Preferred Fitness Blog

Our goal is to offer the opportunity to the sharing of experiences and info related to HEALTH, FITNESS, PROMOS and upcoming EVENTS.

  1. The Inspiring Morning Routine of Betina Gozo

    August 13, 2019 by

    Betina Gozo spent most of her life growing up tending to her artistic and creative abilities. Her background includes stage, dance, and teaching others how to play the guitar, bass, and piano. It wasn’t until she took a boot camp class that she realized how out of shape she was. This motivated her to improve her health and change her habits, which then began to inspire those around her.

    She was able to influence her bandmates by implementing her own healthier activities into her life. As Betina began to work out more, she continued to want to be better and become a trainer. Now, not only is she a fitness model and a personal trainer, she has also been named Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star and among the 50 Nike Master Trainers. This means that she designs workouts for Nike’s App and even leads local and regional events for Nike.

    At the age of 32, Betina starts every day by waking up early to set her daily intentions. She considers the early hours of the morning to be her prime time because she feels productive and energized. It helps her feel accomplished to be able to get so many things done before most people even start their day.

    Let’s look at her morning routine, including how she ensures to start every day in a good mood.

    4:45 in the morning

    Betina gets up and drinks a cup of water to rehydrate her body. When you wake up in the morning, your body is naturally dehydrated. Even if you drank a lot of water the day before, you use up your stores over night and you need to refill your body in the morning.

    Drinking water after waking up will provide your cells with the water they need, especially when compared to waking up and drinking coffee. Making sure to do this immediate rehydration will help flush out toxins, make you feel refreshed, and boost your metabolism.

    In order to wake up early every morning, she makes sure to start her bedtime routine around 8:00 every night. Her bedtime routine includes putting down her phone, doing relaxing activities like playing the guitar and writing in her journal, and taking CBD oil. This way, she can make sure that she gets the amount of sleep that she needs.

    5:00

    Betina makes sure to smile in order to trick her body into being happy and starts to meditate. Science has shown that the act of smiling can improve your mood, reduce stress, strengthen your immune system, and maybe even prolong your life. In other words, when you smile, you can trick your brain into believing you’re in a good mood, which can then generate true feelings of happiness. While she is meditating, Betina uses a pink Himalayan sea salt lamp and a bean bag chair to help her calmly begin every day with a clear mind.

    6:00

    She usually trains two clients in the morning, one at 6:00 and another at 7:00. She then spends time doing her own workout because this is when she is feeling her best for the day.

    9:00

    She has a mid-morning smoothie while checking her emails. For her smoothie, she uses cashew milk that she makes herself, spinach, banana, ice, and protein powder. She also takes two MitoQ Skin Support supplements, which are anti-aging supplements that give her extra protection against pollution and help her skin stay moisturized. She then catches up on e-mails and tends to her online clients. She tries to check her e-mails no more than twice a day to save her energy for herself.

    This morning routine helps Betina live her best life, and it can help you improve your life as well. See if you can adapt some of these habits to improve your mornings and your energy throughout the day.

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  2. Pros and Cons of Having the “Acts of Service” Love Language

    August 12, 2019 by

    People often turn to zodiac signs to gain insight on their personality and social habits, but when it comes to what makes someone feel fulfilled in their relationship, Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages is the most commonly used tool.

    The 5 Love Languages will show you that if you love compliments, your love language is Words of Affirmation. If you think that receiving a present is the ultimate way to feel loved, Receiving Gifts is yours. The language of Quality Time suggests you enjoy spending weekends with your partner more than anything. If you feel most connected during times of intimacy, you speak the love language of Physical Touch.

    Out of the 5 languages, the one that has a bit of a bad reputation is Acts of Service. This language describes those who prefer the idea of coming home from a long day’s work to a clean house and dinner on the table. If this would be your preference, it means that you feel most loved when other people do things for you, rather than just with you or to you.

    While some may think that people who speak this love language are lazy, it really means that this sector of the population believes that actions speak louder than words. This love language is all about one’s ability to demonstrate their appreciation or love for another by doing things to show their feelings.
    Because it is easy for someone to say I love you without truly meaning it, people often respond better to being able to see someone show their feelings in a more concrete way.

