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A New Type of Stretching for Rapid Box Splits (And More)



A New Type of Stretching for Rapid Box Splits

Stretching for Rapid Box Splits:…..If you’re trying to increase your flexibility and particularly if you’re looking to learn party tricks like the splits, then you might currently be going through the painful process of forcing yourself into uncomfortable stretched positions every day. According to Pavel Tsatsouline, this might be a waste of your time! In his book, Relax Into Stretch, Pavel explains an alternative stretch method that may be less painful and more effective. Read on, and we’ll look at how this works.

You’re More Flexible Than You Know…|Box Splits

To demonstrate just how flexible you already are, try lying flat on your side with your legs straight. Now raise your top leg up sideways as far as you can. In all likelihood, you should be able to get it to 90 degrees so that it’s pointing directly upwards.

And if you can do that, then you should be able to perform box splits!

Why? Because there’s nothing actually connecting your legs other than skin and bone. There are no tendons, no ligaments and no muscle – there’s nothing there to physically ‘stretch’. So if anyone can do the box splits, you should be able to do it too…

The Role of the Central Nervous System

The question you should be asking at this stage then, is what is it that’s actually holding you back from complete mobility and freedom of movement?

And the answer is that it could be your central nervous system. The idea here is that you have ‘learned’ a healthy range of motion for your limbs and joints and that your central nervous system then works to try and keep you within that. When your muscles and connective tissue stretch too much, your reflexive strength kicks in causing a knee-jerk contraction that tightens you up again and prevents you from moving any further in that direction.

So in other words, your inability to stretch is actually largely psychological.

How to ‘Relax Into the Stretch’ |Box Splits

To get around this, Pavel teaches us to try ‘relaxing’ into our stretches instead. This means that you’re no longer trying to stretch and elongate anything and as such you don’t need to push yourself to such painful extremes. Instead, you’re going to get into the position where you first start feeling some resistance. Then, instead of trying to push further, the objective is just to relax into that position and let the muscles soften as much as possible. You can even try using visualization techniques – imagining that your muscles are being bathed in warm water for instance, which can help you to un-tense them.

Either way, you should eventually find that the position feels comfortable or at least more relaxed eventually and at that point you have successfully ‘relaxed into the stretch’. You should find that practicing this even just a few times is enough to retrain your central nervous system, to lose that old reflex and to regain some of the flexibility and vigour of your youth.

Give it a shot and if it doesn’t work you haven’t lost anything. A lot of people though find that it is very useful indeed – just don’t use this technique to stretch your back which can lead to injury.

How to Stay Fit While On Vacation|Box Splits

Ah. Vacation. You’ve been counting down the days with the eagerness of a inmate anticipating his release from prison, and, at last, it is here. Freedom from the 9 to 5 drudgery, ghastly weather, and mind-numbingly dull routine. You’ve got all sorts of exciting adventures planned, amazing things to see, and–of course–delicious food to eat. But, you’ve overlooked one important thing. A fitness plan.

Yes, lugging that suitcase will keep you trim, but there are easier ways to do it.

All that delicious food will likely contain a hefty heap of calories and fat–and the last thing you want to do is return home with a mountainous midriff. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to stay fit on your vacation without sacrificing an ounce of fun.

Get Active at the Airport

Will you be traveling to destinations afar? If so, you will likely have plenty of time to kill at the airport. Get up and move around instead of passing the hours awkwardly perched in an uncomfortable chair. In the New York Times, “For Healthier Flying Pack a Pair of Walking Shoes,” Exercise Physiologist, Dr. Christopher Berger, states, “travel does not mean de-conditioning. You’re stuck in a terminal for three hours, boo hoo, but you have a climate-controlled place where you can literally walk for miles at some airports if you want.”

So, take a saunter to a distant terminal, check out an airport gym–yes, they do exist–or simply do some squats and lunges. And whatever you do, don’t give in and take the moving sidewalk.

Sightsee in your Skechers |Box Splits

Guided tours are great, but, sometimes, the best way to truly experience a new place or culture is to throw on your running shoes and explore on foot. If you jog at home, keep up the habit and find a great place to run in your new surroundings. And, if walking is more your style, forgo taxis and buses and opt, instead, to get to and fro under your own steam. In an “Expert Interview with Sagan Morrow on Diet and Health,” the health guru and nutritionist admits that she does not plan for formal exercise when she is traveling because she always does a ton of walking when visiting new places.” And this approach may just work for you.

Fine-tune your Front Crawl

Does your cruise ship, resort, or hotel offer amenities like a swimming pool, private beach, or gym? If so, you are in the perfect position to maintain your fitness regime. As “How to get a Good Workout in the Hotel Pool” reminds us, swimming is easy on the joints while offering resistance to your muscles and requires no equipment other than a bathing suit.” So, why not perfect your backstroke or challenge the kids to a game of Marco Polo? If swimming is not your thing you could start a game of beach volleyball or hit the exercise equipment for an hour or two. Not only will you enjoy benefits to your health, but you will have fun doing it.

Furnish your own Fitness Room |Box Splits

By adding a few lightweight exercise items to your suitcase you can turn your suite, cabin, or–if you’re extremely fortunate–luxury penthouse into your own private gym. Yes, all you need is a jump rope, some resistance bands, your favorite workout DVDs, some handgrips, and a heart rate monitor and you are all set to burn some calories and stretch your muscles in the privacy of your own room.

