a state of mind in which one has the goal of increasing the welfare of another, despite any evidence of benefit for oneself.”

Although this level of love is challenging to operate from on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth aspiring towards.

Can you remember a time when someone gave of themselves to you in a way that had no strings attached, but just because they loved you? And can you remember when you did the same for someone else? Didn’t it transcend you to a place that made you feel you were being the higher version of your true self?

Level Four

Spiritual Love: Spiritual love is the type of love that has the capacity to love, even when it is being hurt. Figures in history like Gandhi and Mother Teresa are great images of this type of love. Don’t misunderstand this type of love; it is not a self-flagellating or martyr type of love that enjoys being hurt. It simply loves even in the presence of unwelcomed and unwanted hurt or harm.

It goes without saying that most of us don’t live in this mode of being on a continual basis, but as Michelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

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What You Need To Know About The Emergency 911 System

Jan 14, 2018

The 911 system was originally designed for landline telephones, transmitting your call and your location instantly over a hard-wired connection.

Today’s cellphone system is not designed to automatically send location data when you dial 911. After the call comes in, the dispatcher’s computer transmits a digital request to the cellphone network seeking to find the phone’s location. The data exchange has to go through a process that can take seconds or even minutes. Sometimes, it doesn’t return a location at all.

REFERENCE AND FULL ARTICLE
911’s deadly flaw: Lack of location data

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Stretching Out of Your Comfort Zones

Sep 20, 2017

shanWhether we realize it or not, most of us live within a prison of our own making. This prison doesn’t have metal bars, nor can its walls be seen with our physical eyes. However, it is every bit as powerful in keeping us from our freedom as a real life prison cell.

And what is this spiritual prison? It’s called our comfort zone.

Comfort zones have the ability to metamorphosis into a variety of different forms — from the geographical area in which you live to the circle of people with whom you interact, to the amount of money you earn.

The primary energy that keeps you living within the confines of your comfort zone is your belief about what will happen if you move outside it. This belief is based in fear, and we all have them.

Regardless of how irrational or unrealistic that belief may be, you will accept it as truth depending on the level of certainty you need.

Your comfort zone is not actually comfortable at all, but in reality is a virtual prison that keeps you from growing and transforming as a human being.

The bars to that prison are made up of your fears. They may be fears about what may possibly happen if you move beyond them or fear of the unknown… Subsequently, the key to your freedom lies in the removal of the underlying beliefs that cause those fears to remain alive.

Just for a moment, think about a goal or dream you have that seems out of reach somehow. Now check to see if achieving it requires that you move out of your comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory, which is located in the land of the unknown and the uncertain.

It could be a dream job, a new relationship, starting your own business, losing weight, or living in a completely different part of the world.

As you practice this exercise, notice how a subtle feeling of fear, anxiety, or nervousness begins to emerge in your head, chest, or stomach area.

This is your unconscious mind springing into action, whose intention is to dissuade you from doing anything it perceives may put you in danger. This comes from the amygdala, the part of the brain that experiences emotion and wants to keep you safe.

More often than not, you won’t notice the constant influence your comfort zone plays in your life, and you may find yourself placing the blame for your lack of progress towards your goals, or laziness or procrastination.

However, if you stop to consider why you aren’t able to get that item crossed off your to-do list, make that phone call, or fill out that application, you may begin to recognize the true cause: What you want to do is outside your comfort zone.

It is your subconscious beliefs that direct your mind to do this; therefore, in order to break through your self-imposed limitations and achieve the success you deserve, you will need to remove them.

And the best way to remove an unproductive belief is to replace it with a productive one. This doesn’t occur over night, but like replacing an unconstructive habit with a constructive habit, it takes time, practice, and patience.

Shan White, a certified life coach, helps women heals themselves from the trauma of divorce by putting their lives back together piece by piece.
Sign up for a complimentary “Divorce Recovery Strategy Session” at:
Email:  shancoaches@comcast.net
Office:  719-388-8758

Website:  http://www.WomensPeakPerformanceCoaching.com

 

 

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Adoption of the Magnificent 7 Siblings in Georgia

May 20, 2017

One Georgia family has adopted seven siblings together after 1,359 days of being in foster care. It began 2 years ago when Josh, and her wife, Jessaka Clark wanted to adopt children. In April 2016, the couple learned about their super seven and initiated plans of providing them shelter as stated in Channel 2’s Kimberly Richardson. Jessaka mentioned how the kids had been waiting for everything to get settled in court.

“They moved in with us on Aug. 5th and have been waiting every day for our court date to finalize,” said Jessaka Clark.

