Tagged: Heart

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10 pumpkin recipes to get to you ready for the fall

This fall favorite may be better known for making Jack O’ Lanterns, but pumpkin tastes darn good in a lot of healthy fare, too.

But making something like your own pumpkin puree takes time and effort. You can purchase 100% pure pumpkin puree at your local grocery store (Libby’s is one of the more popular brands, and pumpkin is the only ingredient.) This is different from the pumpkin pie filling, which is brimming with sugar[1]—so forgo those cans.

Pumpkins are a type of squash and oddly related to watermelon and cucumbers[2]. They are low in calories, fat, and carbs—and packed with flavor and fiber.

A half cup of pumpkin puree contains 50 calories, 0.5g of total fat, 10g of carbohydrates, and 3g of fiber. It also has a bit of protein and twice the daily recommended amount of the antioxidant vitamin A. This orange-hued fruit—yes, it’s a fruit—also contains the antioxidant lutein, thought to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (a loss of vision as you age.) Lutein has also been linked with heart health, helping to prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.

References

  1. ^ brimming with sugar (www.mensfitness.com)
  2. ^ related to watermelon and cucumbers (www.mensfitness.com)
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Gym and Studio Sync lets Strava users upload their indoor workouts too – Digital Trends

Why it matters to you

Strava now tracks not only outdoor activities like running and cycling, but gym workouts too, providing a more complete picture of a user’s fitness routine.

Strava[1] (iOS[2]/Android[3]) has been one of the top fitness apps for outdoor athletes for several years now, allowing runners, cyclists, rowers, skiers, and even rock climbers to track and share their workout data online. But the company knows that not all workouts take place outdoors and that many of its users spend plenty of time in the gym too. To better meet the needs of those users Strava is updating its platform[4] by adding a new option called Gym and Studio Sync[5]. This feature not only expands the number of activities tracked by the system, but gives users credit for a variety of indoor workouts they do too.

Gym and Studio Sync allows Strava users to link their account with select gyms, fitness studios, and even other apps to automatically upload workout data directly to their online profiles. This gives Strava, which already sees 11 million activities uploaded each week, the potential to become the one-stop shop for storing all workout data, making it easier to track performance improvements from all activities over time. Of course, the data will also be available for sharing with friends too, sparking friendly rivalries and spurring a bit of competition among users.

Strava

So far, Gym and Studio Sync integration has been announced for Flywheel Sports[6] and Expresso[7] cycling studios, the Fitbod[8] (iOS[9]) and LiveRowing[10] (iOS[11]) apps, Life Time[12] gyms, and the Peloton[13] cycling trainer. This gives users the ability to upload data from their morning spin class[14] or workout routine at the gym for instance, or share the data from a cycling or rowing session that they completed indoors while at home. Previously, those types of fitness routines went untracked within the Strava platform, but now any workout conducted with these partners will automatically be shared to the system.

If your favorite gym or studio is not currently on the list, do not lose heart. Strava promises that it will be expanding the list of supported gyms, studios, apps, and devices over the next few months, bringing more partners into the program. The company says that with the addition of the Gym and Studio Sync program, it will now track more than 31 different types of activities, giving users a more well-rounded fitness experience.

To find out more visit strava.com[15].

References

  1. ^ Strava (www.strava.com)
  2. ^ iOS (itunes.apple.com)
  3. ^ Android (play.google.com)
  4. ^ updating its platform (www.digitaltrends.com)
  5. ^ Gym and Studio Sync (blog.strava.com)
  6. ^ Flywheel Sports (www.blog.strava.com)
  7. ^ Expresso (www.blog.strava.com)
  8. ^ Fitbod (www.blog.strava.com)
  9. ^ iOS (itunes.apple.com)
  10. ^ LiveRowing (blog.strava.com)
  11. ^ iOS (itunes.apple.com)
  12. ^ Life Time (www.blog.strava.com)
  13. ^ Peloton (www.blog.strava.com)
  14. ^ morning spin class (www.digitaltrends.com)
  15. ^ strava.com (www.strava.com)
HardPuppy Fitness Gym 0

Study Shows Fitness Gym Membership Pays Health Benefits

AMES, Iowa- The New Year’s resolutions of weight loss and fitness can be better achieved if you have a gym membership, according to a new study from Iowa State University.