You can also perform a full-body workout without using any tools at all. Shape‘s “The Ultimate Hotel Room Workout” offers full instructions to a number of moves, including squats, crunches, and cardio bursts.

So, go ahead. Enjoy your adventures, take in the sights, and approach that mile-long buffet with nary a worry. You have a plan to send those calories packing and keep your waist fit and trim. Happy travels.

How do you stay fit while on vacation?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and enthusiastic traveller who refuses to stay anywhere that does not have a pool. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.

9 Pointers for Relieving Computer-Related Eye Strain

Staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day is hard on your eyes. Whether you are haunted by a searing headache that feels like a hot poker is stabbing you in the occipital lobe, a pair of corneas that are so dry and gritty that you wonder if you’ve been bobbing for apples in sand, or eyes so red that your boss keeps sending you for drug testing, computer-related eye strain is a pain in the posterior. Thankfully, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life plagued by eye strain and pupil pain.

Following a few simple steps can prevent eye strain and protect your ocular health.

1. Toss the tube.

Archaic tube-style monitors, also known as CRTs, play a major role in annoying your peepers. Kiss your CRT “goodbye” and replace it with a flat-screen LCD monitor if possible. LCD screens have less flicker and glare–leading culprits in the creation of eye strain.

If you have to stick with the tube, make sure you select the highest refresh rate as possible and equip it with an anti-glare screen.

2. Play with the display.

It is likely that one of the first things you did when you got your computer was personalize your display settings. While, your hot pink background and deep purple font may reflect your personality, they are also contributing to your raging headaches and scorching eye sockets.

When selecting your display settings, opt for retina-friendly choices instead of going for dramatic flair. The brightness of your monitor should match that of your surroundings. If your computer acts like a light in the room, it is too bright. Choose a lower color temperature in order to reduce eye strain-causing blue light. Turn up the contrast. Choose a text size that is easy to read. And opt for black text on a white background.

3. Be blinky.

Remember to blink when you are not in a staring contest with your computer. It is said that the average person blinks approximately 20 times each minute but only 7 times when they are parked in front of their computer. As a result, your eyes dry up and begin to feel like someone has been scrubbing them with steel wool. Remember to blink frequently. You can also rehydrate your eyes with artificial tear eye drops.

4. Protect your 20/20 with 20-20-20.

Break out your egg timer and set it for twenty minutes. A great way to prevent strained eye muscles is to engage in the 20-20-20 rule–every twenty minutes, you stare at an object roughly 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

5. Roll those eyes.

A great accompaniment for the 20-20-20 exercise is the eye roll. Yes, the action that got you in trouble with parents and teachers will now save you from eye strain. Be bold and roll your eyes up to your eyebrows and then in a large circular motion. Do this once every hour, and your eyes will thank you.

6. Get your hands involved.

Under ordinary circumstances, keeping your hands away from your eyes is a good idea. Unless, of course, you are “palming” them to avoid eye strain. What is palming? It is a great way to give your eyes a break from the pupil-piercing light emitted by your computer screen.

Simply cover your eyes with the palms of your hands–without actually putting any pressure on the eye area. Rest the heel of your hand on your cheekbone and place the fingers of your right hand over those of your left hand across your forehead. Let your eyes soak up the darkness for three minutes, and repeat this several times each day.

Eye strain is not the only negative by-product of working life. If you suffer from job-related aches and pains, check out these surprising causes of fatigue.

7. Massage your eyes.

Your eyes work hard. Surely they deserve a massage as much as your neck or your shoulders do. Using the ring finger on each hand, simply make small circular motions, stopping at various points along your orbital bone and brow. This motion is also great for relieving sinus pain.

8. Go gunnar.

No one knows the woes of computer-related eye strain better than dedicated gamers. While designed with the devout gamer in mind, Gunnar glasses can benefit anyone who spends a great deal of time glued to a computer screen. Their yellow-hued lenses combat the blue light emitted by your monitor, greatly reducing eye strain. They also increase clarity and contrast and come in prescription or non-prescription forms.

9. Seek a pro.

No one knows eyes and the implications of eye strain better than a professional eye care provider. Making sure that your eyes are checked annually will go a long way to protecting your vision for years to come.

By following a few easy strain-preventing tips you can bid adieu to bloodshot, achy, sandpapery eyes and the related throbbing headaches. You only have one set of eyes and they need to last you a lifetime, so treat them well. Your baby blues will thank you. If you’re still feeling tired, you can always try to beat afternoon fatigue with nutrition.

What do you do to avoid developing eye strain?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger who spends hours in front of her laptop each day. You can follow her offbeat observations at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.

Dieting: How to gain weight

Many people in the world are looking to lose weight, however, there are many people in the world who struggle to gain weight; whether you want to gain muscle mass or gain size, gaining weight is very simple, as long as you remember to stay away from the junk food.

To gain weight, the key is to increase your caloric intake. Whether you want to eat more meals each day or just increase the size of your meal, as long as you are consuming more calories, you will gain weight, even if you believe you have ‘bad genes’ or a ‘very fast metabolism’.

As with losing weight, gaining weight takes time, dedication and persistence. If anything, it is easier to lose weight than to gain weight.