    This is precisely what makes some people respond to this language. If your partner can realize how much you do on your own and they want to help take some things off your plate, this may be the thing that shows you that the person truly loves you.
    To you, the person’s actions are not about the chore itself, but they’re about demonstrating to you that they are on your side.

    If your partner takes the time to pick up some groceries that you need, or get the oil changed in your car so you don’t have to, what you hear is “I’m considerate of your needs and will sacrifice my own time to benefit you.” And that is not a trait in somebody that is easy to find.

    However, if you are not self-aware, Acts of Service may become problematic.

    All relationships need to have balance so both partners are getting their needs met, so having this love language may put you at risk for letting your expectations exceed reality. In other words, if you believe your partner should do one thing for you, and they do something else, you could start to self-sabotage your connection.

    This can lead to an unbalanced relationship in which one partner has unrealistic expectations for what the other person needs to do in order to prove their love. This is where things can get tough, because no one wants to be in a relationship that comes with a to-do list. One partner shouldn’t feel entitled to certain things while the other person has to accommodate those needs. Partners should each feel like their love is reciprocated in some way.

    So how you do walk this fine line of wanting acts of service without crossing over to taking advantage of your partner?

    The answer is communication.

    If your love language is acts of service, you can’t make assumptions. Assuming that your partner knows which acts of service you place the most value on and then expecting them to do these things is a quick way to make your partner feel like you are taking advantage of them.

    Here are some Dos and Don’ts about how to communicate without being demanding.

    Do

    1. Clearly tell your partner the actions that you value. This will help them prioritize those actions and understand why they are important to you. If you feel like you can’t clearly express what you need, try telling your partner about a situation in the past in which a friend did a favor for you that had a lasting impact.

    2. When your partner does something for you, acknowledge it and thank them. Even if they do something that you did expect, still communicate your gratitude.
    To make sure your partner never feels like they are being taken for granted, after you tell them which acts of service are important to you, make sure to acknowledge it when they do them. Say something like: “Hey, I noticed you cleaned up the house today while I was at work. I was hoping to get that done soon, so thank you so much for taking it off my agenda.”

    3. Make sure to learn your partner’s love language as well. They may speak a different love language than you do, so make sure you are aware of the things you need to do to help them feel loved in return. This way, your partner can feel love from you and return that with doing acts of service.

    Don’t

    1. Expect your partner to know what you want. If certain acts of service will make you feel especially loved, say something.

    2. Get upset if your partner says “no”. It is important to keep in mind that acts of service lose their meaning if your partner isn’t doing them at their own will. Learn to be okay with your partner declining to be able to do a favor and trust the fact that if they could help you, they would. However, if you feel like they’re always saying no to your needs, it might be time to have some clear communication with your partner.

    3. Depend on your partner to pick up your slack. Even though your partner supports you, you still have to maintain your own responsibilities so they can do the same. Dumping all of your tasks on your partner is a quick way to ensure a breakup.

    At the end of the day, the Acts of Service love language is legitimate and should not be shamed. As long as you speak your partner’s love language in return, don’t feel guilty about feeling love through acts of service.

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  3. Mental Health Days for Students

    August 11, 2019 by

    Suicide is a complex problem in the United States. There are a lot of factors that go into one’s risk of having suicidal tendencies, and there are also protective factors that can help protect people from becoming suicidal. These risk and protective factors can change over time and vary depending on demographics.

    There have been several studies that have looked at possible ways to prevent suicide among various groups, such as veterans, college students, and mental health patients. Findings have suggested that there are a lot of strategies that could possibly help prevent suicide attempts, especially when they’re used alongside a carefully planned out treatment program.

    One idea that has come up recently is to pay more attention to mental health, especially in youth. Students and young people are often hesitant to disclose their emotions, especially if they are depressing or discouraging. However, when people bottle up these negative emotions and don’t seek help from an outside source, they may turn to suicide to end their pain.