The long awaited day finally arrived on May 9th and the couple were on their way to finalize the adoption in the courthouse. Josh Clark showed the excitement felt by the whole family by posting an adorable video on his Facebook page. Before the adoption, Josh Clark’s statement showed how happy the family was having been brought together by the couples.

“We are all super excited,” He said. “They have been up since 6 screaming and running around the house.”

It began with a family of three and now they were a family of 10 including Maria, Elizabet, Jason, Kristina, Guillermo, Noah, James and Katerin. The couples, Jessaka and Josh made the family complete and held the thought that they would never change despite the difficulties they are likely to face in future.

“We love our family, and as difficult as it can be, we wouldn’t change it,” said Jessaka Clark.

Noah, the Clark’s biological son held up a sign which read, “I was an only child for 1,426 days. But today, May 9, 2017, I became a little brother.” This was after finalization of the adoption at the courthouse. Jessaka Clark told Richardson of how her heart has had a huge place for adoption, the fact that she had grown with her foster parents most of her life.

Her parents adopted two brothers after 5 years. Ever since that transpired, they took a new role in providing assistance to children who are having difficult times and have aged out of the system. The Clarks hoped that their story would bring a little light on the crisis that was trending in the country of children who were fatherless.

May is a month of National Care and anyone who wishes to assist in raising money for the Clark family can feel free to make their contributions. As the couples continue with their adoption journey, they would love to get a home that has more bedrooms. They are currently living in a three bedroom home with the adopted children.

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12 Health Benefits of Cantaloupe, According to Science (+6 Delicious Recipes)

May 5, 2017

A perfect summer fruit, cantaloupe has far-reaching benefits for the human body. They’re abundant in vitamins, antioxidants, potassium, fiber, and folate.

It’s a wonder why you haven’t yet devoured this delicious and healthy fruit, if you really haven’t! Cantaloupes boast of not only taste, but they’re great natural supplements for a healthy diet. They contain folate which has positive effects of brain function and metabolic growth. The carotenoids are good for treating age-related disorders and many types of cancer. Whereas, the water soluble vitamins help repair tissue wounds and are powerful in fighting free radical damage in the body. (1)

What you didn’t already know about cantaloupes, I’ve discussed in detail here. So, let’s begin!

1. Cantaloupes Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Carotenoids are powerful compounds present in cantaloupes. They help prevent and treat age-induced macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is a top agent for permanent blindness. It leads to the deterioration of the macula, which is the primary centre of the retina of the eye. The macula is responsible for visual sharpness.

As the person ages, blurred vision is the major symptom of macular degeneration. Eyesight is an important sign for people over the age of 60. With proper medication, lifestyle, and vision aids, you can alleviate vision stress and age-related eye disorders. (2)

For that you need a daily intake of carotenoids, which are present in abundance in cantaloupes. Even though there is no long-standing cure for macular degeneration, you can resist impaired vision with the help of a few healthy lifestyle choices.

It decreases the risk of developing certain eye diseases. Carotenoids contain lutein and zeaxanthin which is considered to be powerful agents for protecting the eye from macular degeneration symptoms, which often lead to permanent blindness. (3)

Key Takeaway: Eating cantaloupes regularly may have the potential of preventing age-induced macular degeneration in older adults. With the help of carotenoids, there’s significant reduction of inflammation in people who are more likely to suffer from eye disease.

2. The Water-Soluble Vitamins in Cantaloupes Promote Healthy Tissue Growth

Tissue growth and tissue healing requires the proliferation of collagen strength for damaged skin cells and tissue. With proper nutritive supplements, you can heal wounds faster and accelerate the growth of tissue cells for natural activity.

Cantaloupes contain a good amount of vitamin C which is beneficial for treating skin wounds and for tissue growth. Vitamin C supplements are used for treating wounds faster. Plus, they’re consumed by patients as a pre-treatment and pro-treatment for an surgical situation.

Vitamin C has many surprising benefits for the human body. They enhance iron absorption, reduce inflammation, fight cancer, and prevent diabetes. All this put together show that vitamins are essential for your everyday life.

A stronger immune system calls for strong muscles, tissues, and cell recovery. So eating cantaloupes on a daily basis is beneficial for patients who have just undergone surgery or are injured. (4)

These water-soluble vitamins repairs tissue, accelerates their growth, and blocks any age-related damage in the skin tissues and blood vessels.

Key Takeaway: Vitamin C plays a very important role for proper tissue repair and growth in the human body. It is needed to making tissues more immune to damage and to heal faster. Cantaloupes have such powerful vitamins in abundance, hence it’s essential to consume sufficient amounts of it for the optimal growth and repair of tissues.

