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author: Lori Zikuska | 18.12.2018 at 09:52 | 0 Comments

Top Strategy Tips for Fitness and Health in 2019: How to stick to your resolutions

Year after year, a lot of people have a lot of great goals for the new year. Whether it be about exercise, diet, productivity, family or health: If you approach your goals now and follow a few tips and strategies, it is super easy to stick to your New Year’s resolutions!

#1 Top Strategy Tips for Fitness and Health in 2019: How to stick to your resolutions: Setting realistic goals and planning well is half the battle

It is important that your goals are realistic. Goals are supposed to be ambitious but you shouldn’t lose sight of reality. Goals that are too big or too many small goals at once are destined to fail. Divide big resolutions into smaller chunks, verbalize them in concrete terms and plan how to implement them. It won’t help to tell yourself that you’re going to workout more. However, if you write down in your calendar that you are going to go to the gym every Tuesday after work and make plans to go for a run every Saturday with your best friend, you know exactly what you have to do, and you will be more likely to actually stick to it.
Top Strategies Tips for Fitness and Health in 2019: How to stick to your resolutions
#2 Top Strategy Tips for Fitness and Health in 2019: How to stick to your resolutions: It’s easier with friends and motivation

Speaking of best friends: Achieving athletic goals becomes much easier with a workout buddy or coach and other resolutions (like quitting smoking) are a lighter burden with an ally or fellow “sufferer”. That is because you then are accountable to another person on top of your own conscience. Plus, it’s more motivating and fun to do things together. Fun is an important factor in any case. If you want to exercise more, find a sport you like. If you want to improve your eating habits, look for delicious recipes. To visualize your goals and get some extra motivation, you can make a mood board, i.e. a collection of pictures, quotes and other things that remind you to pursue your goals. You can also use Pinterest or other social media for this. Sometimes, it’s already enough to just scroll through your favorite motivational profiles on Instagram.
Top Strategies Tips for Fitness and Health in 2019: How to stick to your resolutions
#3 Top Strategy Tips for Fitness and Health in 2019: How to stick to your resolutions: Not out of sight, not out of mind

Instagram and other social media platforms can also be a great way to document your own progress or to have a visual of your resolutions. Clearly visible reminders are very helpful when it comes to pursuing goals. Write down your dietary goals and stick them to your fridge, put a sticky note with your resolutions on the bathroom mirror, or change your phone wallpaper to a motivational picture.
Documenting your journey can range from penciling your process down on a piece of paper to starting an Instagram account or blog where the whole world can have a share.

If you follow these tips, never let setbacks get you down and never give up, there is nothing standing in the way of you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions!

Since you read our article ”Top Strategies Tips for Fitness and Health in 2019: How to stick to your resolutions”, you might also be interested in the following posts on the amino4u Fitness Blog:
PLANT POWER AND VEGAN PROTEIN BOMBS: VEGAN FOODS FOR INCREASED MUSCLE POWER
TOP 5 FITNESS TIPS: EXERCISES FOR EVERYDAY LIFE
TOP MARATHON PREPARATION TIPS FOR RUNNERS: GEAR, NUTRITION AND TRAINING TO GET YOU READY FOR THE RACE
TOP 5 COOKING TIPS FOR HEALTHY LUNCHES: QUICK AND EASY MAKE-AHEAD RECIPES FOR YOUR LUNCH BREAK
TOP FITNESS TIPS - FIT AND HEALTHY AFTER 40: AMINO ACID LEVELS DWINDLE WHEN YOU’RE OVER 40
 
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author: Lori Zikuska | 11.12.2018 at 13:50 | 0 Comments

Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Stay fit and save calories during the festive season

Not only is it cold and damp outside in the winter, there is also an abundance of unhealthy sweets and hearty meals. However, if you follow a few tips, it is still possible to stay in shape during advent and the holidays.