    Effective suicide prevention is both complex and comprehensive. Efforts need to be made in unison to address the various aspects of the issue. Mental health promotion is a large part of suicide prevention that is often overlooked. Because depression can be an “invisible” disease, it can sometimes go unnoticed by onlookers. However, to bring more attention to the importance of mental health and to acknowledge the role that it plays in the overall wellbeing of youth, new laws have been created in our country that will hopefully begin to spread throughout the states.

    Oregon has recently passed the first law of its kind in the United States, allowing students to take an excused day off from school for mental health or behavioral health reasons. This bill is meant to help change the stigma around mental health, partly because of rising suicide rates.

    Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the US, affecting over 16 million Americans, and is the number one cause of poor health and disability around the world. Between 1999 and 2016, the rate of suicide increased by an average of 28% across the US, with some states experiencing an increase of over 30%. One large factor that could play into this is the rise of social media usage among youth and the frequency of cyber bullying. It is much easier these days for kids to be cruel to their peers when they are doing it behind a computer screen.

    Oregon’s second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34 is suicide. In fact, studies have shown that 17% of eighth-graders reported contemplating suicide over the past year. With this large increase in suicide, politicians and health professionals have recognized that some sort of action needs to be taken in order to reduce these statistics and prevent suicide attempts from increasing around our country.

    Oregon residents who supported this new bill said they were inspired in part by the student-led movement that occurred after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Oregon residents stood behind the bill to encourage youth to speak up when they’re struggling with their mental health.

    Most states only excuse absences related to physical illness, and absences unexcused absences can lead to detention, which can then cause students to fall behind in school. Opponents of the new Oregon law say this new policy may encourage students to skip school, but those who support the bill claim that it will invite a more open conversation about mental health and urge students to reach out for help when they are faced with a problem.

    While some people are able to hide their suicidal thoughts, even from their families, it is important to know how to recognize warning signs and know how to help someone if they are exhibiting them. According to the CDC, there are 12 warning signs that suggest someone may be contemplating suicide. These are:

    • Feeling like a burden
    • Isolating oneself
    • Anxiety
    • Feeling stuck or in severe pain
    • Substance abuse
    • Looking for a method of suicide
    • Increased anger
    • Extreme mood swings
    • A sense of hopelessness
    • Sleeping too much or not enough
    • Suggesting wanting to die
    • Making suicide plans

    Hopefully other states will follow in Oregon’s footsteps and start to take action against suicide and to promote positive mental health.

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  4. The Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamin D

    August 10, 2019 by

    Vitamin D is an important vitamin to have in your body to ensure your body is able to function with optimal performance. It is a critical vitamin to facilitate a variety of bodily processes. Vitamin D is not found in many foods aside from those that have been fortified, but it is easily available in supplement form.

    Your body will also make vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight, so being out in the sun is an easy (and inexpensive) way to ensure you are getting vitamin D into your system.

    A healthy level of vitamin D is 25-hydroxy, which can be measured by a blood test. If you have a deficiency in Vitamin D, it could lead to bone diseases, abnormal leptin levels, which would affect your hunger, and accelerated aging.

    A vitamin D deficiency can lead to elevated leptin levels, which can impact adipose tissue. Studies have shown that participants who live an active lifestyle and eat a healthy diet maintain higher levels of vitamin D compared to those who do not. This means that vitamin D has an inverse correlation to leptin levels. As your vitamin D levels rise, your leptin levels are likely to fall.

    These findings have led professionals to recommend lifestyle modifications to obtain lower leptin levels to help manage a vitamin D deficiency. Leptin is a hormone that is directly connected your level of body fat, meaning it is important for people who are struggling to manage their weight. Leptin sends signals to your hypothalamus, which is the area of the brain that helps regulate energy balance and hunger.

    This means that if you have lower levels of leptin, you will feel hungrier. Even though your level of leptin increases with the production of fat cells, you may still gain weight because you can begin to lack a sensitivity to this hormone, meaning you won’t feel full after you have eaten a full meal.

    Researchers have evaluated the relationship between vitamin D and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which has suggested that the supplementation dosage of vitamin D may be a factor.