Here are the tips on the best way to gain weight:

Eat a lot of the good stuff

You may think that you are already eating a lot, but if you aren’t gaining weight, you are not eating enough. To pack on the pounds, you should aim for at least 6 meals a day and eat every 2-3 hours to pack in the nutrients.

You may find it difficult as often you will be forcing yourself to eat, however, you eend to persist and look at the end goal.

To gain weight, you should aim for around 3500 calories a day, but you need to consume good calories to see the best benefits. You must avoid eating junk food as it will just make you fat and is not the answer to you weight gain.

To gain a healthy weight, you must consume the three macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. This will help you gain a healthy weight and muscle mass.

High Protein

Protein is an essential part of your diet and a building block for everything in your body, such as muscles, bones, skin, hair and blood.

To gain weight, you should consume a high amount of protein. This includes meat, cheese, milk, fish and eggs.

Eating high amounts of protein, carbs, and healthy fats will ensure you gain weight and your muscles grow and become stronger.

Carbs for weight gain

Carbs are vital for weight gain and they are the bodies main source of energy, but too much can you make you fat. Carbs include pasta, brown rice, whole grain bread, oatmeal, fruit and veggies and many more.

Avoid simple carbs as they are quickly digested due to the high sugar content. They contain empty calories and are more than likely going to be stored as fat.

If you just eat protein, you will find it difficult to gain weight as your body will use protein for energy and ultimately is counter productive.

To gain a healthy weight, pack you main meals with proteins, carbs and fats, as well as snacking in between. You will gain weight in no time.

The right fats

Eating the right fats will make you look bigger and healthier. Healthy fats are not found in junk food. Junk food contains trans fats and saturated fats, both of which are bad.

Healthy fats are found in meats, dairy, nuts, and avocados. It is recommended that healthy fats should be 30% of your daily calorie intake. Healthy fats are best eaten as snacks throughout the day.

Eat late at night

Studies have shown that changing the times you eat can increase the weight-gaining process. Eating a large dinner later in the evening or snacking at night fueling your body with calories that won’t be used in physical activity as you will be sleeping.

The study showed that people who eat later a night have a higher body mass index compared to those who don’t eat after 8 pm.

Weight train

If your workout consists of alot of cardio, this could be the problem as to why you are finding it trouble to gain weight. Without consuming the correct amount of calories, engaging in large amounts of cardio results in weight loss your body uses the fat and muscle as energy.

Weight training has many benefits. Weight training will build up your muscles and stimulate your appetite. To get maximum muscle gains, lift heavy weights with low reps. To begin with, start with compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, benchpress, pull ups, and dips. Compound exercises use a range of muscles in the body, allowing you to get stronger quicker. You can then move on to isolation exercises.

If you eat a large amount of calories with protein, you will gain weight quickly.

As well as eating more and working out, you need to stay well hydrated and get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. If you follow these weight gain tips and persist through the difficult times, you will gain weight in no time and ultimately look how you want to look.

What do you think of this blog? Can you think of any more tips on how to gain weight? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

Benefits of Exercise with Muscular Dystrophy

Learning to live with the diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy is a trying road.

A horrible reality that affects hundreds of thousands of men and women, according to Medical News Today is, “Muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal or voluntary muscles which control movement. The muscles of the heart and some other involuntary muscles are also affected in some forms of muscular dystrophy, and a few forms involve other organs as well.” Incredibly frightening, if you have been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy it is sometimes hard to know which way to turn to take control back of your life.

One place a person fighting this disease can turn to regain a connection with normalcy is to bring a regular exercise routine into their life. Why does exercise do a person with Muscular Dystrophy good? Here’s a look at five ways exercise helps considerably.

Exercise slows muscle deterioration. Having a regular strength routine using nautilus and free weights as well as cardio activities is highly beneficial. According to the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability just doing minimal movement with light weights or rubber resistance bands can help a person’s arms, legs and core considerably. This assistance with strength helps with maintaining a healthy posture, remaining independent, and maintaining a range of motion as well as keeping the joints flexible.

Exercise assists respiration. One of the greatest benefits of doing cardio exercise for people with Muscular Dystrophy is that it assists the diaphragm and other muscles associated with breathing to remain strong and agile. A common issue for those suffering from Muscular Dystrophy is a decrease in the functioning abilities of the diaphragm. Experts recommend low impact exercise like walking, yoga, biking, or swimming.

Exercise increases overall energy levels. As with all people, exercising helps the body remain healthy and have more energy overall. In regards to those people with Muscular Dystrophy, the March, 2005 issue of Neurology published a study that showed that people with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (a condition that affects the arm and face muscles) had less fatigue after having a regular workout plan for three months. Participants worked out on a bike for a little over a half hour five times a week.

Exercise helps boosts happiness. One issue for many people diagnosed with a disease is that they feel that their life has been limited to the illness, which results in depression. A highly beneficial way to counteract depression is to exercise. As little as ten minutes can turn a frown upside down.

Baby, it’s Cold Outside – Don’t Let That Cold Affect Your Health!

For most of human history, winter meant death for large numbers of people. With food scarce, the elements brutal, and disease rampant, only the strong and well prepared emerged in the spring. Modern advancements have prevented mass death for most of us, but one inevitability still holds true – people get sick in the winter.

But they don’t have to. Follow this guide to making it through the dark, cold months unscathed.