#1 Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Fitness and health starts in the mind

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: It is totally fine to take a few days off during Christmas. Whether you’re skipping the gym or helping yourself to some more roast, don’t be too hard on yourself.
If you still want to keep up the discipline during the holidays, be sure to stick to your usual routine for eating and working out and try to find the balance in everything.
Most fitness traps can be evaded with the right mindset: Treat yourself but don’t go overboard. Avoid falling for marketing tricks at the grocery store and don’t let “Limited Edition” sweets fool you. Besides, you should never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
Use the days between Christmas and New Year’s to make resolutions and plans and get a head start on your diet and fitness goals for the New Year.
Getting enough sleep and some down time is important. Because if you’re stressed out, your body produces cortisol which is a hormone that can lead to increased fat storage. Also, Christmas is supposed to be a time for peace and comfort, right?

#2 Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Healthy and low-calorie alternatives

It does definitely help to eat slowly during holiday feasts. Take your time and savor small portions of your favorite dishes and sweets and you won’t experience any bad surprises after Christmas.


Of course, you can always choose healthy alternatives.
Bake healthy cookies without sugar and go for roasted chestnuts instead of candied almonds at Christmas markets. Snacking on fruit or peanuts instead of candy will get you valuable vitamins or protein.
Eat lots of salad, cabbage and the like during festive meals and cut down on sides that are high in fatty carbs. Boiled potatoes are a low-calorie choice to go with the roast or turkey.
Alcohol is not only damaging your physique, it’s also not good for your health. Try sticking to wine or nonalcoholic options rather than sugary cocktails.

#3 Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Workout and fitness tips for the holidays

It can be hard to keep up an exercise regimen during the holidays. The gym is probably closed or too far away if you’re visiting family, or you simply don’t have the time.
Short workouts are perfect for these situations. Try doing bodyweight exercises at home. HIIT and Tabata circuits are great ways to burn off energy (and calories!), even if you can only squeeze in 15 minutes.
 
There are also many ways to stay active that include your family: Playing outside with the kids, sledding or ice-skating are fun for all generations. Or how about a nice walk after dinner?
That way, you’ll make it through the holidays without falling off the bandwagon and can get off to a flying start in the new year!

Since you read our article ” Top Fitness and Health Tips for Christmas Time: Stay fit and save calories during the festive season”, you might also be interested in the following posts on the amino4u Fitness Blog:
AVOIDING A COLD AND STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY IN WINTER: TOP HEALTH TIPS FOR WORKOUT AND DIET IN THE WINTERTIME
TOP TIPS FOR OUTDOOR WORKOUTS IN AUTUMN: STAY HEALTHY AND FIT DURING DREARY AUTUMN WEATHER
TOP 5 COOKING TIPS FOR HEALTHY LUNCHES: QUICK AND EASY MAKE-AHEAD RECIPES FOR YOUR LUNCH BREAK
TOP FITNESS TIPS - FIT AND HEALTHY AFTER 40: AMINO ACID LEVELS DWINDLE WHEN YOU’RE OVER 40
DOMESTIC SUPERFOODS: HEALTHY AND CHEAP FOODS ON YOUR DOORSTEP
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author: Lori Zikuska | 16.10.2018 at 09:24 | 0 Comments

Top Tips for Outdoor Workouts in Autumn: Stay healthy and fit during dreary autumn weather

No more excuses! Exercising outdoors has many benefits and is good for your body and soul, especially in autumn. Don’t let anything stand in the way of your outdoor workout regimen with the right equipment and a few tips.

#1 Top Tips for Outdoor Workouts in Autumn: Special benefits of exercising outdoors in autumn

Taking your workout outside can be extra stimulating. Fresh air is a blessing for irritated respiratory tracts from overheated rooms. Just make sure to breathe in through your nose at the beginning of your workout so that the air is already warm when it reaches your bronchia.
When days are getting shorter, it is all the better to catch a few rays of sunshine. This will get you some extra vitamin D during your exercise. Training outdoors on a regular basis optimizes your body’s thermoregulation and makes it easier to resist temperature fluctuations. Aside from that, exercise gives you endorphins which will lighten your mood on cold, dark autumn days and keep away the winter blues.