3. Eating Cantaloupes May Improve Your Gastrointestinal Health

Gastrointestinal disorders include digestive problems, abdominal pain, heartburn, irregular bowel movements, constipation, liver diseases, and metabolic problems.

The main cause of such disorders is presence of harmful bacteria in the body.

Digestive enzymes are responsible for breaking down multiple nutrients including proteins, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats for adequate nutrient absorption in the bloodstream. These nutrients are then transferred to various organs in the body for proper functioning. Any disruption in the way food absorption takes place can cause serious ramifications for digestive or gastrointestinal health. (5)

Cantaloupes contain a good amount of potassium which is linked with gastrointestinal health and disease. Potassium is one of most essential nutrients for your body’s maintenance. It lowers blood pressure, increases nerve stimulation, and is good for water retention in the body. (6)

For defending against gastrointestinal diseases, potassium restricts bacterial growth and accelerates proper sodium and water absorption in the body. Potassium deficiency often leads to kidney failure and intestinal digestion in the body.

Key Takeaway: Potassium protects the body against bloating and water retention. It prevents gastrointestinal health by promoting better food absorption in the bloodstream. Cantaloupes are considered good foods for optimal gut health.

4. Cantaloupes Possess Cancer-Fighting Properties

Cantaloupe is a nutritive alkaline fruit that is high in folate, fiber, and minerals. With its low cholesterol levels and saturated fat levels, it’s one of the most effective ways to treat different types of cancer.

The carotenoids present in cantaloupes have a direct link with prostate cancer, according to a study. Proper intake of this compound shows reducing levels of prostate cancer and its prevention. (7)

Another study showed that the antioxidant property of carotenoids isolate cancer cells proliferation from the body. It helps in chemoprevention in cancer patients. (8)

On the other hand, folate also plays an important role in cancer prevention. It causes incredible DNA repair and is vital for healthy cell proliferation. Regular intake of folate can restrict tumor growth in people with a higher risk of developing cancer cells. (9)

You need something powerful to defend your body against excessive inflammation caused due to free radical which is a major agent of cancer. With the help of cantaloupes, you can prevent the development of various types of cancer including prostate cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer.

Key Takeaway: Many studies were conducted to prove the efficiency and benefits of eating cantaloupes on a daily basis. For cancer patients, eating an alkaline fruit like cantaloupe is generally associated with reduced proliferation of cancer cells and a great alternative to chemoprevention.

5. The Combination of Beta-Carotene and Vitamin C Inhibits Cardiovascular Diseases

Eating cantaloupes daily may provide potential inhibition of inflammation which can lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular diseases arise when your blood vessels get affected due to excessive inflammation and oxidative stress. It can lead to other severe heart problems including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and stroke.

For stimulate proper blood flow from the heart to various organs in the body, you need a daily intake of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Both of which are present in cantaloupes.

A trial conducted for determining the link between beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E claimed a relationship between these nutrients and cardiovascular diseases. (10)

As an antioxidant, vitamin C plays a vital role in the prevention of blood flow inflammation. It reduces the level of oxidants in the body by fighting free radical damage. Eating cantaloupes to control blood pressure levels and have the ability to prevent restricted blood flow and plaque buildup in the arteries increases your chances of having a strong heart.

Key Takeaway: Cantaloupes may prevent your chances of developing many cardiovascular diseases. It can regulate better blood pressure levels, which can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

6. The Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cantaloupes Inhibit Arthritis

Cantaloupes contain phytochemicals with many anti-inflammatory properties which help prevent bone and cartilage damage.

It helps block inflammation in the joints and is used for multiple arthritic treatments in patients. A cantaloupe-rich diet can reduce your inflammation, strengthen your bones, lower blood pressure, and aid in weight loss by filling your stomach faster. All these factor offer a great deal of benefits for people more likely to develop arthritis. (11)

Cantaloupes are loaded with antioxidants that stimulate your body’s natural immune defense against free radical damage and age-related disorders. This plays a vital role in preventing the depletion of bone mineral.

Phytochemicals stimulate the proper functioning of the joints, preventing excessive inflammation that leads to arthritis. (12)

The study conducted showed that increased intake of phytochemicals restrict inflammation and apoptosis in the human body. These two factors lead to cellular suicide, according to science.

Key Takeaway: Cantaloupes play an important role in preventing and treating bone disorders including arthritis. It benefits your joints, bone mineral density, and cellular recovery for healing bone fractures and breaks faster. While it also strengthens your bones by reducing inflammation in the body.