Be smart and avoid getting sick this winter.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supplements such as Naturemade Vitamin C 1000 mg are among the safest and most effective additives to consume in the winter. Experts believe that while vitamin C can’t cure or prevent the common cold, it can reduce the duration and seriousness of colds. Also, it boosts the immune system and may protect against prenatal health problems, eye disease, cardiovascular disease, and can help prevent skin wrinkling.


With the exception of a healthy diet, exercise is the single most effective and important behavior in which a person can engage. This is especially crucial during the cold season in the winter. Boosting and maintaining the overall health and well-being of the body and mind, even modest exercise creates dramatic increases in endurance, immunity, durability, and overall well-being.

A simple piece of equipment like the Rogue Kettlebell can produce crushing workouts without having to leave the warmth of home. It’s easy to slack off when your bathing suit is a distant memory, but exercise is more about being well than looking good.


Although it is still a mysterious phenomenon that largely baffles scientists, experts agree that Sleep is vital to recovery and immunity. Sleep-deprived people are physically and mentally weaker, and good, consistent, uninterrupted sleep is commonly passed over as a serious boon to health. If you have trouble sleeping, consider meditation and changes in diet. Also, consider non-narcotic sleep aids and supplements such as Ancient Earth Minerals by Body Ecology.

Hand Sanitizer

More people are sick in the winter. Although the benefits of hand sanitizer are hotly debated, as are the drawbacks of excessive use, germs are everywhere in the winter as more and more people succumb to colds, flu and other contagious ailments. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable, and hand sanitizer does kill most germs instantly. Pick up a couple of bottles of EO Organic Hand Sanitizer to keep in your car, at work, and at home.

Avoid the flu and common cold this winter.

In the winter, eating well, sleeping well, exercising regularly, and washing and sanitizing your hands is especially important, especially after public outings. Back your immune system up with non-narcotic supplements such as vitamin C, and use common sense and basic hygiene when dealing with high-risk people and situations.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about health and medicine.

Don’t Risk Your Heart: How Exercising in Middle-Age Can Lead to a Cardiac Event

There isn’t a single doctor who wouldn’t recommend a healthy diet and regular exercise. The two are extremely beneficial, especially if you’re hoping to live a long and healthy life.

Unfortunately, for middle-aged people, there are cardiac risks associated with vigorous exercise. Around 40 years old your muscle mass may begin to decline at a rat of 8 percent per decade. It’s essential to be aware of the risks and practice a safe exercise routine to ensure your vigorous workout isn’t your heart’s undoing.

Cardiac Arrest

“Heart attacks aren’t just for older, overweight men with high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” says Dr. Ilan Wittstein, an assistant professor at John Hopkins. “Doctors are seeing patients in their 40s come in with heart disease due to self-inflicted risk factors…Middle-aged men need to be on guard. You could still be at risk even if you work out and eat healthy.”

All people aged 40 and over have an increased cardiovascular risk. It’s essential that middle-aged people recognize this risk, and talk to their doctors before performing any strenuous workouts. The most important thing is to attempt to exercise smarter, not harder. Try and exercise, or be physically active, for at least 30 minutes each day, but don’t overdo it, as this can increase your risk of cardiac arrest.

Exercise should be implemented in every lifestyle, regardless of age. If you’ve experienced cardiac arrest before, or you’re currently high-risk for it, you can still exercise. Talk to your doctor about what low-impact exercises are appropriate for someone in your condition. You may also want to invest in one of AED Brands Lifepak defibrillators, as this will ensure you get the help you need should a life-threatening cardiac event occur during exercise.

Vessel Disease

“By middle age, most people have developed some underlying early stage vessel disease,” warns clinical exercise science teacher Kade Davison. Plaque could be building in your coronary arteries, which in turn could result in a cardiac event. “If anyone is going to have a cardiac event they’re far more likely to have one during exercise,” says Davison.

It’s important to be wary of over-exercising as you grow older. Entering that upcoming triathlon or endurance race may not be a good idea. Instead, you’ll want to focus on a healthy and consistent regiment of exercise, ensuring your body’s electrolyte balance, hydration, and potassium levels don’t change in an unhealthy way.

Heart Tears

Heart tears are caused by over-doing it. Even something as low-impact as stretching can cause a heart tear. Of course, regular stretching is good for the body, but over-stretching isn’t. Tiny tears in your heart can cause a variety of health issues as time goes on, including:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Scarring
  • Stiff arteries
  • Inflammation

Because heart tears are difficult to detect on your own, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor – especially if you participate in vigorous workouts. Your doctor will refer you to a cardiologist who will monitor your heart and test for heart tears and many other cardiac issues. Your doctor will then be able to assist you in building an exercise routine that is safe for your body.

Everything in Moderation

Practice moderation to ensure that your heart stays strong as you age. Never over-exercise – especially during middle age, as this could potentially result in a cardiac issue. Keeping a strong body should lead to a long life, so ensure your exercise routine is safe for your age and body type.

Strength Training and Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you’re probably aware of all the effects the disease can have on your body. From intense sugar cravings to more serious complications like poor cardiovascular health and an increased risk for certain types of cancer, diabetes can significantly impact nearly all areas of well-being.