    One systematic review of randomized controlled studies looking at the relationship between low levels of vitamin D and NAFLD found that vitamin D supplementation may improve symptoms. Studies have also found vitamin D to have an impact on oxidative stress, meaning that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D in your blood can help prevent DNA damage.

    A deficiency in vitamin D can also lead to negative health conditions. According to 2018 research, about 40% of Americans are deficient in this vitamin, meaning that their level of vitamin D in their blood is less than 50 ng/mL. However, the sufficiency level that is suggested by the National Institutes of Health isn’t high enough to prevent certain chronic illnesses. Optimizing your levels of vitamin D has proven itself to be beneficial on overall health, helping protect you from a wide variety of diseases, such as dry eye, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and obesity.

    Your vitamin D levels can be impacted by several factors, including where you live, air pollution, if you wear sunscreen, your skin color, your weight, and your age. While it is best to increase your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure, some people still need to take supplements if they are exposed to some of the aforementioned factors. Individual requirements vary based on these factors, and you need to take the necessary dosage in order to reach the optimal range. The only way to determine how much you need is to have blood tests done on a regular basis.

    You want to aim for a level between 60-80 ng/mL. In addition to determining your ideal dose of vitamin D, you should also make sure you have enough vitamin K2, calcium, and magnesium. Research has shown that supplementing with high doses of vitamin D without having proper levels of magnesium lowers your body’s ability to use vitamin D because magnesium is required to activate vitamin D. This could explain why many people require high doses of vitamin D in order to be considered to be in a sufficient range. Reviews have shown that as many as 50% of Americans who take vitamin D supplements might not get the benefit from them that they are expecting due to low magnesium levels.

    A growing amount of evidence shows the importance of having optimal levels of vitamin D to prevent chronic disease and to keep your body healthy. According to one study, optimal Vitamin D levels can cut your risk of developing cancer by as much as 60%. Keeping your levels up to par can help prevent at least 16 kinds of cancer, some of which include ovarian, pancreatic, lung, prostate, and skin cancer. So, make sure that you are keeping up with the vitamin D levels in your blood to protect your overall wellbeing.

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  5. Take Caution When Purchasing Supplement Online

    August 9, 2019 by

    Amazon recently held its annual “Prime Day” to celebrate their dedicated membership. This annual event offers special sales and exceptional prices on certain products for people who pay the annual fee to be a Prime member. At the end of the event, some customers received an email letting them know that some of the supplements they had purchased were likely counterfeit items. The email referred to Align, a popular brand of digestive health supplements. It urged consumers to stop using this supplement immediately and throw away the item. Amazon confirmed that this email came from them, but they are unaware of exactly how many consumers were impacted by the counterfeit products.

    Because the supplement industry is highly unregulated, counterfeit products often seep their way into the market. Amazon has had a history of issues with third-party sellers who are offering counterfeit products through their website. However, in this most recent instance, it was an Amazon merchant who sold counterfeit probiotics under the brand name Align, which is owned by Proctor & Gamble.

    Amazon has since stated that they investigate every claim they receive of potentially fake products completely, usually partnering up with the affected brand to uncover the truth. When a counterfeit product does penetrate the market, Amazon claims to take immediate action by removing the item from their website and permanently blocking the seller, and moving forward with legal action. Amazon also stated that they notify any customers that were possibly impacted by the problem and refund their money.

    Supplements are all manufactured differently, which is why it is important to research a product as much as you can before buying it and consuming it. Supplements should not be used in place of a healthy diet of whole foods, however, they can be beneficial and a lot of supplements are necessary for almost everyone to take. When you are looking for high-quality supplements, be on the lookout for these characteristics to ensure you’re making an informed choice:

    It is close to its natural form.

    Look for supplements that are made from whole foods or have whole food ingredients. Try to avoid supplements that are entirely synthetic and contain additional chemicals or additives.

    Third-party testing is key.

    Buy from brands that use independent third party labs to test their products and check the raw materials that are used to make sure there are no contaminants in them. Also, make sure that a third-party is confirming the correct recommended dosage.