#2 Top Tips for Outdoor Workouts in Autumn: These outdoor sports are perfect for autumn

Autumn is the season for outdoor sports like rugby or American football – but there are also other ways to exercise outdoors, whether it be alone or with a workout buddy.
Running is probably the most classic outdoor exercise. However, if you want to switch things up, you should try trail running. Quick changes of direction, little jumps and sidesteps on unpaved grounds are not only cardio training, but train strength and coordination as well. Most sports brands make waterproof shoes with soles specially designed for trail running or for running in autumn and winter.
Mountain biking is another sport that is a lot more fun when dirt is involved. Tires with small, high lugs and bigger spaces in between are perfect for mud and sludge. Inline skating, speed walking or calisthenics are a great ways to stay active out of doors in autumn as well.
Best outdoor sports and the right sports gear for autumn
#3 Top Tips for Outdoor Workouts in Autumn: Pro tips for workout gear and training in autumn

They say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.” And there might be a lot of truth in that. Wear your training gear in layers for training outdoors. Three layers are best: Functional underwear absorbs sweat and carries moisture away from the skin, a second layer adds warmth, and water-resistant outerwear protects you from rain and wind. Also, covering your head makes sure that your body does not lose too much heat through your head. Last but not least, reflecting elements or even a headlamp make you visible for drivers which leads to fewer accidents.
Your warm up before exercising should last a little longer in colder weather because your muscles need longer to adapt to the temperatures. Aside from that, many people do not feel as thirsty when temperatures drop outside, even though the body’s requirement for liquids is just as high during the winter. So don’t forget to drink enough water!
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author: Lori Zikuska | 05.09.2018 at 09:15 | 0 Comments

Top 5 Marathon Recovery Tips: How to perform better and recover quicker

Months of training, physical and mental preparation are just as important as finding the right shoes for a marathon. But what about 42.195 kilometers later? Aftercare belongs to a marathon just as the preparation does and it is crucial to proper recovery.

#1 Marathon Recovery Tips: Replenish glycogen stores immediately after the race
After this extreme physical exercise, the window for best glycogen replacement is open to the max. Your body needs carbs now – as soon as possible. If you consume a cereal bar or a sugary drink immediately after the race, you’ll provide energy for your body fast. Later, it is recommended to eat complex carbs with a high glycemic index like sweet potatoes, whole grain pasta or brown rice. Aside from that, after running more than 40 kilometers, your body is going to be mostly one thing: dehydrated. Don’t forget to drink enough liquids!

#2 Marathon Recovery Tips: Easily digestible foods and protein in the evening
Many runners experience an upset stomach after a marathon, so it might be a good idea to opt for easily digestible food in the evening after the race. We already established that carbs are important – but your body will also want some extra protein now. During the hours of running a marathon, your body uses around 40g of amino acids – which are needed for rebuilding protein structures. This way, you can protect muscles and strengthen the immune system which can be highly impaired after a marathon. It also helps enhancing the glycogen replenishment if you consume protein and carbs in a 1:4 ratio.



#3 Marathon Recovery Tips: Pampering on the day after
If you don’t deserve a piece of cake or another treat now – when will you ever? While indulging in delicious foods, don’t forget to spoil your body as well. How about a massage or a hot bath to help your mind and body relax? If you travelled to another city for the race, treat yourself to a little vacation or sightseeing.

#4 Marathon Recovery Tips: Give your sore muscles a break and time to relax
If you start running while your muscles are still sore, you are only making the pain worse or risking serious injuries like tearing a muscle. So give your muscles a break after the race! However, that doesn’t mean you have to be glued to the couch all day: Light exercise will get the blood flowing. This helps your body to wash out toxic metabolic products and to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles faster.