Thankfully, though, there are several ways patients with diabetes can reduce symptoms, prevent complications, and enhance their overall quality of life. Regular strength-training workouts are a great way to boost health and keep complications at bay. If you have diabetes and are looking to enhance your health and prevent the harmful effects of this disease, keep reading to discover all the benefits strength training can offer.

The Benefits of Strength Training 

Like other forms of physical activity, strength-training exercises can prove advantageous for individuals with diabetes. For example, regular sessions have been shown to help in the following ways:

  • ~Weight loss. For many diabetics, body weight and BMI are primary concerns; in fact, especially in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes, obesity often plays a major role in the development of the disease. Therefore, healthy weight loss is essential in regulating blood sugar and preventing complications. You can build lean muscle, boost metabolism, and burn fat and calories more efficiently through strength training.
  • ~Cardiovascular benefits. Diabetes affects heart function in a number of ways. Most significantly, the disease restricts blood flow, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, and more. And while, traditionally, aerobic exercise was thought to be best for heart health, new studies prove that strength training is just as, if not more, effective at promoting healthy blood flow and enhancing cardiovascular fitness.
  • ~Glucose tolerance. Strength-training workouts not only lead to weight loss and improved heart health, but they can also boost the body’s tolerance to glucose. This can promote the regulation of blood-sugar levels, thus preventing diabetes complications of all kinds.
  • ~Insulin sensitivity. In patients with diabetes, the body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas and helps to control blood glucose. With regular strength-training workouts, however, the body becomes less resistant to natural insulin, allowing the hormone to keep blood sugar levels in check.

Getting Started

Check out the following tips for beginning or enhancing a strength-training regimen, each of which will help reduce the risks associated with diabetes as well as boost overall health and fitness.

  • ~Start now. The sooner you get started, the sooner you start reaping the benefits. If you’re new to weight lifting or resistance training, be sure to avoid overexertion. And while the ideal weight can vary, you should be able to lift and repeat at least 20 times without experiencing intense pain or exhaustion.
  • ~Aim for one or two days a week, then work your way up to a steady routine.
  • ~Monitor glucose levels. Keeping a close watch on blood sugar is essential. And while traditional monitoring systems will suffice, many people are switching to continuous monitoring systems. Continuous glucose monitors are an especially great option during workouts, as they can alert you to irregularities, thus preventing harmful side effects.
  • ~Consider HIIT. When it comes to improving insulin sensitivity, promoting weight loss and enhancing heart health, HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, may be best. Here’s how HIIT works: train at a moderate, steady pace for most of your workout. Then, incorporate short blasts of faster, more intense training every few minutes or so.
  • ~Eat well. While strength training and aerobic exercise can reduce the risks of diabetes, they should always be used in conjunction with a healthy, diabetic-friendly diet. Avoid sugars, starches, and processed foods, and stick to fresh produce, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, a strength-training regimen could be just the thing to help regulate blood sugar and enhance the quality of life. Speak to your doctor and see if strength training is right for you.

Chicken Development – What You Need to Know About the Organic Way

I think a number of people would lead easier lives if they showed patience. It’s this trait that often messes things up. Hence, the adage: more speed, less haste.

Don’t we all want things yesterday? Yes, we do… yet the very things that we never got (and the sadness it brought!) turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us, isn’t it?

Life, and not necessarily God works in mysterious ways. Yeah right! Look around you – Mother nature takes its own sweet time, doesn’t it?

There’s a season for everything – and yes, even a time and place. With autumn comes the end of a cycle, while spring indicates the birth of a new one.

And quite strangely, we humans tend to stick our noses where they don’t belong – and which is why I liked Cruise’s Oblivion – and try to hurry things up, be it rearing produce or even animals. Or worst still, we tend to forget that Nature cannot be tampered not unless we would like to face the consequences ourselves.

Yes, with one such case being chicken development, if you will…

A Note on the Production of Eggs

Blame it on the industrial age or the rapid development of machines and technology that has helped us get to places, people or even things much faster than our predecessors would have dreamed of.

Yet there was one thing they knew was true: their food was grown the good old way. Yes, we’re talking about organic or natural grown foods minus the need for chemicals but which are necessary sometimes!

There was no understanding of nutrients or health science that is common knowledge but almost everyone of them lived to be a hundred years old.

What changed, one might ask – since most people struggle to live a healthy life when they reach retirement. Of course, there are many reasons why but probably one of them could be that the food we eat (and in this case, eggs!) are hardly produced (if one might call it that!) in a healthy way.

All the obvious health benefits of eggs, as determined by studies, get canceled out quite sadly, since this unnatural way of producing eggs has a clear downside that has been glossed for so long.

They aren’t machines, after all…

Organic Chicken Development – What Your Need to Know

Probably the first thing that one might have heard of, in recent times, is the way these poor chickens are treated with battery cage being the operative word.

Keep any living creature in a cage for a number of days and what you’re asking for is sheer trouble. Of course, we’re not animals, are we, you say?

Yes, we are. Farmers are known to pack these cages with as many chickens as possible so as to increase productivity – and what cost? We have to worry about our health since the output is anything but healthy…

Most of these chickens outlive their usefulness in a year as they continue to lay eggs – at least, one egg a day. As they do this, and continue to brood 12 eggs at a time, the farmer then moves away one eggs, and which isn’t noticed.

In order to compensate for the loss, the hen tends to lay another one, and sooner or later, can’t produce any more eggs.