7. Cantaloupes have High Water Content Which is Good For Dehydration

Dehydration leads to both mild and severe symptoms. Factors such as constipation, headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, and respiratory problems are caused by severe dehydration. (13)

Cantaloupe is rich in water and fiber, both of which are essential for stimulating good hydration levels in the human body. Good hydration supports heart health, digestion, cognitive, and other processes in the human body.

If you experience frequent headaches, dryness, and fatigue, by increasing your cantaloupe intake you can alleviate all symptoms of dehydration effectively. A daily intake of cantaloupe for dehydrations goes a long way for preventing lifelong diseases.

Key Takeaway: Cantaloupe contains high amounts of water which helps prevent severe dehydration symptoms. It regulates good digestive, heart, and cognitive pressure by increasing the amount of water and fiber content in your diet.

8. The High Fibre Content Reduces Your Risk Of Constipation

It is a common known fact that people who have a regular intake of dietary fiber are less likely to experience constipation than those who don’t.

In a study conducted on patients with chronic constipation, 85% of patients showed improvements in overall digestive health due to the increase intake of dietary fiber. (14)

A poor outcome of dietary fiber intake for people experiencing irregular bowel movements must increase their cantaloupe intake as cantaloupes are rich in dietary fiber and water.

According to WebMD, a highly effective dietary fiber intake can show long-term relief for constipation. It helps in food absorption and helping the food pass smoothly through the digestive system. (15)

As you know already, cantaloupes are good fruits for gastrointestinal health and they help reduce inflammation in the colon. All the more reason why a fiber-rich diet is essential for your good health.

Key Takeaway: Cantaloupes are high in dietary fiber that provide constipation relief. They also reduce the risk of developing chronic constipation which could damage your digestive system, especially your intestine. Studies on patients with chronic constipation show that an increased intake of dietary fibers shows positive results against the symptoms.

9. Eating Cantaloupes Daily is Good For Weight-Loss

Foods that are low in cholesterol levels and saturated fats are considered good for maintaining optimum body weight. Cantaloupes are a good source of nutrients beneficial for weight loss while providing very little sugar, cholesterol, and saturated fats.

Low-fat-dense foods assist weight loss diets. Eating sufficient amounts of cantaloupe can fill up your stomach quickly, thus curbing your appetite effectively. (16)

The dietary fiber content helps in filling up your stomach so you feel full for longer periods of time. Hunger often leads to unhealthy food intake, which can be suppressed with the help of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.

Excessive weight gain can lead to diabetes, heart problems, and obesity. Studies show that the phytonutrients present in cantaloupe improve blood sugar levels and stimulate optimal blood pressure levels, which is essential for weight management.

Regulating good anti-inflammatory and metabolic levels is fundamental for weight loss.

Key Takeaway: Cantaloupe contains several nutrients that aid in weight loss. They help fill up your stomach and for longer too.

10. Cantaloupes Contain Carotenoids Which Improve Eye Health

Cantaloupes are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin. They greatly contribute to eye health for a healthy lifestyle.

Based on studies, these two carotenoids protect the macula from harmful environmental factors and age-related disorders. They prevent cataracts, unfocused vision, and excessive oxidation. (17)

On the other hand, phytonutrients protect the eye from oxidative stress and UV radiation, that is sun rays. There are many eye diseases that arise from UV radiation, such as cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelids, photokeratitis, and macular degeneration. (18)

If you spend a lot of time in the sun or you’re already struggling with a retinal disorder, it’s inevitable that you eye’s sensitivity to light is high. Eating cantaloupes regularly for your good eye health is very essential.

When there are harmful reactive oxygen species present in the human retina, alkaline fruits rich in carotenoids can protect the macula from deterioration. Cantaloupes boost immunity to fight severe eye diseases like macular degeneration, especially in older populations.

Key Takeaway: Studies suggest that cantaloupes may help reduce eye diseases arising from oxidative stress and UV radiation exposure. Cantaloupes contain carotenoids that help you see clearly and avoid age-related eye diseases.

11. Cantaloupes May Prevent Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney disease, or chronic renal failure, is a long-standing condition that often takes years to proliferate in the human body. People with this disease often experience no symptoms. Although this condition can be diagnosed with a simple blood test.

If left untreated, chronic kidney failure can lead to dialysis treatment or a transplant.

Cantaloupe is a diuretic fruit which is an essential factor for chronic renal failure. It stimulates renal blood flow and is good for water retention. Linked with kidney disease are other severe conditions including hypertension, hyperkalemia, and vascular congestion.

The nutrients present in cantaloupe show positive effects on these conditions as well. It is a water-containing alkaline fruit that helps your kidneys release large amounts of water in your body. While the dietary fiber present in cantaloupes reduce bloating and stimulate optimum digestive function. (19,20)

Exposure to toxins aggravated by environmental factors play a very important role in chronic kidney failure. It restricts conditions like diabetes, bladder obstruction, and even cancer.