    Look at industry standards.

    You only want to buy from companies that follow industry standards for quality assurance. These standards include ISO 9001, which ensures the company manufacturing the supplement has its customers’ best interests in mind and does continuous evaluations to improve upon the products they sell. ISO 17025 refers to the standard for which the labs in which the supplements are created hold accreditation to be able to be deemed technically competent. Finally, Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) certifications are designed for those who are responsible for complying with the standards for developing and manufacturing products.

    How careful was the production?

    You want to be sure that the utmost care and precautions were taken throughout all of the phases of the supplement’s production, starting with the harvesting of its ingredients, then going through the manufacturing process, testing to ensure correct potency, and finally testing for quality control.

    Look at the company’s reputation.

    Buy products from companies that have a positive reputation of creating high-quality products that have led consumers to report experiencing positive results after using.

    Read the labels.

    Read everything on the product carefully because companies must declare any processing agents that they add to their supplements. Look for supplements that contain the fewest ingredients.

    Unfortunately, counterfeit products continue to be an issue, especially when shopping online. Make sure to do your research before committing to buying something, particularly if it is a product that you will be ingesting or will impact your health in some way. If you are spending money on supplements, you want to make sure that they are high-quality and worth the money that you are willing to pay to gain the benefits that the supplement claims to be able to provide.

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  6. Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds

    August 8, 2019 by

    Sesame seeds are often used in cooking, but few people realize the health benefits that they have to offer. Here, we will go over the benefits of eating sesame seeds and look at some of the different ways to use them.

    Sesame seeds date back thousands of years in a variety of cultures. Hindus once equated sesame seeds with a symbol of immortality, and ancient Egyptians and Persians used to use sesame seeds as flour. Nowadays, sesame seeds are used for cooking, and are also used as a condiment in the form of oil.

    Sesame seeds are typically grown and collected for their oil, but they can also be used in a variety of therapeutic ways. Research shows that sesame can help with a variety of heath ailments, including:

    Pain Management

    One study that looked at people suffering from osteoarthritis in their knees showed that these patients could decrease their symptoms by consuming sesame seeds for two months.

    Speed Up Wound Recovery

    Sesame oil can help speed up the healing of skin when it is applied topically.

    Increase Levels of Antioxidants

    Consuming sesame seeds may help increase the amount of both enzymatic and nonenzymic antioxidants in your body, which can help fight oxidative stress that results from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders.

    Hypertension Management

    Research has found that the black variety of sesame seeds have antihypertensive properties.

    Sesame seeds are also important for industrial purposes. They are used to make perfumes and cosmetic products–and is even added to paints, lubricants, and biodiesel.

    When it comes to cooking, sesame seeds are most often associated with Asian cuisine. They are often used to cook chicken, make tahini (a sesame seed paste), make hummus, or just add flavor to a dish. People often sprinkle sesame seeds on their salads to add flavor and texture as well.

    While these seeds are popular in cooking, it is important to note that they are rich in omega-6 fatty acid, which could possibly disrupt your omega 3-to-6 ratio. Scientists believe that a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids–but low in omega-3s–can increase the amount of inflammation in your body, while a diet that has a balanced ratio of these two essential fatty acids can reduce inflammation. A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 7.69 grams of omega-6 fatty acids, while its omega-3 content in the same amount of seeds tops off at 0.14 grams. This means that if you are using sesame seeds, you should use them in moderation.

    While growing sesame seeds easy and requires little maintenance, you do need to be patient during the process. Experts report it can take sesame seeds up to five months to begin sprouting.

    Sesame seeds should be planted indoors between 4 and 6 weeks before the last frost of the winter is expected to come. However, if you live in the south, you can plant sesame seeds outside in the ground after a frost because the soil is warmer. Simply plant the seeds in rows in the later spring, making sure to space them 2 to 3 feet away from each other, as they can grow up to 6 feet tall.