And since the farmer is particular about getting a good price, they check the ‘stolen’ eggs for blemishes or other problems, and then proceed to package and send them to the supermarket. Sooner or late, you’re enjoying an omlette, and which is where the journey of egg meets an unsavory end.

How tragic but more so for those hens who are reared inhumanely and which is it’s time to get back to basics – the organic way – if only to benefit our health.

In Closing

Are there any good or bad instances of chicken development that you have come across? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.

Also, here is an article on raw eggs health benefits, provided of course, they’re reared the organic way.

Health Tips for Nurses – Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Others

Nursing can be a highly rewarding and, at the same time, a highly demanding profession. From working long hours to dealing with the psychological traumas of watching your patients scream in pain, this job can seriously affect your physical and psychological health. Not to forget the occupational hazards, like taking care of patients suffering from infectious diseases, with a risk of catching that disease, biological or chemical hazards, needle-stick injuries, and back pain due to the physical nature of work. All in all, you need to take good care of your health, not just for yourself but your patients as well.

Following are some basic health tips for nurses, to make sure you are living a healthy and happy life while carrying out the difficult yet appreciable job of helping out people in distress.

The Basics:

Being a health care professional, you don’t need anybody else to remind you about the importance of healthy diet and exercise. Start off your day with a healthy breakfast containing protein and carbs. And take out some time for exercise on regular basis. Being a nurse, it’s important to strengthen your bones and muscles. Keep yourself hydrated and most importantly, take a good seven to eight hours sleep to make sure you are not sleep deprived while working.

At Work:

While at work, avoid skipping meals, but at the same time avoid having snacks or fast food to curb the appetite. They might give you a very short lived feel-good effect, but once it fades out, you will start to feel lethargic and fatigued. And in the longer run, such food can do more harm to your health than good. Instead of justifying the use of unhealthy snacks due to your busy schedule, carry some healthy and ready to eat stuff with you like fruit, dry fruits like almonds, string cheese, whole grain snack bars, and the likes. Eat food which is rich in vitamins, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and the likes.

Safety Measures:

Ensure you follow all sorts of safety measures and guidelines to avoid needlestick or any other type of injury. Use safety equipment like good quality gloves or caps while using needles and the like. As a nurse, it’s your right to expect and demand such equipment from your employers.

Nurses need to be alert and concentrate on their work all the time, not just for their own sake but for the patient’s as well. So, while at work, you need to avoid getting as distracted as possible because it will risk your or your patient’s health. You need to avoid or limit alcohol consumption for the same reason.

Have Fun:

As earlier suggested, working as a nurse can sometimes be quite devastating for your emotional health. And there’s every chance you might have to work odd hours or on holidays? So, you need to make sure that you are not giving up on your friend’s meet-ups, hobbies, or activities that make you happy. Don’t compromise on these activities to work overtime and make some extra money. You need to relax, and take out some time for yourself. This is important to deal with psychological setbacks which can be quite common in the life of nurses.


Getting the Whole Family Involved



Getting the Whole Family Involved

If you have a family, you may find it difficult to initiate new eating and exercise habits for yourself without changing their habits at the same time.

The least successful diets usually require people to eat in isolation from their families, cooking one meal for themselves and another for the other members.

Because low-fat foods control weight and contribute to good health, changing dietary habits is important for the entire family. Aim to change your family’s preferences for high-sugar and high-fat foods and enlist their support for reaching your long-term goals.

But be prepared: You may encounter resistance when trying to work your new lifestyle into your family’s routines. Here are some easy solutions to common excuses:

Excuse: Nutritional needs for children. Your own diet may create unforeseen nutritional problems for your children.

Solution: Because children are still growing, they should not have their calorie intakes restricted, but it is important to introduce them to healthy eating habits while improving your own. By adapting your meals, they get the necessary calcium and other nutrients for growth. Keep a supply of whole milk for the children and low-fat or skim milk for yourself. Add cheese for them to low-fat salads that you prepare for yourself. If you are serving baked potatoes, make fillings more calorie-rich for the children with creamy sauces while you fill your own with water-packed tuna or yogurt.

Excuse: Finicky eating. Your children and perhaps your partner resist or oppose changes to their favorite meals.

Solution: Adjusting your family’s favorite recipes by reducing fat whenever possible is a way of subtly changing habits. Make hamburgers healthier by using extra-lean meat and serving them on whole-wheat buns. Gradually cut down the sugar in desserts you prepare and in other items you buy.

Excuse: Lazy family habits. The family may prefer watching television to sports and other physical activities.

Solution: Gradually wean everyone away from the television. Begin by playing board games, then move on to more active pursuits that are also fun, such as swimming or in-line skating.

Excuse: Your partner doesn’t support your plan. If your partner is overweight, he or she may have a vested interest in keeping you plump. A partner may even sabotage your best efforts by bringing home treats or take-out food to relieve you of the burden of cooking.

Solution: Discuss your goals with your partner. Ensure he or she understands the importance of what you are trying to do and some of the principles of healthy eating and exercise you are attempting to introduce. Get your partner involved with meal preparation and exercise ideas. Perhaps he or she has a favorite sport you could share.