Key Takeaway: Cantaloupe is a low-fat fruit, plus it falls under the category of diuretic foods. The nutrients present in cantaloupe are resistant to kidney-related diseases that is a major agent to chronic renal failure and cancer.

12. The Antioxidants Present in Cantaloupes Fight Free Radical Damage

Free radicals, in overwhelming amounts in the body, can cause severe drain and organ damage. It messes up your biological functions and increases inflammation in the body.

Such a reaction is never good for the body as it makes your immune system more susceptible to chronic diseases that are often life-threatening. With the increase in free radical production, your natural defenses are at loss.

Research has linked antioxidants to free radical-induced diseases including cancer and Alzheimer’s. Other factors such as chronic pain are also affected greatly due to oxidative stress or inflammation in the body.

Cantaloupes are rich in antioxidants. They stimulate your body’s defense system to heal faster, resist chronic diseases, and defend healthy cells against bacteria and infection. (21)

Eating cantaloupe on a regular basis will improve your chances of experiencing less pain. It is a good dietary food for boosting your body’s defence against environmental factors and free radical damage.

Key Takeaway: The antioxidants present in cantaloupes neutralizes free radicals in the body. It reduces pain and restricts radical-induced cellular damage in the human body.

6 Amazing Cantaloupe Recipes

Now that you know how beneficial the fruit is, it’s time to incorporate it into your daily diet. You should know that cantaloupe is not just a breakfast ingredient. You can use it for savory and sweet dishes as much as you can for smoothies and salads.

The best part about cantaloupe is that it is considered to be the purest pleasure of the summer season. And that’s just around the corner, isn’t it? Fresh, juicy cantaloupe is one of the favorite melons of the season. So let’s find out how we can add cantaloupe to all kinds of delectable dishes.

1. Melon Cucumber Salsa

When it comes to cantaloupe, you need a dish as delightful, light, and fresh as this.

Ingredients:

1 chopped red onion

1 chopped plum tomato

1 bunch of coarsely chopped cilantro

1 pinch of black pepper (ground)

2 large, finely diced cucumbers

3 cups – cantaloupe, finely diced

1 tbsp – olive oil (extra-virgin)

Half an jalapeno pepper (minced and seeded)

One lime, zested and juiced

One pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap.
  2. Place it in the refrigerator for not more than 2 hours. This time is enough for the flavors to blend thoroughly. Following which you can serve the melon cucumber salsa with grilled chicken or fresh fish.

2. Melon Spaghetti

Who says you can’t cook Italian with a little bit of cantaloupe?

Ingredients:

2 tbsp – lemon juice (fresh)

1 tbsp – kosher salt (extra needed)

1/2 tsp black pepper, ground (extra needed)

4 tbsp – unsalted butter

1/4 cup of whiskey

1 cup of whipping cream

1 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated

2 pounds of cantaloupe, seeded and peeled

1 pound of spaghetti pasta

Method:

  1. Boil some salted water. Cook the pasta in it until it becomes tender. This should take 8-10 minutes. Drain the spaghetti and place it in a bowl. Add cheese to this and toss it well.
  2. Put the melon in the food processor to blend it. Keep it aside.
  3. Heat the butter and cream in a saucepan on medium heat. Once the mixture starts to boil, lower the heat. Wait for the butter to melt. Once that happens, the mixture will become smooth.
  4. Then add the lemon juice, whiskey, and melon. Simmer this until the blend starts to thicken, which should not take more than 10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle at least one teaspoon of pepper and one tablespoon of salt over it and stir. Pour this sauce over your pasta and toss the whole thing until all of it is coated. Finish it off with some seasoning of pepper and salt before serving.

3. Chilled Ginger Mint Cantaloupe Soup

When it gets hot, all you need is a simple chilled cantaloupe refreshment to keep you cool.

Ingredients:

1 fresh mint sprig

2 tbsp of cream

2 tsp of honey

1 tbsp of minced, fresh ginger

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

Some lemon juice

One cantaloupe

Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Peel as well as slice the melon into big chunks.
  2. Place these large pieces, ginger, honey, lemon juice, salt, and yogurt into a blender. Blend it until this mixture becomes creamy and smooth. Then add the mint leaves. It’s important to pulse them until all the leaves are chopped completely.
  3. Pour this mixture into the airtight container before placing it in your refrigerator. Let it rest inside for at least an hour. Following which add the cream and transfer the soup into small bowls. Feel free to garnish them with mint leaves.