The study led by Duck-chul (DC) Lee, an assistant professor of Kinesiology at ISU said that people who belong to a health club exercised more, and had better heart health. The benefits are even greater if you have had a gym membership for over a year.

“It’s not surprising that people with a gym membership work out more, but the difference in our results is pretty dramatic,” Lee said, in a news release. “Gym members were 14 times more aerobically active than non-members and 10 times more likely to meet muscle-strengthening guidelines, regardless of their age and weight.”

Lee said it is recommended that adults get 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, and 75 minutes of vigorous activity.

“You have to do both aerobic and resistance exercise,” said Lee. “You can meet the aerobic exercise guidelines by doing exercise or physical activity outside like running bicycling, but meeting the resistance exercise guideline, it’s more difficult or challenging to do that outside the gym.

Exercise resistance is done by lifting weights, and differs from running or biking.

42.026619 -93.646465
HardPuppy Fitness Gym 0

No time to hit the gym? Just 1 or 2 workouts a week can be enough to stay in shape.

We get it: Sometimes a workout just isn’t in the cards.

Distractions creep in—a long meeting keeps you from the pile of work you’ve barely dented, a food- and booze-filled vacation saps your return-to-real-life motivation—and before you know it, it’s the end of the week and you’ve literally done squat…as in, not a single squat.

Well, don’t sweat it. Or, more accurately, do sweat it, but just once or twice a week, and you’ll still be able to keep yourself in the healthy lane, says a new study out of the University of Sydney[1] in Australia. 

Scientists at the school analyzed a mass of data on more than 60,000 people and discovered that active adults—including those who exercised only once or twice a week—had about a 30% lower risk of death from all causes than adults who pretty much never got off their asses. As long as they hit at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, their health was measurably better.

By that criteria, just two nice, long runs or one gritty lifting session would meet the standard. And who can’t manage that?

“It’s very encouraging news that being physically active on just one or two occasions every week is associated with a lower risk of death,” said associate professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, Ph.D., in a press release[2].

Of course, he added, if optimal health is your goal, you’ll need to exercise considerably more than the minimum amount recommended—but we’re pretty sure you knew that already.

So don’t despair if you miss a few days; just try not to end any week without squeezing in a solid workout or two. And the next time you can’t manage one of the long, leisurely gym sessions you’re accustomed to, try one of these super-efficient routines to get your heart pumping and muscles firing fast[3].

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From texting to having sex: The ultimate full-body workout to flex your muscles WITHOUT hitting the gym

  • Anatomy expert Mike Aunger explains we use far more muscles than we realize
  • Sex uses 657 muscles, dad dancing uses 85 muscles, texting uses 38 muscles

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Sometimes getting fit can seem like an uphill struggle. 

With the days short, the weather cold, and the comfort food tantalizing, we could find a million excuses to avoid the gym – before ourselves for letting New Year’s Resolutions slip.

But anatomy expert Mike Aunger insists we mustn’t be disheartened: there are scores of everyday movements that keep every single one of our muscles active.

Chief among them is sex, which uses every single one of our 657 muscles – depending on your mood. 

Sex uses every single one of the 657 muscles in our body - depending on your mood

Sex uses every single one of the 657 muscles in our body - depending on your mood

Sex uses every single one of the 657 muscles in our body – depending on your mood

Aunger is one of the driving forces behind a new campaign to help people better train, fuel and use our bodies.

The campaign is in aid of raising awareness about muscular dystrophy, a tragic fatal disease that robs children of their bodily movements.

While we may not realize it, we use hundreds of muscles to do everything – whether we’re texting, playing golf, running for the bus, or puckering up for a kiss.

