As a kid, I had a propensity towards injury for some reason. Maybe it was the daredevil in me that led to compromising predicaments which ultimately ended in scrapes, cuts and an assortment of broken bones. I was either doing stunts on my banana-seated bicycle, or climbing on top of the refrigerator when inclement weather kept me from my favorite backyard tree. While those antics served me well in adulthood — I’m not afraid to try something new — several knocks to my noggin resulted in minor concussions and one major one requiring dozens of painful stitches. My past antics have certainly made me more aware of protecting my cranium inside and out. Recently, there has been more attention focused on brain trauma from concussions to traumatic brain injury (TBI) especially in sports and in military service due to some alarming survivability trends.
A common myth is that Vegans don’t get enough protein. For a bodybuilder and athlete, lack of protein could make all the difference in the world! So, does that mean that you have to resort to eating animal based products in order to achieve the results you want in Previewthe gym, on the sports field and even on the field of battle?
Not at all! The reality is that plant-based products possess an abundance of proteins. You just have to know which ones will give you the most bang for your buck.
Though red meat is rich in protein, many people are paying attention to the potential negative health effects from consuming meat (especially pork and beef). This can cause some problems, especially when you’re active, working out, or building muscle because protein is needed to maintain your physique and your muscle. While there are other sources for protein, many people are raised in a “meat and potato” kind of environment so making the jump to a more plant-based diet can be challenging…at first.
So what’s wrong with meat? Many cuts are rich in fats. These aren’t those “good fats” like you find in avocado or olive oil. In studies, animal fats seem to contribute to a number of health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, arthritis and diabetes. Some also believe that certain compounds found in meat-based protein promote different types of cancer.
Endurance training and endurance sports can be tough on your body. They challenge you beyond what you think you’re capable of. They also allow you to reach levels of fitness so you can experience peak performance and health. That’s why many people try to improve their endurance by using endurance supplements.
When herbs and supplements are paired with proper diet and exercise, you can see amazing results. Endurance Supplements can play a KEY role in helping you reach your fitness goals by improving your body’s endurance.
If you’re interested in improving your endurance, look for products made with these endurance boosting supplements.
Cordyceps: The mushroom that will keep you going!
The slow transfer of oxygen from red blood cells to mitochondria is one of the biggest problems people exercising to improve their endurance face. The obvious solution is to improve that transfer, right? Cordyceps is a Tibetan mushroom which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for lung protection and to balance Qi. In clinical studies the mushroom has been shown to cause significant improvements in feelings of fatigue, oxygen uptake, and endurance exercise performance.
Rhodiola: Improved Oxygen Transfer, Energy and Endurance
Rhodiola has been shown to help improve oxygen transfer from lungs to red blood cells. The root’s anti-fatigue effects are a result of an enhancement of oxygen efficiency.
When the root has being studied on people living in high altitudes, they saw that the root had beneficial effects on blood oxygen levels, time to exhaustion, VO2 peak, and pulmonary ventilation during endurance exercises. Himalayan Sherpas were the first people to discover the health benefits of this Himalayan root. They would chew on the root for an energy and endurance boost when they would climb high mountains.
Quercetin: The Nutritional Supplement that Improves Blood Flow
Quercetin is an antioxidant that improves blood flow by dilating blood vessels. This antioxidant has been used to improve blood flow in individuals with high blood pressure and heart disease. On the sports training front, research has shown that taking 500 mg of quercetin twice a day for 3 weeks before, and during 3 days of long and intense cycling sessions, reduces the number of upper respiratory infections in the 14 days following heavy exercise.
Siberian and Indian Ginseng: Centuries-old Natural Energy Boosters
People have been using ginseng, a natural energy booster., for thousands of years. However, there are two particular species of the ginseng plant that can help you improve your endurance. Siberian ginseng (also known as Eleuthero) and Indian ginseng (known as Ashwagandha) can provide resistance to physical stress and also help boost your energy levels. They used in traditional medicine as “adaptogens”, herbs that can help the body adapt to stressful situations. Some people claim that Eleuthero tends to have more of a noticeable affect on energy than Ashwagandha. High-quality supplements that use Siberian Ginseng as part of their formula offer someone working in extreme climates and in high-stress situations an advantage. Adapt is the name of the game, right? NS Formula.