#5 Marathon Recovery Tips: Active recovery before the next phase of training
Even when your muscles are not sore anymore, both your muscles and tissues might still need several weeks to completely recover. The immune system has to be fully repaired, as well as tendons, ligaments and joints. You might feel like you want to immediately run every marathon out there, but – as a rule of thumb - take one rest day per race kilometer. That means you should refrain from extreme physical activity for 6 weeks after a marathon. Swimming, cycling and short runs can help with active recovery. This way, you’re giving your body the ideal conditions to aid the process of recovery.
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author: Lori Zikuska | 22.08.2018 at 09:14 | 0 Comments

Top Marathon Preparation Tips for Runners: Gear, nutrition and training to get you ready for the race

Although it seems like everyone and their dog is running a marathon these days – the ultimate runners’ event is still an incredible achievement, both physically and mentally. This, of course, requires the right preparation.

#1 Marathon Preparation Tips for Runners: The right mindset and attitude for training
You can’t run a marathon just as “a sideline” or because you lost a bet. It is a lot more fun as well if you voluntarily and deliberately decide to take on this athletic challenge. ;-) Aside from that, patience is of the essence. Beginners need, depending on the person and their fitness level, up to three years of consistent training. The right mindset is the key that leads to 42.195 kilometers and the right attitude is vital during both training and the race.

#2 Marathon Preparation Tips for Runners: The perfect shoe and the right running gear
Of course, one thing is essential for running: your shoes. It pays off to seek expert advice for your footwear. In specialized stores, your running form can be analyzed, and the right shoes can be chosen and adjusted. Your clothes should be breathable and have no rubbing seams. Specially geared running socks prevent blisters on your feet. If there is something chafing or pinching, rub a little Vaseline or special cream on the area in question. Last but not least, a heart rate monitor helps to better assess your own body during training.



#3 Marathon Preparation Tips for Runners: Health check and sports medical examination
Running a marathon is extreme sport. That is why aspiring marathon runners have to be physically fit and healthy. With a cardiac dysfunction, the race can become dangerous. Especially at-risk groups and people over 35 should undergo a sports medical examination before training for a marathon. Doctors will listen to your chest, do an exercise EKG test and check the function of knee joints, hips, and your spine. A blood exam can determine inflammatory sites.



#4 Marathon Preparation Tips for Runners: Phase of training for the race
Before a marathon, you should run about 26 miles or 42 kilometers – the race distance – every week for a year. Try several short runs during the week and then go for a long run on the weekend, which can be prolonged as the race approaches. Your training has to fit in with your daily routine, of course. Those who want to run a marathon have to take the time to exercise and train. Stretching should also be a part of your training because it is vital to prevent damage to tendons and ligaments.
#5 Marathon Preparation Tips for Runners: Nutrition during training and before the race
During training it is advisable to be on a low carb diet to train your body’s fat metabolism and eliminate energy slumps during long runs. However, many runners swear by pasta parties with loads of carbs before a long practice run. Three days before the marathon race, you can start loading up on carbohydrates. On the big day, make sure you have time for a small, easily digestible breakfast. Don’t eat anything two hours before the race. Drink half a liter of water with your breakfast and another half a liter before starting the run to stay hydrated.
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author: Lori Zikuska | 27.06.2018 at 12:04 | 0 Comments

Top 5 Fitness Tips: Exercises for everyday life

It’s not easy to reconcile work, family, friends, hobbies and going to the gym. The following 5 easy exercises will help you to bring more motion and health into your everyday life – without a gym.

#1: Fitness Tips: Little routines in the morning

Even when you are in hurry in the morning, it’s possible to integrate little exercises into your morning routine. Before you get up stretch yourself extensively for kick-start your circulation. While brushing your teeth or combing your hair you can stand on one leg - this is a good training for your abdominal muscles as well as your balance. For strengthening your calves you can stand on your heels for three seconds, then on your tip-toes. Repeat the exercise ten times.

#2: Fitness Tips: Stairs instead of elevator

It’s a real classic: Don’t take the elevator, climb stairs – it strengthens the muscles and jump-starts the circulation. Also keep in mind: Better take the longer than the comfortable way. If it’s possible, take a bike or go on foot to work. Otherwise get off the bus one station earlier or park a ways away from your office so that that you get that extra physical activity in.