Running involves 99 muscles, while kissing involves 35, and texting 38.

Dad dancing, which focuses on the lower limbs for a good ‘bop’, consumes the energy of a staggering 85 muscles.

You’d be better off, however, dancing the waltz, which uses 135 muscles.

Astonishingly, even watching a movie involves 16 muscles (in your eyes).  

In terms of solid exercise, a golf drive uses 137 muscles, while cycling uses 155.

But really, if a full-body workout is your goal, you’d be better off having sex.

Kissing uses 35 muscles of the face, including eight muscles of the tongue, and three major muscles of the mouth

Kissing uses 35 muscles of the face, including eight muscles of the tongue, and three major muscles of the mouth

Kissing uses 35 muscles of the face, including eight muscles of the tongue, and three major muscles of the mouth

Crying activates the cheeks and the eye muscles, amounting to 17

Crying activates the cheeks and the eye muscles, amounting to 17

Crying activates the cheeks and the eye muscles, amounting to 17

All lower hand and arm muscles - including your biceps and triceps - come into play when texting

All lower hand and arm muscles - including your biceps and triceps - come into play when texting

All lower hand and arm muscles – including your biceps and triceps – come into play when texting

‘In the bedroom, every muscle matters,’ Aunger, who runs London clinic Technique Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine[2] explains. 

‘All your skeletal muscles are essential for movement, no matter how vigorous.

‘All your autonomous (involuntary) smooth muscles play a ceaseless role in digestion, respiration, circulation and bodily function.

‘And of course your cardiac muscles are integral for pumping your blood into all the right places.’ 

That said, for any activity, it is important to stay active. 

‘It’s never been more important to keep your muscles healthy,’ Aunger insists.

‘Physical inactivity can cause you to lose as much as 3–5 percent of muscle mass each decade but you can slow the decline with regular exercise and optimal protein nutrition.’ 

'It's never been more important to keep your muscles healthy,' anatomy expert Mike Aunger explains

'It's never been more important to keep your muscles healthy,' anatomy expert Mike Aunger explains

‘It’s never been more important to keep your muscles healthy,’ anatomy expert Mike Aunger explains

You need to use your shoulders, core, and lower limbs to run for the bus

You need to use your shoulders, core, and lower limbs to run for the bus

You need to use your shoulders, core, and lower limbs to run for the bus

Cycling is one of the best exercises you can give your body, using 155 muscles

Cycling is one of the best exercises you can give your body, using 155 muscles

Cycling is one of the best exercises you can give your body, using 155 muscles

In a bid to get more people embracing their own strength, Aunger has helped design at #657challenge – an attempt at a new version of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

While the incredibly successful Ice Bucket Challenge was in aid of people with locked-in syndrome (ALS), this is to support people with muscular dystrophy. 

Essentially it involves sitting and standing with a full glass of water on your head. 

In a bid to get more people embracing their own strength, Aunger has helped design at #657challenge - an attempt at a new version of the Ice Bucket Challenge

In a bid to get more people embracing their own strength, Aunger has helped design at #657challenge - an attempt at a new version of the Ice Bucket Challenge

In a bid to get more people embracing their own strength, Aunger has helped design at #657challenge – an attempt at a new version of the Ice Bucket Challenge

The challenge involves sitting and standing with a full glass of water on your head

The challenge involves sitting and standing with a full glass of water on your head

The challenge involves sitting and standing with a full glass of water on your head

In terms of solid exercise, a golf drive uses 137 muscles

In terms of solid exercise, a golf drive uses 137 muscles

In terms of solid exercise, a golf drive uses 137 muscles

We engage muscles just craning the neck, making a sound, or clenching the eyes shut

We engage muscles just craning the neck, making a sound, or clenching the eyes shut

We engage muscles just craning the neck, making a sound, or clenching the eyes shut

Those who think that sounds easy should try it themselves: 

STEP 1: Fill a glass of water (to the brim if you’re confident).