Resources for Endurance Supplements:
Each month (or more often if this series is popular enough), I am going to post some fun workouts that I would recommend you trying if you are in the intermediate / advanced level fitness zone. Here, we mix weights and calisthenics with some unconventional exercise options. One of the new favorite unconventional exercises is the stair crawl — which is just an advanced version of the bear crawl where you crawl down head first a flight of steps and then change directions and crawl back up FEET first (this is the hard part).
So check out this fullbody workout circuit:
Repeat 3 times
Pushups 1 min
Pullups 1 min
Situps or abs of choice 1 min
Walking lunges 25 yards
Stair crawl UP / DOWN a flight of steps — NOTE: If there are no steps to do this or your gym will not let you — simply bear crawl 25m or farmer walk carrying a 25–50 lb. weight.
Early in the 2013–2014 football season, I had every confidence that I would be watching my beloved Packers play in the Superbowl this Sunday only to see my hopes fade as Aaron Rodgers was out with an injury for several games and, of course, a playoff loss that quickly ended their season. So, I turned to my runner up, the Patriots, and, yet again, my dreams were dashed as were theirs when they lost to the Broncos. Undaunted, I pinned my faith to the fast & furious 49ers. As you can tell, I don’t place any bets on my predictions! At least my fourth favorite is playing in the Superbowl this year, although, I’d better not say to whom I betroth my allegiance for fear of jinxing the outcome. The reason for my football rant is seated in what you’ll be doing this Sunday and beyond. Drinks and snacks will be the norm for Superbowl Sunday and, while it’s okay to share good cheer, you may want to rethink your cocktail concoctions.
My first memory of soda, or “pop” for you Midwesterners, was a coca-cola machine my sister got for her birthday. All the neighborhood kids crammed into our kitchen to witness the creation of this fizzy concoction formerly reserved for special occasions or the rare trip to McDonald’s for a burger and the drink of our choosing. I guess I was just a weird kid, but I never acquired a taste for carbonated beverages which remains to this day. Little did I know that my distain for such childhood delights would pay off in the long run. How about you? Are you a soda freak? If so, the dangers of what you are sipping may surprise you.
If I had to pick just one cardio move as my favorite for all its benefits, it would be the burpee. If I had to pick one muscle sculpting move, it would be the push-up. If you love these moves, but want to give them a multitasking makeover, read on!
Earlier this month, a Huffington Post contest was held to see which food or spice readers thought would be the next kale. Anyone who has read any nutrition publication over the past year or so has probably read something about the wonderful benefits of adding this mild-mannered member of the cabbage family.
However, with the barrage of information out there about kale, many wellness readers and athletes have been wondering what the next superfood will be. By the end of the contest, there was one winner, and it was a common spice in many Indian dishes: turmeric.
These days, it seems like everyone is trying out a vegetarian or vegan diet of some sort for environmental, ethical or health reasons. Documentaries like Forks over Knives, Vegucated, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead have shined a spotlight on some of the effects of the typical Western Diet on overall health, and there have been numerous studies linking plant-based diets to better cardiovascular health.
But what happens when you remove meat at a source of protein? Is it really good for you and if not, then what do you need to know before embarking on a plant-based diet?
Training large groups with varied fitness levels is one of the most challenging things to accomplish with success. Success will be defined by the group’s increased fitness levels as well as not injuring people who maybe ill-prepared for new and challenging exercises. Here is a great question from a new PT coordinator concerned with adding new ways to test the group in exercises /events not common to the Air Force PFT.
My unit has placed me in charge of the PT program which is a combination of remedial PT failures as well as the top fitness levels on our base. We are – for the most part – a competitive group and though we do focus on the PFT exercises so we stay on top of the test, I would like to change it up and add new fitness testing exercises to challenge our team. I recall you writing that there were about 10 to 12 exercises that have been deemed as acceptable (validated) for most military and police fitness tests. However, there will certainly be some naysayers who will be less than enthusiastic about fitness programming and evaluation on a department-wide basis – even if it is for fun. I know you have a lot of experience in this area, so I wanted to see what your thoughts were on the best exercises / tasks for testing purposes.
We live in a typical Maine neighborhood where the closest house may be 3–6 acres away. That kind of isolated living certainly has its benefits when it comes to privacy but it also has its challenges as you may go days without seeing a sole, especially during the winter months. What’s different for us is that we have been blessed with incredible neighbors, from a combat wounded Vietnam Vet with a heart of gold, his wife who takes care of our cat and delivers scrumptious goodies on our doorstep, to my friend and business partner Julie who leaves little surprises in our mailbox and is always up for a glass of wine and a chat on the back deck. Recently, Julie shared great information about the dangers of dietary supplements and how some have been linked to liver damage. This is a must-read story.