If your partner brings home treats, try to maintain your self-control. Explain that these make your task harder and, though the occasional treat is fine, if this happens on a regular basis, it will undermine your careful eating.
Healthy Eating For Kids
Essential For Your Children’s Wellbeing

Teach your kids to eat healthfully, and they will learn healthy eating habits that will reward them with a lifetime of good health. All kids can be taught to be healthy eaters. The best time to start is when they are infants. But even older children, with the proper encouragement and motivation, can learn to eat healthfully and enjoy healthy food.

  • General Guidelines To Help Get Your Kids Eating Healthfully
  • Get the whole family involved.
  • Choose only fresh whole foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, a little whole grains, and healthy proteins.
  • Sit down with your child and list some healthy foods your child likes and can substitute for the foods you want to eliminate from his or her diet. Encourage your child to suggest healthy foods.
  • Make sure your child agrees to the healthy foods so that he or she will eat them instead of the unhealthy foods. Try to get some healthy foods everyone agrees upon, though they don’t all have to be the same.
  • Make this a healthy eating adventure, exploring new and healthier foods instead of a dull, boring diet.
  • Use the “80-20 Rule.” If you eat healthy food 80% of the time, you can have an occasional “forbidden” treat. However, after eating healthfully for 6 months to a year, depending on how quickly you transition to healthy eating, you’ll probably forget about the “80-20 Rule” because you won’t crave unhealthy foods anymore. If you do, your body isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs.
  • Teach them how to read food labels.
  • Allow them to ask questions about healthy eating and food choices. Use The Reverse Diet book as a Role Model as an educational tool.
    Here are some guidelines for the different age groups to help you get your kids to eat healthfully.


When your baby is ready to start eating solid foods, feed them only fresh whole foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, a little whole grains, and healthy protein, organic if possible. Use a baby food grinder to grind up the same fresh foods you eat. If your child eats only healthy foods, they will have their favorites that they will ask for and eat eagerly without coaxing or bribing.
Do not feed them candy, cookies, ice cream, chips, or sugary, refined, and processed foods. Keep the food additives out of their foods. Let your relatives, friends, and childcare providers know they are only to eat the healthy foods you allow and not give them any “forbidden” treats.

Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

If your child has already tasted sugary, processed, and refined foods, make a game of using the “The Reverse Diet” book with him/her. Help your child choose healthy foods to substitute for unhealthy foods. Cut the fruits and vegetables into different shapes and make pictures with them. There are tons of wonderful ways to make fruits and vegetables appealing- have them help, too.
Use praise generously when they are eating healthy food choices. You may want even to have a reward system for eating healthy foods. Have a special non-food reward for them every time they eat healthy foods. If they stick with it for a whole day, a few days, or a week, have a special non-food treat as a reward, such as a sticker program. Make a weekly chart for their eating times and add different colored stickers for each level of healthiness. Bigger rewards for longer periods of time, like a trip to a favorite place, going to a movie, or something they value but don’t get a chance to do often. Be creative.

School Age

When children get into school, they will be around kids eating unhealthy food and want to eat what the other kids eat. Start talking with them about health and healthy food and what unhealthy food does to your body on a simple level. Even young elementary-age kids can understand this when put in language appropriate to their age.
If they have a hard time thinking of healthy choices, start listing some of their favorite healthy foods they can choose from. Have them write down their choices and let them take ownership of them. Have them write in a personal food journal, too.
When your child goes to school, always pack a healthy lunch unless you have an outstandingly healthy school lunch program. Let them help choose the healthy foods you put in their lunch. If they have a hard time coming up with healthy choices, give them several choices to choose from. And give them a special healthy treat they like as a reward for eating the lunch you pack for them. Also, you may want to send a favorite healthy treat to school with them on special occasions when you know the kids will have refined, sugary treats. As kids age, using my “80-20 Rule” as motivation for eating healthfully is helpful.


Teenagers have a lot of peer pressure and need to do what the other kids do to fit in. With this age group, it is very important to teach them about nutrition and why it’s important to eat healthfully.
Do not be afraid to teach your child what you have learned. Let them read “The Reverse Diet†and be prepared to answer questions or have them send a request to me. I would be more than happy to help in any way.
Make sure the whole family is working on eating healthfully at home and discuss how they can eat more healthfully when they are out with their friends. Talk with them about the consequences of not eating healthfully. Use non-food rewards as appropriate for making healthy food choices. They could be as simple as a dollar store inspirational statue. It just needs to be something for recognition of their conscious efforts for better health.


Healthy eating should be a family affair. Kids eat what they are taught to eat. Teach them to eat healthy food and show them by example. Talk about healthy eating and healthy food at home, the importance of eating healthfully, and the consequences of eating unhealthy food – diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and disease in general.
Parents play a big role in shaping children’s eating habits. When parents eat a variety of foods that are low in fat and sugar and high in fiber, children also learn to like these foods. It may take 10 or more tries before a child accepts a new food, so do not give up if your child does not like a new food right away.
Parents have an effect on children’s physical activity habits as well. You can set a good example by going for a walk or bike ride after dinner instead of watching TV. Playing ball or jumping rope with your children shows them that being active is fun.
With many parents working outside the home, childcare providers help shape children’s eating and activity habits. Ensure your childcare provider offers well-balanced meals, snacks, and plenty of active playtime.
If your child is in school, find out more about the school’s breakfast and lunch programs and ask to have input into menu choices, or help your child pack a lunch that includes a variety of foods. Get involved in the parent-teacher association” PTA” to support physical education and after-school sports. I am an advocate and committee member of a wonderful program, in conjunction with the American Heart Association called The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The ever-popular program from the Clinton Foundation.
Your child’s friends and the media can also affect his or her eating and activity choices. Children may go to fast food places or play video games with their friends instead of playing tag, basketball, or other active games. TV commercials persuade kids to choose high-fat snacks, high-sugar drinks, and cereals. When parents help their children be aware of peer and media pressures, youngsters are more likely to make healthy choices outside the home.


