Monday, April 17, 2017

How to Lose Weight with Kettlebells


Kettlebell training has many different advantages and lets you train your body from different angles and in a far more functional range of motion.  But what’s great about the kettlebell is how versatile it is as a tool and how it allows you to develop your fitness and health in numerous ways.

If you want to build bodybuilder-type muscle, then you can do so by using single joint isolation movements and heavy resistance.  This will create muscle fiber tears, flood your muscles with metabolites and generally help you to encourage more growth.  At the same time though, you can also use a kettlebell to lose weight and it happens to be particularly well suited to that goal.  Let’s look at how you might do that.

The Exercises


The great thing about the kettlebell is that it allows you to perform resistance cardio.  This means you are doing cardiovascular training that increases your heart rate and helps you to burn fat.  At the same time though, you are also lifting weight, which protects your muscle from breakdown and increases the challenge, thereby increasing the amount of calories burned and the amount of effort involved.  The kettlebell also allows you to train on the spot and without a lot of tools. Unlike running, you can enjoy kettlebell training anywhere and anytime.

To get the very most of this, you can combine the kettlebell with the HIIT modality.  HIIT is ‘high intensity interval training’ – a form of exercise that challenges you to alternate between brief bursts of high intensity exertion and shorter periods of relatively steady-state exercise.  For example, you might perform the kettlebell swing for 1 minute and then rest for 30 seconds before going again.  The kettlebell swing is an ideal movement for resistance cardio that involves swinging the kettlebell between your legs and then straight back up in the air using a slight hip thrust movement to provide the forward momentum.


The Diet


To lose weight, kettlebell training must be combined with the right type of diet, one that is relatively low in calories.  The objective is to burn more calories in a day than you consume.  So, if you normally burn 2,000 calories and consume 2,200 calories, you can increase that burn to 2,400 doing kettlebell training and you can then reduce the amount you eat to 2,100 calories.  Now you’re losing 300 calories every day!

Try to eat more protein and you will support more muscle growth while reducing fat storage.  Combine this with 4 workouts a week, lasting about 20 minutes each, and you should start to see the results you’re looking for using just this one tool and one movement.

Remember though, weight loss is only achievable if you change your entire lifestyle and habits.  It is not enough to simply add in an exercise and forget about it!  Walk more, spend less time in front of the TV and reduce unhealthy snacks.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

5 Tips to Improve Mobility with Arthritis


For many people, especially older adults, arthritis is a debilitating illness. Arthritis causes increased inflammation around the joint that can lead to immobility and pain.

While there are conventional medical treatments that are available for people with arthritis, many wonder what can be done along with medication to help improve mobility with their arthritis. In fact, there are many natural methods to help manage pain and improve mobility.

Below are five different alternative therapies and treatments that can help you manage your daily arthritis symptoms and mobility issues.

Hydrotherapy


WebMD recommends hydrotherapy as a form of exercise for those with arthritis. The hydrotherapy pool tends to be warmer than a traditional swimming pool. With hydrotherapy, participants can get all of the benefits of regular exercise without any of the impact on joints.

This may be especially beneficial to those with arthritis because the joints are particularly affected. Having an option for exercise that has zero impact on the joints can increase mobility as well as range of motion. Many times hydrotherapy is considered a form of physical therapy and may be covered by insurance.

Range of Motion Exercises


Many sufferers of arthritis keep the affected joints in a tightened position to alleviate pain. Unfortunately, this has the unintended side effect of increasing pain because it shortens ligaments and muscles around the affected joint. This means that instead of decreasing pain over the long-term keeping the joints in a tightened position will actually increase pain.

The Cleveland Clinic recommends all arthritis sufferers participate in range of motion exercises. The range of motion exercises typically includes stretching and extending the joints to their full ability. Some range of motion programs may include yoga or tai chi.


Lose Weight


Because arthritis causes pain and immobility many sufferers of arthritis have excess weight. The excess weight increases pressure and damage on the joints. The increased pressure and damage on the joints increases pain which causes decreased mobility. It becomes a never ending cycle of increased pain and decreased mobility.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that if you have arthritis, you maintain a healthy body weight. If you’re currently overweight and have a difficult time moving a healthy body weight can be maintained through proper diet.

A meeting with a dietitian can help you start a healthy diet if you are not sure where to begin. The dietitian or nutritionist may also have ideas on foods that can help decrease inflammation in the body and reduce pain from your arthritis.

Hot and Cold Therapy


One of the benefits of hot and cold therapy is that it can be done at home. Another benefit is that it is very inexpensive. Heating pads and ice packs are easy to have on hand and don’t cost a lot of money. Healthline suggests that arthritis sufferers try alternating hot and cold therapy to affected joints to decrease pain.