    After the seeds have been planted, make sure to keep the soil moist in order to make sure you will have successful germination. It is also very important that these seeds and budding plants get maximum sun exposure. You can collect the seeds when the tips of the stalks become dry, and then lay the seeds flat on the ground so they can dry. Because the seedpods can easy break, it is important to be careful when harvesting them.

    While can be beneficial to your health, they do contain lectin. These carbohydrate-bonding proteins reduce your ability to absorb nutrients, which can negatively impact your health by harming your gut health if your digestive enzymes are unbalanced. To help lower the lectin content in sesame seeds in order for them to be safe to eat, they have to be sprouted or soaked for about 8 hours.

    In addition to using sesame seeds and oil for cooking, you can also use it for topical applications for a scalp conditioner or a sunscreen. This is a versatile seed that can benefit your health when used in moderation.

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  7. Benefits of Cross Training

    August 7, 2019 by

    Cross-training is a bit of a buzzword in the athletic community, but it has been around for decades. It is an important thing to do when it comes to exercising, whether you tend to turn to light yoga for exercise or if you are a regular marathoner.

    The good things is, you are probably already cross-training in some way, even if you don’t realize it. Almost everyone cross-trains, because it simply refers to training with a variety of kinds of exercise. People typically have their “go-to” workout, but then have other activities that they enjoy doing.

    However, you can’t just start a new workout without setting goals. The key to getting the benefits of cross-training is to consider your exercise goals and what types of added exercises will complement them. Here, we will talk about what cross-training is, how it can help you, and how you should be doing it.

    What is cross-training?

    Cross-training has a loose definition, but it encompasses a variety of randomized training models, regardless of their level of difficulty. It recently regained its popularity with the introduction of CrossFit, which not only gave cross-training a style, but also a brand. However, CrossFit comes with the connotation that cross-training only involves high-intensity workouts.

    However, cross-training doesn’t have to be so intense. It is really just about doing a variety of workouts together that will complement and support each other. This may mean mixing Pilates in with your marathon training or adding some swim sessions to your routine boot camp classes.

    Practicing cross-training can benefit you in a variety of ways. First, it will make you a more well-rounded athlete. It can help increase your endurance, power, strength and speed. All of these things will help you in any sport and in your daily life. Also, doing a variety of exercises will keep you from getting burned-out or bored in the gym. And, cross-training may allow you to stop going to physical therapy, as athletes who only do one sport have an 85% greater chance of experiencing an injury than those who participate in a variety of activities.

    The best and easiest types of cross-training exercises involve doing a workout that combines cardio and weightlifting into one session, which will make your workouts more efficient. However, it is important to keep in mind what you want to get out of your cross-training routine. The best types of cross-training exercises are the ones that offer the most variety, but also the ones that fit your unique needs and goals. If you are trying to train for a marathon, the best type of cross-training for you will not look the same as that of a person who dedicates themselves to the yoga mat every day. Think about meeting up with a personal trainer to discuss your goals and the best methods of reaching them.

    As far as how often you should practice cross-training, try to do it a few times a week. This really depends on how long it takes your body to recover. So, if you are young, eat a healthy diet, and are able to get sufficient sleep, you will be able to cross-train more often than someone who is not as naturally healthy.

    People often turn to cross-training to avoid injury from overuse, however, it is still possible to become injured during a cross-training session. You still have to practice with care and do the workouts in moderation. Also, if you cross-train too much, you won’t be able to obtain proper form in your exercises because you will keep switching around to different activities.

    So, instead of doing something completely new every day, pick a few routines that vary the muscles that you are working and stick with them on a regular basis. Once you get tired of your current cross-training routine, you can start to adapt to new exercises. Try to pick two activities at a time to go between– don’t try to do five different types of exercise in one week. Instead, keep your main activity and add one that you can master and make it into a complementary workout a few times each week. Be careful to not start a new exercise too quickly without learning the proper way to do it to avoid injury.

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  8. Heart Benefits of Lifting Weights

    August 6, 2019 by

    As you start to adapt a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising, you will lose excess fat in your body. Everyone knows this. Often, you will notice your waist become a bit slimmer and perhaps you lose a bit of weight in your face or legs as well. However, there is a different type of fat reduction that most people don’t consider, and that is losing excess fat around your heart.