4. Sweet Ricotta Cantaloupe Pizza

Never heard of a fruit pizza? Well, it tastes better than you think. Just like pineapple, cantaloupe as well makes for a tasty pizza topping.

Ingredients:

Frozen pizza dough

1/4 cup of fresh basil

1 cup of ricotta cheese

1 cup of cantaloupe pieces (sliced)

2 tbsp – pine nuts, toasted

2 tbsp – honey, raw and thick

Salt to taste

Some cornmeal

Method:

  1. The dough goes into a large bowl sprayed with some oil. You can cover this with a plastic wrap. The dough ball tends to rise until it becomes twice its initial size. This takes about 2 hours.
  2. Place a baking stone on top of the grill grates and preheat the thing on high. The stone needs to be extremely hot for the pizza dough. Roll the dough gently into a circle measuring 13 inches.
  3. Sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet before placing the crust over it.
  4. Blend together honey and ricotta cheese. Spread the ricotta on the pizza crust’s surface. Then add the cantaloupe pieces on top of this.
  5. Just when your grill hits 600 degrees, you need to check the crust by shaking it on that baking sheet. It’s important to slide the crust on top of the stone. Cover it and grill it for not more than 5 minutes.
  6. Do another check in about 3-4 minutes. The pizza tends to cook fast when your grill is extremely hot. But you don’t want to burn the crust’s bottom either.
  7. After it’s done, add the basil, pine nuts, and some salt to taste. Cut the pizza and serve it while it’s hot.

5. Sweet Cantaloupe Pie

The next best option after the classic lemon meringue is this sweet cantaloupe pie. So I’ve got all your pie cravings covered.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

3 tbsp – melted, unsalted butter

1 1/2 cup – shortbread cookies, ground

For the filling:

1 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of water

1/4 tsp of vanilla

1/4 tsp of salt

1 tsp of cornstarch

1/4 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of flour

3 whole egg yolks

1 large cantaloupe

For the topping:

3 whole egg whites

6 tbsp of sugar

1/4 tsp of tartar cream

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the cookie crumbs with melted butter. Pour this over a pie plate and bake it for at least 15 minutes. You know it’s done when the crust turns light brown along the edges and the top. Set it aside.
  2. Then increase the oven temperature. 400 degrees Fahrenheit should be good enough. Slice the cantaloupe in two pieces and eliminate the seeds. You need to remove the pulp and place it in a saucepan.
  3. Heat the cantaloupe pulp on medium heat to get the juice out. Then transfer this to the blender to process it until the mixture becomes smooth. The required amount of cantaloupe is 2 cups. Pour all of this back into the pan.
  4. Mix the salt, sugar, and flour in a bowl. Take another bowl to dissolve the cornstarch in half teaspoon of water. Then add both the cornstarch and flour to the cantaloupe saucepan and let it cook. Let it go on until the mixture thickens.
  5. Now take the egg yolks and add two tablespoons of water to it. Pour a little bit of the above mentioned mixture into these yolks so they heat up gradually. Then add the yolks to the saucepan and let it cook for 15 minutes. During this time, it’s important to keep stirring till the mixture becomes creamy and thick.
  6. Turn off the heat. Now it’s time to bring in the vanilla and butter. This should make the filling look like pudding or custard. Pour this into the pie crust that you prepared earlier.
  7. Then you use the tartar cream and egg whites. Beat them together until the blend becomes frothy. Put in the six tablespoons of sugar. Continue beating.
  8. The final step before baking is to spread the meringue over the filling. You can smoothen it out using a spatula.
  9. Finally, it’s time to bake it. 12 minutes should get the job done. You can store the pie in the refrigerator if you like to serve it cold.

6. Mixed Berry Cantaloupe Custard

There’s nothing more appetizing and creamier than this perfect summer sweet cantaloupe dish.

Ingredients:

3 tbsp of honey

3 tsp of powdered, unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

3/4 cup of cream

1 seeded, peeled, chopped cantaloupe

1 cup of blueberries

1 cup of blackberries

Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Puree cantaloupe in your blender until the paste becomes smooth. Pour it into a glass and make sure that you press gently on the solids.
  2. Pour at least 1/3 cup of the juice into a bowl. Drizzle gelatin over it and leave it be for 5 minutes. During this time, beat the yogurt into the remaining juice.
  3. Then add two tablespoons of honey, cream, and salt into a saucepan. Let it simmer on medium heat. Bring in the gelatin mixture. Cook the thing for about a minute. Then pour the cream mixture as well.
  4. It’s time to divide this into 5 to 6 different glass bowls. You can then refrigerate it for two hours.
  5. On the side, mix the remaining honey along with blueberries and blackberries in a bowl. Mash the berries so their juice leaks out properly. Place this in the refrigerator too.
  6. After the two hours have passed, you can unmold the custard with the help of a knife and serve it with the delightful berries.