You may find that some days cold therapy works the best on your arthritic joints while other days a heating pad may be better. Having both on hand to use is going to be the best way to ensure that this therapy is effective at increasing your mobility and decreasing your pain.

Massage


The Arthritis Foundation notes that one of the most beneficial treatments for mobility in arthritis patients is massage. Massage can help increase range of motion simply by relieving tension on stiff muscles and ligaments that surround the arthritic joints.

The Arthritis Foundation also says that the best types of massage for people with arthritis are either deep tissue massage or Swedish massage. If you are having a high amount of pain deep tissue massage may be difficult to tolerate because of how deep into the muscle massage therapist will go. Either way, massage therapy is an easily accessible treatment to help increase your range of motion when you have arthritis.



While arthritis will not go away no matter how well you take care of your body, you can manage your symptoms and stop the progression of the disease. If you combine medication with these holistic approaches to treatment, you are sure to have a happier and pain-free life.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Do What Makes You Laugh


Laughter can be infectious. When you hear the sound of laughter, you can’t help but laugh yourself. When laughter is shared among others, it causes a binding between people and increases both intimacy and happiness.

It’s well known that laughter triggers healthy bodily changes and healthy changes in the mind. Laughter can increase your energy level, lessen pain, strengthen the immune system, and protect you from stress. Laughter is the best medicine because it is free, fun, and easy.

Laughter is Strong Medicine


Laughter can be a strong antidote to conflict, pain, and stress. There is nothing else that works more dependably or quicker to bring your body and mind into balance than laughter. The use of humor can lighten your burdens, connect you to others, inspire your hope, and keep you focused, alert, and grounded.

With this ability to renew your health and heal you, laughter can be a great resource for whatever problems you may have. It can also strengthen your relationships, and can support your emotional and physical health and wellbeing.

How is Laughter Good for Your Health?


Laughter can do many things for your health. These include the following:

  • Laughter can boost your immune system. It can decrease the level of stress hormones within the body and increase the number of immune cells and antibodies you have, which will help you become more resistant to disease.
  • Laughter is relaxing. A wonderful laugh can relieve you of stress and physical tension so that your muscles can be relaxed for up to 45 minutes following laughing.
  • Laughter releases endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s feel-good hormones. When your endogenous endorphins are released, you feel a sense of well-being and a reduction in the sensation of pain.
  • Laughter can help the heart. Laughter can increase the ability of the blood vessels to nourish all parts of the body. It can increase your blood flow, which in turn can help prevent heart attacks and other types of heart diseases. 

The Overall Benefits of Laughter


Laughter is known to have many health benefits, including physical, emotional, and social benefits. Some of these include the following:

  • Decreases your stress levels
  • Increases your immunity
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Protects your heart
  • Lessens pain
  • Lessens fear and anxiety
  • Relieves stress
  • Adds joy to your life
  • Enhances your mood
  • Improves your resilience
  • Attracts other people to us
  • Promotes the bonding among group members
  • Improves teamwork
  • Strengthens relationships

Emotional Health


Laughter simply makes a person feel good. This good feeling persists even when you are done laughing. Laughter helps you maintain an optimistic, positive outlook so you can better get through situations of loss, disappointments, and other difficult situations.

Laughter is more than just a protection against pain and sadness. It gives you the strength and courage to find other sources of hope and meaning. Even when you find yourself in the most difficult of times, laughter or even a smile can take you far when it comes to feeling better. Laugher really is a bit contagious. When you hear someone else laugh, it primes your brain and sets you up to join that person in laughing, too.

Mental Health


Laughter is associated with better mental health. Some things laughter can do to improve your mental health include the following:
  • Laughter allows you to relax. A good laugh can lessen stress and increase your energy levels so that you can remain focused and get more things accomplished.
  • Laughter can lessen distress. It is hard to feel sad, anxious, or angry when you are instead laughing. 
  • Laughter shifts your perspective. It allows you to see things in a less threatening and more realistic light. Being humorous helps create a psychological distance between you and stressful events so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Social Benefits


When you use humor and engage in playful communication with others, your relationships become stronger and you trigger positive emotions and an emotional connection with those you are laughing with. A positive bond develops—one that can act as a powerful buffer against disappointment, disagreements, and stress. When you laugh with others, this is a more powerful thing than when you laugh alone.

How to Create More Opportunities to Laugh


What do you enjoy doing to increase your chances of laughing? Here are some you might try:
  • Attend a comedy club
  • Watch something funny on television
  • Watch videos of funny animals on YouTube
  • Read the comics in the newspaper
  • Be with people who are funny
  • Share a funny story or joke with another
  • Read a funny book
  • Sponsor a game night with your friends
  • Play with your pet
  • Play with children
  • Do something you think is silly
  • Engage in activities you consider fun
Laughter can do a lot to help you feel better on a physical, emotional, and cognitive level. Don’t be afraid to share a good laugh with others for all around better health.