    New studies have suggested that lifting weights and doing other types of strength training could be one of the best ways to reduce the fat around your heart. Let’s first talk about the different types of fat in your body.

    The two types of cardiac fat tissue are epicardial and pericardial. Epicardial tissue is what encompasses your heart and your coronary arteries. Pericardial tissue, on the other hand, surrounds the epicardial tissue. While these two types of fat tissue are located close together around your heart, they have different properties and functions. For example, your epicardial fat tissue uses the same blood supply that your heart does, while your pericardial fat tissue gets blood from other surrounding blood vessels.

    Because epicardial fat tissue has direct contact with your heart and shares the blood supply, it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, there is not as much information regarding the health risks related to pericardial fat because it does not have direct contact with your heart. However, experts believe it may have an impact on your cardiovascular function in an indirect, yet significant way.

    Recent research completed in Denmark looked at a random sample of 50 people with abdominal obesity to see if strength training and endurance training could impact both epicardial and pericardial fat tissue. During this study, the 50 participants broke down into three sections. One group did high-intensity interval training three times a week, another group did both resistance and strength training three times a week, and the third group did no type of exercise. The study lasted for 12 weeks.

    Both groups that engaged in exercise improved their VO2 max, however, only the resistance training group was able to improve their strength. The people who did resistance and endurance training were able to reduce their epicardial fat tissue by 32%, while those who solely engaged in HIIT training reduced their epicardial fat by 24%.

    When it came to pericardial fat, those in the endurance training group saw no changes in the amount of this tissue they had around their hearts. However, those who participated in resistance training saw a 32% reduction in pericardial fat tissue.

    These findings show great promise for developing guidelines to help people reduce their levels of pericardial fat through strength training. The new evidence that this study offers shows that different types of exercise can impact the fat tissue around your heart in independent ways, even when you take any dietary changes into account.

    The researchers were surprised to see that resistance training was able to reduce both types of cardiac fat, but endurance training was unable to accomplish this. When trying to explain why this may be true, researchers posit that resistance training requires you to use more of your muscle mass and burns more calories during the process. Using more of your muscle mass means that you will burn more calories throughout the day when you are finished exercising, meaning that the fat around your heart may continue to burn away after you are finished with your strength training exercises.

    In order to improve your heart health, the best thing to do is to combine strength training and cardiovascular training on a regular basis. This is because while endurance training proved itself to offer a more significant increase in reducing epicardial fat, resistance training can not only decrease fat, but also improve strength.

    This study shows that people should do a variety of exercises in order to prevent cardiovascular disease from creeping up in the future. Both strength and endurance training can impact the amount of cardiac adipose tissue that you have, and because these fat tissues are an emerging risk factor for heart health, it is important to ensure that you keep these levels of fat in check.

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  9. Cupping Therapy: Benefits and Uses

    July 10, 2019 by

    Cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years, dating back at least to 1,550 B.C. Historically, it was used in ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern Cultures. This form of alternative medicine can help patients deal with pain, circulation, inflammation, and relaxation.

    During a cupping therapy session, a therapist applies special cups to a patient’s skin in order to create a suction. These cups could be made out of bamboo, glass, earthenware, or silicone.

    Patients can choose between wet cupping and dry cupping. During either type of cupping, a therapist puts a flammable substance like alcohol or paper in a cup and lights it on fire. While the fire is extinguishing, the therapist places the cup upside down on the patient’s skin.

    The cup then turns into a vacuum as the air inside of it cools, causing one’s skin to become suctioned. This then causes blood vessels to expand as the cup is left on the skin for up to 3 minutes.

    Modern versions of cupping use a rubber pump rather than fire to create a vacuum effect. Also, modern therapists may use silicone cups that they can move around your body, providing you with a massage.

    During your first session of cupping, you may choose to just get one cup to see how you like it. Otherwise, you may get 3-5 cups, but rarely will a patient get more than 7 cups.