Wrapping It Up

To promote a healthy way of living, cantaloupes support heart, brain, and immune health. It reduces inflammation, fights cancer, and promotes digestive function. You’ll find cantaloupes as a daily lifestyle choice in European and North American countries. You can eat them as fresh fruits, as a salad, or as a healthy meal.

There’s nutrient diversity in cantaloupes as it hosts a bunch of nutritive compounds that score good in terms of maintaining health and well-being. Being a good host of fiber, potassium, iron, vitamins, and carotenoids, there’s so much that you can work with. According to multiple science-backed reports, cantaloupe is a delicious and hearty fruit considered to be a staple diet for anyone looking to rejuvenate their diet.

Original Article from Jen Reviews.

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Former Cop Runs For Charity in Boston Marathon After Overcoming Addiction

Apr 5, 2017

Danny Dwyer, a former Boston Police officer, intends to show his appreciation to the community by running in the Boston Marathon this year. Before he had a moment of clarity, Dwyer had lived for four years under a bridge in Boston North End. Dwyer eventually committed to starting a fresh after finding the treatment for his drug addiction. His motive is to inspire people who are going through similar battles that he had at some point in his lifetime.

Dwyer told CBS Boston of how he was first introduced to drugs. Marijuana was his introductory drug at the age of eight years and advanced to a variety of substances over time. He said that he had begun to build a tolerance. “You know, sleeping pills and smoking marijuana,” said Dwyer. Despite the fact that Dwyer was using drugs in his early life, it did not prevent him from developing his law enforcement career. Before he became a Boston police officer, he had served in the Air Force, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, and the Air National Guard.

Dwyer injured his knee in the process of chasing after an armed robbery suspect, bringing his career to a halt. He became used to the opioid painkillers which at that time proved useful in nursing his injuries. He told CBS Boston with the bitterness of how he was stuck in such a situation as a police officer. “I’m afraid to tell anybody about it because I am so embarrassed and ashamed that I failed, that’s how I felt, you know?” said Dwyer. His continued use of opioids made him lose everything.

Dwyer said that somewhere along the way, there was a breakdown. He cannot categorize it if it was physical, moral or whether there was an occurrence that led towards the progression. Having lost his home in the undertaking, Dwyer admitted to having overdosed twice. “I remember being angry when I was brought back. I felt like I couldn’t even die correctly”, he said.

He found the inspiration to change his life for the better. He told CBS Boston about his conscience of not wanting to die in that kind of a situation but to be remembered for the good things he had done. “I just had this moment of clarity that, I’m going to die and I don’t want to die like this” said Dwyer. He came to the decision of running after checking into treatment regarding his drug use.

Dwyer will be among the 30,000 participants in Boston Marathon on 17th April running in the 26.2-mile distance. Lazarus House received more than $8,000 that was raised by Dwyer to show his appreciation in giving back to the community. Lazarus House is a homeless shelter and food pantry situated in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Dwyer feels that he can be a symbol of hope to other people by participating in the Boston Marathon. Since he can reach his hands back, he believes that with that responsibility people would have the idea that not everything is always perfect, but they can always find a solution to a problem.

“You need to allow people around you to help you and show you a way out. You need to start building that of foundation”, Dwyer expressed his initiative to the CBS Boston.

 

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Challenges That Come With Step-Parenting From A Step-Mom

Mar 22, 2017

The Step Series

There are several problems most of us experience as step parents and they also affect our emotions negatively depending on different situations. Here are some of the discernments of stem moms that may shock you.

  • We often become jealous

I had no biological children of my own after moving in with my husband 15 years ago. He had five children and took full control of everything in the house. Being 29 years of age, I was used to a relationship where there were only the two of us, but now I was on a one to six, attempting to fit in the outer edges. After thinking for some time, I posed a question to my husband on whom he would save should our house burn down. “The kids, of course!” he replied. This answer left me in shock, and I felt hurt. “What about me? Didn’t he love me?” These questions ran through my mind.

I felt jealous especially when the children would play happily with their dad on bed and me, calm on the other side, attempting not to be shoved off. Another thing that made my heart burn out was when the kids would describe their mom with the great talks of how she was beautiful and how much they missed her. Other circumstances that left me jealous too was when I could be assigned to take pictures after the girls had dressed up ready for dances. Sometimes they would talk about their previous parties and vacations long before I was accepted in the family. I could not pretend that this did not take place despite exhausting my thoughts and growing out of it.