STEP 2: From standing, hold the glass in place on your head with both hands (take one hand off if you have to but aim to keep both on the glass).

STEP 3: Bend your legs to lower yourself to the ground until you’re sitting fully cross-legged on the floor (bum must be in contact with the ground).

STEP 4: From sitting, drive back up off the floor without removing the glass from your head (this is where you might get a little water spillage).

STEP 5: Once you’re back standing, assess the spillage. 

To find out more about the challenge, visit Upbeat Active’s blog on Medium[3]

How SEX uses 657 muscles 

We engage muscles just craning the neck, making a sound, or clenching the eyes shut.

Does it count towards your 30 minutes of exercise a day?

That depends on your mood. 

Studies have shown most sex can be equated to something like a brisk walk in terms of exercise.

But no other activity engages muscles quite like sex.

Here is a breakdown: 

FACIAL MUSCLES – 35 muscles

The main muscle used to perform the kissing motion is the obicularis oris, the muscle that control the movement of the mouth and lips.

It is primarily used to pucker up the lips.  

The other muscles that play a noticeable part in the action of kissing are the platysma (which depresses the mouth), elevator labii superioris (which controls the top lip), depressor labii inferioris (which controls the bottom lip) and of course the tongue (made up of eight muscles).

TO MAKE SOUND – 50 muscles

It may feel like a spontaneous moan. 

But that sound is activating all the muscles you hear about in those dreaded ab workouts – including your rectus abdominus (one muscle) and your obliques (four muscles), 

A noise of ecstasy also uses the diaphragm (one muscle), a variety of chest muscles (44 muscles), neck muscles (eight muscles), and upper back muscles (two muscles). 

EYE MUSCLES – 16 muscles (if the lights are on and blindfold off)

The more you open, move or swivel your eyes, the more action your facial muscles are getting. 

Two muscles power horizontal movement.

Another two muscles (superior rectus and inferior rectus) work against each other to lift and lower the eyes.  

And two more power the eyelids.

That is, if the lights are on… and no blindfold is involved.  

NECK POSTURE – 22 muscles

Rotating the head, flexing the head, looking down, looking up, raising the shoulders… these are all a fact of sex. 

And to achieve this, your muscles need to be alert.   

LOWER LIMB MUSCULATURE – 52 muscles

This is the part of the body providing most musculature support for sex – in men and women. 

You can forget squats in the gym – try some interesting positions to really work your quads, biceps femoris (back of the thigh), and calves. 

PELVIS + CORE – 21 muscles

You may not be thinking about your gluteus maximus, medius, minimus, tensor fascia latea, or ilio psoas major and minor when you’re in the moment. 

But these pelvic muscles are the key to the thrust. With these in top condition, performance is a walk in the park. And sex may help you exercise these muscles. 

You also need a strong core, stimulating your obliques and abs once again. 

SHOULDER GIRDLE AND ARM MUSCLES – 26 muscles

These can really come into play depending on the position. 

Your shoulder muscles (including your major and minor rhomboids and your latissimus dorsi) will be exercised when you tense your shoulder blades together. 

You also use your serratus anterior (or ‘wings’ – the muscles that sit under your armpits) biceps, and triceps.

HAND MUSCLES – 34 muscles

The list of muscles used to grab something, or to move your hand, is extensive and wordy. 

But for those interested, an action-packed session will work out a whole of host of muscles including such things as your brachoradilais, pronator teres, palmaris longus, flexor carpi ulnaris, pronator quadratus, and flexor carpi radialis.

HEART – 1 muscle

The cardiac muscle (different to skeletal and smooth muscles) is used to pump blood around the body (and to all the right places).

HERO MUSCLE OF THE PERINEUM – 1 muscle

The bulbospongiosus plays the starring role between the sheets for both sexes. 

Found in the perineum (between the scrotum or vulva and the anus) it contributes to erection, contractions of orgasm and ejaculation in men and clitoral erection, contractions of orgasm and closing of the vagina in women.

