Healthy Living

7 Valentine’s Day Couples Workout Routines

7 Valentine's Day Couples Workout RoutinesValentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and many of us can’t wait to receive our flowers, balloons, and of course the chocolates. While these things have become pretty synonymous with Valentine’s Day, perhaps there are healthier ways of spending February 14. After all, working out in pairs is a great way of spending quality time together, embracing common interests, which offers a deeper bond. Check out these :

Partnered Pull-Ups
There are plenty of women who tackle pull-ups, making use of the pull-up machines. While it’s a great tool, the pull-up machine doesn’t provide you with the maximum effort you could be having by doing them without the machine. If your valentine isn’t ready to go out on their own, in regards to pull-ups, this is a great chance for you to assist her, and possibly even get closer to her.

Ice Skating
It’s the heart of winter, and you’d like to take your better half out on an outdoor adventure, but you’re finding yourself torn on what to do. Consider taking your lovely lady ice skating. Ice skating is fun, athletic, and can be very romantic. Hold hands to keep each other balanced, or gracefully help each other up if there is a fall. Embrace each other, and enjoy the moment. Not to mention, a 155 pound woman skating slowly burns approximately 387 calories per hour.

Go Hiking
Hiking is a great way to not only enjoy the outdoors together but it also provides you with the means to get a great workout which will aid in increasing your heart rate. Hike a few miles, long enough to get the blood flowing. Be sure to laugh and have fun along the way. Don’t forget to grab something like the Vapur .7L Element Collapsible Water Bottle, as hiking can make you thirsty. Enjoy your outdoor adventure together but don’t hike too far, romantic surprises awaits you.

Dance the Night Away
What better way to get close to your other half than a nice Valentine’s Day Dance? Dancing is a great way to get the heart rate going. It’s also a great bonding experience, whether you’re on the club dance floor, or simply in the living room in front of the fire place. Enjoy one another’s time, and laugh. Remember, laughing is healthy for the heart, while dancing has the ability to burn up to 300 calories per hour.

Couple’s Yoga
Couple’s yoga is a great trust building routine. In addition to building trust, you strengthen your relationship. Partner Yoga enhances and cultivates relationships. Studies have shown that pheromones are heightened during exercise, making it easy to be drawn closer together during routines. Roll out your Aurorae Northern Lights Yoga Mat, and show your partner what you’re made of.

Partner Toss
While sitting down and facing your partner, with your knees bent and toes touching, hold a medicine ball to your chest. Keeping the spine long and sitting up on your sitting bones, have both of you hinge back slightly until you feel your abs engage. Hold that position as you throw the ball back and forth. Your partner will catch. Repeat back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds. Pause for 15 seconds, and then repeat 2 to 3 times.

Partner Rows
For this exercise, you can use a chair, a stability ball or just get into a deep squat or lunging position for added leg burn. The only additional equipment required is exercise tubing or an exercise band. Your partner holds the elastic, providing the resistance, and you pull – squeezing your shoulder blades back and keeping your core tight and back straight. Do a few reps and switch, allowing your partner to do a few.

Don’t just strengthen your muscles, but strengthen your bond and your hearts at the same time. Have fun exercising, and have a Happy, Fit Valentine’s Day!

Fun Fitness Moves to Keep You in Shape on Game Day

Fun Fitness Moves to Keep You in Shape on Game DayThe Big Game Day is quickly approaching. February 1, 2015 is the day that we’ll see football fans, and even non football fans come together for a day of fun, partying, food, and just a little trash talking (depending on which team you’re routing for). Millions of people will watch this Sunday, to see who will be labeled the champion for the 2015 year. The individuals on the field put themselves through vigorous training and fitness routines, in preparation for this one day. Since they put themselves through such extreme training for this day, why would you allow your training to dwindle? Afterall, you’ll most likely be taking in tons of carbs. Here are a few Fun Fitness Moves to Keep You in Shape on Game Day:

Each Time You See This…     You Do This!