    During wet cupping, the therapist makes small cuts in the skin where the cup was after removing it and then reapplies the cup to the skin to draw out blood. After doing this, the therapist may apply an antibiotic cream and bandage so you do not get an infection. Your skin should return to its normal appearance after about a week and a half.

    People who practice cupping often believe that wet cupping eliminates toxins from the body and promotes healing, however, this has not been proven. While there has not been a lot of research on cupping, studies haves suggested that it is effective in treating acne, herpes zoster, and reducing pain. Cupping therapy may also increase the effectiveness of other therapies such as acupuncture.

    Cupping is fairly safe if you go to someone who is a professional. You may experience topical side effects such as bruising or redness on your skin. As always, check with your doctor before starting a cupping regimen. Make sure that there is nothing that you do or medicines that you take that could make cupping possibly harmful for your health.

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  10. The Benefits of Having a “Work Spouse”

    July 9, 2019 by

    If you are like most people, you probably spend most of your hours every week at the office. Because of this, you have most likely developed some strong bonds with your coworkers. And, there is one kind of relationship in particular that you may have acquired along with 50% of other people who have been surveyed: a work spouse.

    But what kind of relationship is this, and can having a work spouse help you achieve your goals? Let’s find out.

    What is a work spouse?

    This term typically refers to a coworker of the opposite sex who you consider to be trustworthy and who has your back and you feel close to. Similar to a real-life spouse, your work spouse always supports you but is also willing to play devil’s advocate with you. But aside from having a close relationship with this person, there’s typically nothing suggestive or romantic happening.

    The role of a work spouse

    Usually, a work spouse is someone you confide in about both work and personal matters. This person is the one you go to when you want to complain about your boss or you are looking for a confidant who is not a part of your personal, everyday life to give you an outside perspective on issues that you are facing.

    Your work spouse is your main ally and advisor at work, who you can laugh with throughout the day and share the everyday stressors of your job. You can be honest with this person, have politically incorrect conversations, and vent about fellow coworkers.

    You may think that a work spouse sounds awfully close to a real spouse, you are not exactly wrong in that. Just like a real spouse, your work spouse helps you, supports you, and roots for you.

    Having a work spouse is a good thing because it gives you a confidant at the office whom you trust that you can blow off some steam with. This outlet is an important part of maintaining a healthy mental state of mind at work and a work-life balance.

    Also, unlike your actual spouse, a work spouse is aware of the dynamics of your office and the things that you have to deal with every day. Talking to someone who is familiar with these things can help you process issues that you have in the workplace better. This can help you feel less inclined to bring work home with you (mentally) after hours. When you are able to leave work problems at work, it can benefit your relationships in real life because you can leave that burden behind.

    Plus, having the extra support at your office can help you excel at your job. Research shows that having friends in the office, and particularly a best friend, can help improve your performance.

    The downsides to having a work spouse

    Studies have also found that close office friendships can also have a negative impact on your productivity, and especially if your conversations with your work spouse become emotionally exhaustive. For example, if your work spouse complains about the same issue repeatedly, or speaks negatively about a colleague that you have a good relationship with–you could become mentally drained while talking to your work spouse to the point that the quality of your work declines.

    Also, your real-life spouse may feel insecure about your work spouse, especially if your spouse is one who likes to solve your problems.

    When you’re talking to your partner, it can be a good idea to refer to your work spouse in a different manner. Perhaps say ‘work wingman,’ which suggests the same type of relationship without touching on anything that could be considered to be romantic. Giving even a completely platonic friend a romantic-sounding name could pose problems for your relationship, so it may be best to avoid doing so. Be open with your spouse about your relationship with this person at work so they don’t feel as if you are hiding something.

    However, if things do heat up with your work spouse and you are single, you want to check with your company to see if there are any policies regarding employees dating each other. You don’t want to jeopardize your job. If your work spouse expresses interest in you and you do not feel the same way, be very honest with him or her and show compassion. You don’t want to lose this person as a friend and you don’t want to embarrass them when they will still be seeing you five days a week.

    So while there are some guidelines, having a work spouse and someone who supports you in your career can be a very healthy and normal thing.

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