No matter what technological advances come out to make our lives more efficient and effective, we seem to have less and less free time in our daily lives. With the daily responsibilities of being a parent, it seems nearly impossible to consistently make time for the gym. But don’t worry; there are exercises you can fit into your existing day that can be surprisingly effective. If you want to lose weight and have more defined muscles, fit the below routine into your daily schedule for 4 weeks.
What Do Runner’s Eat? Whether you’re new to running or a competitive marathon athlete; endurance –based exercises like running require you to pay attention to your extra nutritional needs. If you don’t, you’ll notice changes in your body structure that may not be what you hoped for (like getting way too thin) or even worse, you’ll experience a lack of energy after your workout.
Although running may not seem as physically intense as weightlifting or martial arts; runners of all levels need to be pay close attention to vitamins and minerals as well as caloric intake. Your quality of nutrition will ensure optimal performance and help you avoid over training.
Training for Army Bootcamp requires mental preparation and physical preparation.
Even though most people don’t think about physical exercise providing any mental benefits…it does. Why? Because exercise allows you be physically prepared for your Army Bootcamp training. And, the more physically prepared you feel, the less mental stress you will experience. The less mental stress, the better you will be able to engage and focus in the “classroom” style learning as well as the “field” adaptations and problem solving you will encounter physically and mentally.
Did your grandmother ever have a tried-and-true remedy for whatever ailed you? It usually came from ingredients she gathered from her backyard garden or root cellar that transformed into a stinky, sticky concoction she would rub on your chest or stick under your tongue, right? My grandmother’s cure-alls were cocoa butter and Vitamin E. Regardless of the nature and severity of your complaint, she’d say, “Just rub some Vitamin E on it and you’ll be all set,” with such a commanding tone that you were convinced it would work. And, actually, it did more often than not! Maybe Grandma was onto something after all and science is backing up her home remedies with even more E-vidence.
What’s Hell Week Training?
Five days and nights in maximum overdrive. It’s wet. It’s cold. It’s tough. And for most it’s their first real test of endurance. And, most don’t think they are ready. Or they do, until the boots hit the mud and a part of them just wants to cry to mama. Can you survive? Can you adapt? Can you reach the peak and push back against your minds natural resistance? Will you become a Marine?
The body has a way of adapting to physical stress but only when you give it what it requires to deal with that stress in the most healthy and positive way. You need the right food combinations and nutritional fortification. And that fortification of your body’s vital systems needs to begin long before Hell week. Long before the buzz cut. And long before your first inspection. That fortification, that Hell Week Training Diet needs to start the moment to get the urge to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
This week I received an email from a vegetarian who has been in the Army for a few years and is finding it difficult to keep his energy levels up without high doses of caffeine each day.
Stew, I am just reporting to my first duty station after almost two years of training and am a vegetarian. Do you have any recommendations for being in the military and a vegetarian? Steve
Steve — as a meat eater, I may not be the best person to ask this question, but I have a few books on the topic that I like. I eat more fruits and vegetables than I do meat, so I appreciate the vegetarian ways of eating more natural foods. I recently received a book from Lisa Montgomery — now there are many out there — but this is one I liked as I found I was able to eat many raw fruits and vegetables through the day and it help me with my energy.
Love climbing the stairway to a heavenly butt? Want to go from the couch to Kilimanjaro?
Here’s the deal…The StairMaster is a gym gem. When the resolution gym-goers are clogging up the ellipticals and treadmills, don’t fret, you can get a kick booty workout with this instead!! It’s been the toughest machine in the gym for 30 years and now you can try the at-home smaller version– the SM3 now! It’s great for getting in a quiet cardio workout (rather than pounding on the treadmill) if you have a sleeping child or neighbors nearby.
Whether you are just trying it for the firsts time, or have used it before, here are some ways to improve the move while doing a stair climbing workout:StairMaster dos and don’ts.
As far as workout advice goes, are fads and trends, and then there are tried and true trainer tips to Maximize your workout. My Exercise Essentials for 2014 are proven techniques that are here to stay. Incorporate them into your New Year’s Resolution Workouts to hit your goals.