  • The feelings of our biological children is different from the step children

I used to question myself most often before I had my biological son. I could not understand why I was unable to love my step children the same way their dad showed his great affection to them. “Am I lacking some child loving gene?” I questioned my thoughts. My heart cracked open after the birth of my first son. I felt the urge to protect him with everything I had should anything, or anyone squeeze it accidentally.

After I had my son, it dawned on me why my husband would volunteer to save his kids but leave me to die in the burning house. I would also do the same, to save my only biological son. I came to understand how high a parent love is and what they do feel for their kids. The other five older kids were awesome and deserved the parents’ love, but my heart felt rigid, and I couldn’t love them deeply as their father. It seemed to me as a terrible sin. The jealousy I had previously started deteriorating over time, and I developed bits of tenderness and love to my step children too. Despite my love towards them, I could not compare it to my son of which I would be willing to change that if hypnotized or given a pill.

  • A feeling of persistent guilt

As stepmoms, we involve ourselves in broken families regardless of the degree to which the divorce took place.  Termed as ‘the usurpers’, it makes you feel guilty or cold-hearted. Our presence establishes the broken lives having built new ones. Even though you are not the cause of the divorce, you develop a feeling of breaking emotionally as if you are trespassing.

  • “Are these your kids?” one of the challenging questions stepmoms have to respond to

The main question is, should everyone know the truth that I am a step parent and not the biological mother of these kids?  Giving an example to the answer you wish to hear: I have been raising these children for this number of years. The five are my step children while this little one is my biological kid. We live together happily and never use the word “Step or half-brother or sister.” I do everything for them including cleaning, cooking, help them with their school work and any other thing they need from their mom. I am sure I won’t look this young for long despite having all these children.

That is a long description of your life that you cannot express to every cab driver, check out girl or a hair stylist who poses the question to you. I would often reply “Yes, they are all my children.” But then there is that guilt, hidden behind your voice since you know the truth and the step kids certainly know that you are “lying.” Though they won’t speak anything about it, their pretense may just to show that they are playing nice and they care.

  • The fear of not being accepted into the family

You come into the family having no knowledge whether you will be welcomed by the kids and more so the extended family. The community too is inclusive since they are aware of the new mom to the kids.

I remember being regarded with suspicion the first moment I went to pick up the children in school. The ladies at the desk would question me. “Who are you exactly? And why are you picking these kids? Where are you taking them?” they asked with much curiosity. I felt like an unpaid nanny that might have handed out lollipops to lure the kids to my van, parked from a distance with blacked out windows. I felt like being of a criminal background, and it disturbed my thoughts for years to change that situation.

I am not trying to instill fear in you, but all I can say is that step mothering can be and has been amazing. Despite that, it is necessary for you to be aware that it requires a woman with a healthy heart, the kids too have to be decent, and your man should be reputable with plenty of time for the family. At the end of the day, you can take a glass of wine. Besides, I don’t think it would be of any harm.

 

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5 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR KIDS CREATIVITY

Feb 15, 2017

Having the room and chance to be creative can be one of life’s most fulfilling encounters. Children are destined to be creative and clever. Sadly, as they develop, increasingly standards are forced on them, and a few understudies step by step free their creative edge, or they direct their creativity into non-learning exercises.

When you know how to encourage your child‘s creativity as a parent it goes a long way for the child because it shows them you are supportive and they can depend on you, it urges them to do better and it enhances their learning capabilities and urges them to get better with their creativity because they would not want to pay you back for encouraging them in their own coin which is making you proud.

1. Encourage
At the point when your child communicates excitement in making a little thing like a bookmark, making a little handbag with blanket patches, making up some test unit, or making an exercise manual for their more youthful kin, please support, acknowledge and applaud their creativity.

2. Support
3. Acknowledge

2-children-in-sand

Color, music, art, sound can all be source of inspiration to bring out your kids creativity, all you have to do is recognize it and encourage them as a parent. Relate with them, play with them and bring out their hidden passion, when kids are so happy they tend to drop off signs about their likes which are hidden within them unconsciously.

4. Relate
We ought to continually urge children to use their creativity to learn new things, to reflect what they have picked up, and to discover and research new space in this unfathomable sea of data and information.

5. Reflect
When your child’s creativity is supported and encouraged by you as a parent, they relate the constructive and viable experience of learning with being creative, and it will benefit them for rest of their lives. Children are affected by their environment and the general population they interact with every day. On the off chance that their environment repress their opportunity to be creative, they won’t figure out how to communicate to their full capacity. They may have creative capacities, however in the event that their surroundings does not empower this, they won’t achieve their maximum capacity.

 

 

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