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Technique Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine (www.techniquephysio.com)
  3. ^ Upbeat Active’s blog on Medium (medium.com)
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TAURINE -The Next Super Supplement for Bodybuilding?

Does the name Taurine sound familiar? Well, yes, if you are someone who drinks Red Bull frequently and have actually cared to check the ingredients. For those who haven’t, you can check out the word “Taurine” written in a stylish font at the back of the can. There`s a reason why it’s added to Red Bull and if you weren’t aware, we’re going to break it down for y’all.

What is Taurine?

TAURINE -The Next Super Supplement for Bodybuilding© Thinkstock/Getty Images

Taurine is an organic compound, a naturally occurring amino acid which is found in high concentration in white blood cells, skeletal muscles, the central nervous system and as well as in the heart muscles. It is a major component of bile (bile helps in digestion of fat) in humans. It’s found in the large intestine and accounts for up to 0.1% of your total bodyweight. 

Is It An Essential or Non-essential Amino acid?

TAURINE -The Next Super Supplement for Bodybuilding© Thinkstock/Getty Images

For those of you who are hearing these terms for the first time, let me clear them doubts for you. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins which are categorized into two types:-

Essential Amino Acids :-  These cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from food or supplements. The 9 essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Non-Essential Amino acids:-These are made by the body itself but some of these can be termed ‘conditionally essential’ as well.  That is because external dosage becomes essential under conditions of physical stress or trauma, when the body cannot produce a sufficient amount to meet demand. Some conditionally essential amino acids are: glutamine, arginine, cysteine and ‘taurine’.

What It (Possibly) Can Do 

TAURINE -The Next Super Supplement for Bodybuilding© Thinkstock/Getty Images

Not all supplements act the same way on every consumer. Effects of supplements are very subjective, that’s why we used the word ‘possibly’. 

1. Strength Gains:-It can act similarly to Creatine, increasing cell hydration. Not only will this make muscles appear fuller but also provide indirect stimulus for anabolism.

2. Fat Oxidation:-In some studies, acute ingestion of 1.66 g of Taurine before exercise resulted in a small but significant increase in fat oxidation during sub-maximal cycling in endurance-trained cyclists.

3. Improved Pumps:- Taurine has been shown to participate in the excitation-contraction coupling mechanism in skeletal muscles, which means that it affects the transmission of an electrical signal into muscle fibers. This has obvious importance in ensuring optimal muscle performance, which eventually leads to enhancement in gains. 

4. Improved (Aerobic) Athletic Performance:- A study published by Japanese researchers in 2003 examined 11 men aged 18 to 20, who were told to perform bicycle exercises until they were exhausted. After taking taurine supplements for seven days (each time, before their workout), the men showed significant increases in VO2max (the maximum capacity of a person’s body to transport and use oxygen) and time until exhaustion sets in. The researchers credited the improvement to taurine’s antioxidant activity and protection of cellular properties

5. Taurine and Stress:- Taurine has the ability to calm the CNS, or central nervous system. It can work to reduce anxiety and stress levels as well. Low taurine intake can leave your central nervous system prone to stress and chronic high stress levels. As I mentioned in the start, since it’s a conditionally essential amino, its requirement can go up when an athlete is under physical or mental stress. 

Dietary Sources Of Taurine

Fish , Meat ,Chicken, Egg, whole milk and cheese 

How To Supplement With Taurine

Consume 1-3gm a day, 30 minutes before workout.

Other Important Things About Taurine

Apart from its performance-enhancing benefits, it is also being heavily researched as an anti-diabetic compound due to its effects on various organs of the body of most concern to diabetics (kidney, eye, and nerve health) as well as controlling blood sugar while reducing some forms of insulin resistance.

Due to the multiple benefits it offers, it is a supplement which old people/Vegans/Athletes with medical conditions discussed above can benefit highly from.

More research is needed in healthy athletes and particularly for strength athletes and bodybuilders to determine the complete effects of taurine.

Photo: © YouTube (Main Image)