Touchdown                               10 Push-Ups

First Down                                60 Second Plank

Running Play of 25+ Yards      15 Leg Lifts

Passing Play of 25+ Yards       15 Heel Raises

Female Performer on Stage     Thriller Dance (Michael Jackson)

Timeout                                     Run Up and Down the Stairs

Interception                               50 Crunches

4th-Down conversion                25 Squats

Extra Point                                30 Second Knee High Jog

Personal Foul                           15 Sit Ups

Instant Replay                          45 Second Wall Sit

Puppy in Commercial               25 Jumping Jacks

Field Goal                                 25 Reverse Crunches

Beer Commercial                     10 Walking Lunges

Fumble                                     30 Second Jog in Place

Offsides                                    20 Push ups

2-Point Conversion                  10 Burpees

Delay of Game                         10 Single Leg Squats

Reverse                                    10 Pull Ups

Interference                              10 Wall Push Ups

Holding                                      20 Chair Dips

Sack                                          15 Dips

Face Mask                                 30 Second Head Stand (With or without the wall)

Safety                                        10 Squats

If you really want to maximize your performance, grab a heart rate monitor, and track your progression. “It’s Good!”

7 Outdoor Activities To Get You in Shape

7 Outdoor Activities To Get You in ShapeThere is no denying the healthy benefits of daily physical activity. We all see our friends checking into the gym to get into top physical shape. The good news is that you don’t always have to hit the gym to gain physical health. Everyday outdoor activities can be much more fun, convenient, and have the same benefits. Here are 7 Outdoor Activities To Get You in Shape:

Golf
Golf is a leisure activity, enjoyed by many people of all ages. When taken at face value, the health and fitness benefits can seem minor. However, if you take a step back and examine your approach, you’d see that there is ample opportunity for fitness. One option is to skip the golf cart and walk. The average golfer can walk up to four miles in a single round of golf, with potential for more if you have to chase the balls. After playing a couple of games the fitness benefits can be obvious. Carrying or pulling your golf clubs can be a very effective way to promote muscle toning and good cardiovascular health. Golf provides a stimulating mental challenge. You’re already a golfer? Try using the rugged and waterproof Garmin Approach S4 Golf Watch.

Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking is a great outdoor sport for kids and adults of all ages, making it a great exercise that families can do together. One primary health benefit of riding a mountain bike is the improvement of cardiovascular fitness. Mountain Biking makes the heart pound steadily, which increases your heart’s fitness by three to seven percent, decreasing the risk of having coronary heart disease. Riding a mountain bike also builds, strengthens and tones your muscles. If you do ride regularly, the muscles on your legs, thighs, buttocks and hips will strengthen, helping to protect your hip and knee joints. Studies have shown that riding a bicycle for at least 20 miles in a week can reduce your risk of having coronary heart disease by almost 50%.

Running
We all should have expected good old fashioned running to make this list. Running is not only a great way to stay in shape, but can also benefit almost every other part of your body, including your mood. Studies have shown that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol, while also increasing your lung use, and boost your immune system. In women, running has also been known to actually reduce your risk of breast cancer. Being one of the best forms of losing and maintaining weight, running can also provide a nice boost to your self-esteem and confidence. Get the most from your experience by tracking your results using the Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Premium Strap.

Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is a great exercise for cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that the only way to improve your cardiovascular system is by participating in exercise that stresses the heart and accessory organs. Walking, bike riding, and rock climbing are just a few examples of these exercises. Rock climbing is also a great way of promoting weight loss. Rock climbing at a moderate pace for around one hour can burn around 400 calories, while also toning and increasing muscle mass in the arms, chest, back, and legs.

Swimming
People often underestimate the health benefits of swimming. Swimming is a great way to help you to build your heart rate and blood flow, while helping to maintain a healthy weight. Using the water as a tool can also be a great way to tone your muscle, breath better, and even become more flexible. Because water is denser than air, swimming is a far more effective way of toning your muscles than any other form of cardiovascular exercise that you can do on land. With a swimming exercise regimen, you also get the benefits of a cardio workout, while simultaneously working on developing an even body tone. Working out in water provides a certain amount of water resistance, which has a similar effect as using a light weight on a resistance machine at the gym.

Soccer
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and is played in several countries. Playing soccer can be lots of fun, and is also a great workout. It’s quite a challenge pointing out the main benefit of playing soccer, when there are several. Soccer increases aerobic capacity and cardiovascular health, lowers body fat and improves muscle tone, builds strength, flexibility and endurance, increases muscle and bone strength, and improves health due to shifts between walking, running and sprinting.