Tricia Cunningham

Author of “The Reverse Diet”

“No Excuses, Only Solutions”

Speak directly with Tricia on the Forums!

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Benefits of Exercise with Muscular Dystrophy



Benefits of Exercise with Muscular Dystrophy

Learning to live with the diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy is a trying road.

According to Medical News Today, a horrible reality that affects hundreds of thousands of men and women is, “Muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal or voluntary muscles which control movement. The muscles of the heart and some other involuntary muscles are also affected in some forms of muscular dystrophy, and a few forms involve other organs as well.” Incredibly frightening, if you have been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, it is sometimes hard to know which way to turn to take control of your life.

One place a person fighting this disease can turn to regain a connection with normalcy is to bring a regular exercise routine into their life. Why does exercise do a person with Muscular Dystrophy good? Here’s a look at five ways exercise helps considerably.

Exercise with Muscular Dystrophy

Exercise slows muscle deterioration. A regular strength routine using Nautilus and free weights and cardio activities is highly beneficial. According to the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, minimal movement with light weights or rubber resistance bands can considerably help a person’s arms, legs, and core. This assistance with strength helps with maintaining a healthy posture, remaining independent, and maintaining a range of motion as well as keeping the joints flexible.

Exercise assists respiration. One of the greatest benefits of cardio exercise for people with Muscular Dystrophy is that it assists the diaphragm and other muscles associated with breathing to remain strong and agile. A common issue for those suffering from Muscular Dystrophy is a decrease in the functioning abilities of the diaphragm. Experts recommend low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, biking, or swimming.

Exercise increases overall energy levels. As with all people, exercising helps the body remain healthy and have more energy overall. In regards to those people with Muscular Dystrophy, the March 2005 issue of Neurology published a study that showed that people with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (a condition that affects the arm and face muscles) had less fatigue after having a regular workout plan for three months. Participants worked out on a bike for a little over a half hour five times a week.

Exercise helps boosts happiness. One issue for many people diagnosed with a disease is that they feel that their life has been limited to the illness, which results in depression. A highly beneficial way to counteract depression is to exercise. As little as ten minutes can turn a frown upside down.

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Chest Exercises for Men – A Top 10 List



Chest Exercises for Men – A Top 10 List

Recently I went out with a couple of friends for a couple of drinks to usher in the New Year and came across a few colleagues that knew me during the day when I wasn’t as conscious of maintaining a fitness level as I am today.

So, the first words were: My God! We couldn’t recognize you. Wow, you’ve lost weight.

(Quite frankly, three of the worst words put together from an English dictionary.)

And then the next few words hit me hard: We liked you better when you were plump and funny.

Seriously now?

This is what I get for putting in so much effort. How about that? Yes, I suppose they would love more if they saw my now non-existent man-boobs.

(Trust me – whoever coined the phrase “less is more” damn sure knew what they were talking about!)

If you’re dealing with the same issues, it’s time to start putting some effort into some chest exercises… because it sure will take you a while to get that huge chest that Arnie exemplified during the golden age of bodybuilding.

With that said, this aspect of “less is more” doesn’t apply to women, of course…

An Introduction to Pectoral Muscles

Known as the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor, they consist of all the chest muscles in the human body.

So, why is it important to know more about the human body (and these strange-sounding words) before moving on to chest exercises for men?

For the simple reason: if you look at the diagram of the pectoral muscles at this link, you’ll find that they spread out like a fan when fully developed.

It’s not something that happens by itself, as you might know, but it comes from working on chest exercises for men that can help you get the pecs you want.

Let me reiterate: this takes a lot of work… real hard work to make them look like Arnie’s “fans” in his heyday!

Chest Exercises for Men – A Top 10 List

Now that you are aware of the fact that it is going to take hard work to get pecs that are the envy of every able-bodied male but also the delight of every woman in the vicinity let’s look at some chest exercises for men that can help you do just that.

So, without further ado, here are the top ten chest exercises that have been agreed on by experts and which you can use in your workouts:

#10: Decline Bench Press

#9: Dumbbell Pullover

#8: Incline Dumbbell Flyes

#7: Upper Pec Cable Crossovers

#6: Dumbbell Flyes

#5: Cable Crossovers

#4: Dumbbell Bench

#3: Chest Press Machine

#2: Barbell Bench Press

#1: Incline Barbell Bench Press

You can read more about this compilation of the 10 best exercises at this link. Before you select a few of these exercises for your workout, it’s a good idea to read the tips at this link, as it takes an alternative approach to building pecs.

Because you’re going to need them…

In Closing

So, what chest exercises have you chosen for your workout for building bigger pecs?

Are you finding it hard to develop your pectoral muscles? If so, feel free to share your thoughts about this.


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