5 Smart Exercise Variations for Injury-Prone Bodies

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Like it or not, injuries are a part of life. Sometimes they happen during an intense workout; sometimes they happen when you bend over to pick up a child’s toy.  Regardless of how they happen, the important thing is to understand how to manage the injury, whether it’s an acute injury or a chronic injury you’ve had for years.

The worst thing you can do, which I see all too often as a personal trainer, is avoiding working those muscles all together. When muscle groups are ignored, they atrophy and increase your risk of more injury. An injury leads to another injury, and before you know it, you’ve completely fallen apart. Having a proper knowledge of alternate exercises that work the same muscle groups is key to working around injuries and improving your fitness.

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How Protein Benefits Your Workout

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Shutterstock

Got protein? If you workout and want to build muscle, you should get familiar with protein, one of the most essential nutrients for the human body and what should be a staple in any diet. Proteins are chains of amino acids that act as the building blocks of tissue and muscle and provide an important source of fuel for the body. They’re getting more attention lately because of the popularity in high-protein diets for weight loss. All the exercise in the world won’t build muscle if you’re not getting enough protein.

High protein diets tend to work for three main reasons. First, protein is dense so it keeps the body feeling fuller for longer periods of time after eating. Protein also keeps blood sugar stable to stave off the crashes associated with cravings and hunger pangs. And here’s something you might really like: The body works harder to digest protein so it burns more calories.

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How Sleep (and Lack Thereof) Affects Your Workout

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Veer

Everyone wants to get more done in a day, and with our hectic lives, sleep is usually the first activity to be sacrificed. The Better Sleep Council estimates that 70 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep—a scary fact considering that too little sleep has been linked to everything from memory loss and other serious cognitive issues to an increased risk for osteoporosis and cancer. But the truth of the matter is that sleep is free, so you should take all you can get. More importantly, it’s an essential part of fitness and exercise, yet it’s very often overlooked.

It’s true: While training and nutrition can help create a fit physique, so can sleep. Here’s how.

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When to Take a Rest Day from Exercise and Training

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Veer

Whether you’re just starting a training program or have been a fitness fanatic for years, you’ve probably experienced an “exercise high,” the feeling of exhilaration a lot of people experience during or after exercise. It’s brought on by the release of hormones called endorphins that serve as natural pain relievers in the brain. It’s those same endorphins that can make exercise feel addictive, sometimes making it difficult to take a much-needed break.

Exercise activates the pleasure centers in the brain by releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter. When experiencing an endorphin high, also called runner’s high, the intense exercise activates the endorphins, which signal the release of dopamine. Yes, repeated activation of dopamine has some risk of addiction, but that’s not to suggest exercise isn’t good for you. In addition to its long list of health benefits, exercise can also serve as a natural anti-depressant. But as with most things, too much of a good thing can be bad, so it’s important to recognize if you may be over-exercising, the risks of doing so and when to take a day off.

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Why You Should Do a H.I.I.T. Workout Today

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Most fitness experts would agree that expecting to get fit fast from a diet or even exercise isn’t a responsible way to approach weight loss. Losing weight and staying fit takes dedication and consistency. But science may have proven otherwise.

Recent studies are finding that quick fat loss—in some cases, in as little as two weeks—may be possible with high intensity interval training, also known as H.I.I.T., short bursts of challenging activity like sprints followed by periods of rest or lower intensity work in between. The highly effective workouts are gaining popularity for the lean physiques they create and revved-up metabolisms that keep its fanatics burning fat long after the workout is over.

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6 Ways to Avoid Constant Hunger After Tough Workouts

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If you’ve been exercising consistently or recently increased the duration or intensity of your workouts, you may have noticed your appetite has a mind of its own. Hunger may strike at inopportune times or you may even feel ravenous all day long. The solution is to make meals and snacks good nutritional investments so you can increase satiety without filling up on empty calories.

Follow these rules to avoid an empty stomach and ensure you’ll have plenty of energy throughout the day.

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6 Rules for Fueling Your Workout the Right Way

Getting your fitness routine down to a science is huge—but that’s only half the equation. The right snacks and meals before and after a workout can make or break your efforts. The pre- and post-workout meals are the most important ones of the day, and according to the American Heart Association, food should be considered fuel and your body the vehicle. If you’re not putting the right fuel in your tank at the right times, you’ll be running on fumes.

The right fuel can make your workouts more efficient and give you better results, but you don’t have to diet or stick to a rigid eating schedule. Here are a few important guidelines to keep in mind when planning your pre and post-workout meals.

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The Dangers of High Intensity Workouts

Intense exercise programs like P90X, CrossFit and Insanity are some of the hottest workouts in fitness right now. Many are drawn to the challenging, mega-calorie-burning sweat sessions that leave their muscles sore and deliver fast results, and the supportive community keeps them coming back for more. But as enjoyable—and perhaps addictive—as high-intensity, out-of-the-box workouts may be, they can also be dangerous, especially for beginners or those with a history of injury. Here’s why.

 

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Your New Favorite Weight-Loss Trick: Eat More, Not Less

If you’re reading this post, I’m going to guess it means you’re trying—trying your best to lose weight and get into the best shape possible. Problem is, it’s just not working out for you, right? For some, not being able to lose weight means they’re not working out enough or they’re eating way too much junk food. But you’re different: You eat the right things, you work out every day, and you’re definitely not overeating. So what gives?

Get this: The key to losing weight is not to work out more, not to eat better and not to eat less. You need to eat more! Before you think I’ve lost my mind, let me explain some very basic science to prove it.

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Why You Shouldn’t Obsess Over the Number on the Scale


Everybody has a morning ritual. Some wake up and have their coffee as they listen to the birds sing. Others turn on the news as they iron their clothes. But those who struggle with their weight tend to have the same old routine: You wake up, go to the bathroom, get on the scale. Does this sound like you?

“Oh no, I actually GAINED weight!” you think to yourself. “This can’t be right, let me try again.” So you step off the scale and try again only to see the same result. “Maybe if I move the scale over it’ll be better. This tile looks uneven.” But the scale reads the same number yet again, and your day is off to a not-so-great start.

If this sounds like you, I have some good news: You don’t need to step on the scale to see results. The number on the scale is only a fraction of the story.

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