Hide and Seek
Sure Hide and Seek could have perhaps fit into the running section, but I think it’s great to point out specific ways in which you can get the children involved in being active. Put together a play date or take the children to the park for an old school game of hide and seek or freeze tag. Start to make outings like this more frequent. This allows you to sneak in a workout, while promoting child fitness at the same time. The beauty about it is your little boys and girls will never see it as a workout. If you really want to get them involved, give them an iBitz Powerkey Activity Tracker for Kids and make it a contest to see who can take the most steps during the game. Now you’ve really got their attention!

Remember that physical fitness does not have to be a chore. Find ways to include the family in your outdoor activities, and make them fun. Always be sure to stay properly hydrated during any routine. I’d suggest strapping on a Camelbak Unbottle Hydration Pack, or carrying something like the Avex Wells AutoSpout Water Bottle 32 Ounce with you. Always be sure to consult your physician before initiating any new routine.

8 Items You Can Use to Complete Your New Year’s Resolution of Being Healthy and Fit

 

The New Year is officially here, and it’s time to tackle our fitness resolutions. However, many of us don’t know where to start. You know that you want to embrace a more fit and healthy lifestyle, but not really sure of how to go about it or what you need in order to begin? We can help you hit the ground running. Here is a list of 8 Items You Can Use to Complete Your New Year’s Resolution of Being Healthy and Fit:

1. garmin-forerunner-910xt-multisport-gps-training-watch-51 Garmin Forerunner 910XT Multisport GPS Training Watch
An upgraded version of the Forerunner 310XT, the GPS-enabled Garmin 910 provides detailed swim metrics and tracks distance, pace, elevation (via barometric altimeter) and OPTIONAL heart rate for running and cycling. The 910XT is ideal for multisport athletes, distance runners and water sport enthusiasts, being water resistant to 50 meters, and having up to 20 hours of battery life. It records distance, efficiency, stroke type, stroke count and pool lengths. You swim. You bike. You run. You obsess over data and details. So do we. Check out the Garmin Forerunner 910XT Heart Rate Watch here.

2. garmin-vivofit-activity-sleep-tracker-fitness-band-black-1 Garmin Vivofit Activity & Sleep Fitness Tracker
If you want to walk more in 2015, let the Garmin Vivofit Activity & Sleep Fitness Tracker be your guide. Vivofit is the only fitness band that greets you with a personalized daily goal, tracks your progress and reminds you when it’s time to move. Vivofit monitors your sleep and shows your steps, goal countdown, calories, distance and the time of day on an easy-to-read display. When performing fitness activities, you can also pair your Vivofit with the Standard or Premium Heart Rate Transmitter, keeping record of your heart rate and zone data.

3. garmin-forerunner-310xt-waterproof-running-gps-watch-9 Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Premium Strap
If you’re going to do more running this year, you better be using the Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Personal Trainer with Heart Rate Premium Strap, as it is the #1 Seller in GPS Running Watches. This is a must have for any tri-athlete. As a GPS-enabled training device, the Garmin Forerunner 310XT offers so much more than the competition. Having a rugged design, the 310XT is an indispensable training tool for triathletes, offering superior data tracking as well as water-resistance up to 164 ft. (50m).

4. pedlar-pro-316-exerciser-5 Pedlar Pro 316 Exerciser
Unfortunately, there are many of us who are unable to get up and walk when we really want to. Fortunately, the enhanced Pedlar Pro is designed specifically with professional use in mind. The Pedlar Exerciser can be used while seated in a chair or wheelchair or from the side of a bed. You can also place it on a table top and put your hands in the pedal straps to use it for arm and upper body exercise. The Pedlar Pro comes fully assembled, and offers an easy height adjustment feature, allowing you to adjust the angle of the pedals, to provide the proper positioning for any situation.