#3: Fitness Tips: Exercises at work

You can stay fit even if you have an office job. It’s irrelevant if you sit or stand: clench your butt several times in a row. Occasionally, you can stretch your arms out  – that’s good for your chest and arms. Little exercises like those are more fun together with colleagues: Put your hands on your seat and raise your arms and legs alternately. That’s an easy training for your back and balance. If possible, go for a walk on your lunch break because movement and fresh oxygen encourage your concentration.

#4: Fitness Tips: Muscle training while grocery shopping

Grocery shopping often steals a lot of time of everyday life. Why not combining some exercises with grocery shopping? At the supermarket, press your hands left and right against the grip of the shopping cart and hold for 20 seconds. Do squats when you want to reach a product in the lowest shelf – the other way around, you can train your calves by standing on your tip-toes when you want to reach a product on the top shelf. On your way home you can carry your bags close to your body, abdominal muscles strained and the shoulders away from your ears. The inner side of your elbows are turned forwards.



#5:Fitness Tips: Muscle training while watching TV

You don’t want to miss your evening downtime in front of the TV? Sit on the carpet while watching your favourite show! Do squats when you stand up or sit down. Through tightening your abs while sitting on the carpet you stabilise your back and keep a straight body posture. Change your position often to give your body the needed variety.
For example: You’re located on your back, one leg is stretched out and the other pulled up to your chest. While you’re on the carpet you can also train your abdominal muscles. Come to the quadruped stand and push your knees back, away from the body’s core. Keep the shoulders over your hands, your fingers forward. Now imagine you have to close a full suitcase. If you feel your abs, you’re doing right. Turn your elbows forward and lift your knees from the ground for making the exercise harder.
 
We finally resume: Regular exercises in low intensity suffice for feeling healthy and fit. Above all, you don’t have to make time compromises, because you can integrate the exercises into your everyday life.
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author: Lori Zikuska | 13.06.2018 at 09:47 | 0 Comments

Fit in everyday life: Regeneration through sports, food and sleep

Everyone needs regular recovery periods to calm down and gather energy. When you’re always on the run and rarely take breaks you soon realize: You’re doing your health no favour! The results are disturbances in sleep and concentration and a decrease of muscle strength. If you want to take better care of your body, read this article about how to integrate regeneration into your everyday life:

#1: Regeneration through sports

First of all, you need a structured workout routine. It’s important to work out regularly – otherwise your body cannot get used to the burden of exercising. Your basic endurance is significant for the frequency and the lengths of your workouts. The fitter you are, the less recovery time you need.  Apart from this, you should keep in mind that it is important to have at least one day off between your workout sessions.  
One day endurance training, another day strength training – your body needs variety! In addition, through alternating longer and shorter training modules you keep the burden at bay.
Frequently forgotten but more than important is warming-up your body before working out and cooling down afterwards. For example, stretching exercises and slowly phasing out after running or cycling for up to 10 minutes are active regeneration measures.

#2: Regeneration through food

20 - 22 hours between workouts are essential because during this time your body gets adjusted to your training level. Nutrition plays a big role during that time. Same here: Variety rules! In all circumstances your food plan should include proteins, carbs and vitamin C.
The first 45 minutes after your workout play a decisive role. Especially during this time it’s easy to affect your regeneration positively through food: Regulate your liquid and mineral intake and take care of the blood glucose balance. Moreover, your body needs proteins for replenishing the glycogen reserves. One more important rule: After sports, you should never consume alcohol, because it’s cytotoxin for your body and hinders the regeneration massively.



#3: Regeneration through sleep

Besides the two active regeneration measures of sports and food, sleep is meant to be a passive regeneration measure. Enough sleep is necessary to feel fit. If it’s not possible for you to sleep around 7 hours daily, you should ensure to take breaks at work, especially when you feel stressed. Also, sauna sessions, massage and heat and cold therapy (for example kneipp’sche applications) are really pleasant passive regeneration measures.
It really is that easy! Regeneration through sports, food and sleep. Three anchors you can orientate yourself on every day and especially when you feel stressed and tired in your daily life. We hope this article supplied some suggestions for a more relaxed lifestyle.
 
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