5. polar-loop-activity-monitor-and-h7-heart-rate-transmitter-23 Polar Loop Activity Monitor
The Polar Loop is a name to be reckoned with, being the number 1 seller in activity monitors. The Loop tracks daily activity and exercise levels, monitors sleep patterns, gives instant motivational feedback and provides alerts to help users achieve personalized daily activity goals, but is also a stylish activity tracker in the form of a smart bracelet. Polar Loop brings precision and unmatched expertise to the activity tracker market. The Polar Loop can also be paired with both the H6 and H7 Heart Rate Monitors.

6. koss-fitbud-s-women-s-earbuds-52 Koss Headphones
If you’re anything like my friends and I, we simply cannot exercise without the help of music. We all have different tastes, so put together a playlist that works for you, plug in your Koss headphones, and enjoy the tunes while you get your exercise on! Every pair of Koss headphones is engineered to deliver impressive sound performance and isolation. With options ranging from Sports Clip Head Phones, to Ear Buds, and even On Ear Stereo phone Headphones, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect pair for you.

7. altra-the-repetition-men-s-running-shoes-23 Altra Running Shoes
Many people often forget about their feet when planning workout routines. If you will be walking or running more in 2015, I highly recommend investing in a pair of Altra Running Shoes. Offering items for both Men and Women, Altra Shoes offer stability, support and natural foot positioning, which is important for any runners. Did I mention that they’re amazingly comfortable?

8. hydro-flask-32oz-wide-mouth-stainless-steel-bottle-with-wide-mouth-straw-lid-11 (1) Hydro Flask 32oz Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Bottle with Wide Mouth Straw Lid 
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Hydro Flask 32oz Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Bottle with Wide Mouth Straw Lid. If you’re going to be performing any workout routine, staying properly hydrated is something like a cardinal rule. Going with the 32oz Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Hydro Flask Water Bottle allows you to fill up and go and keeps drink choice cold for up to 24 hours. It will also keep your hots hot for up to 12 hours. The 32 oz Hydro Flask features food grade 18/8 stainless steel and double wall vacuum insulation. It’s compatible with the Hydro Flip Lid and the Wide Straw Lid, further enhancing its versatility.

We hope this helps you get off to the proper start this year. If you are new to the fitness world, or just coming back from a hiatus don’t overdo it. Listen to your body. It will protest if you’ve done too much. Always consult a physician before beginning any exercise program.

 

6 Tips for a Healthy New Year

6 Tips for a Healthy New Year:Healthy eating has been on the top of the top New Year Resolution for eons. It is also one of the most forgotten resolutions, along with quitting smoking, once the New Year comes in. Preparing for your personal resolutions prior to January 1st. is one of the best ways to make sure you stick to your goals. Try these 6 Tips for a Healthy New Year:

1. Clean House
The first step to moving forward with healthier eating habits would be to clean out the pantry and refrigerator of anything containing high amounts of salt, carbs, fat, and calories. If you have three boxes of cookies, give two away. Keeping such items will only make you want them more. Try replacing those cookies with a bag or two of grapes or a delicious Florida Oranges.

2. Replace One Beverage a Day With Water
If you’re anything like myself, you have a strong addiction to soda. Try replacing at least one glass of soda with a nice cold glass of water. Feel free to add in a slice of lemon or even a cucumber, for flavor. Soda, is really not good for you with all the different sweeteners that they use. Try two glasses of water, if possible.

3. Eat More Omega-3s
Taking in more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help you keep your blood pressure down. Research also shows that omega-3s can help improve your mood. Shoot for two servings of fish a week, primarily fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and some types of tuna, which are rich in omega-3s. Not a fish lover? Walnuts and flax are also a great source.

4. Have a Fruit or Vegetable at Every Meal
Including fruits and vegetables into your meals is something you should be doing already. If you’re like cereal in the morning, top it off with a banana or strawberries, or maybe try adding blueberries to your yogurt. Skip the cafeteria, and pack a healthy lunch. Be sure to include some extra vegetables or an apple for dessert.

5. Portion Control
You will never reach your target size or weight if you do not curb overeating. The mission is never to stop eating, but do so in a healthy manner. Studies have shown that smaller portions do actually promote weight loss. Don’t forget to wash it down with water.

6. Sodium Consumption
Studies show many Americans consume close to twice the recommended limit of sodium, which is a teaspoon daily. Sodium can raise blood pressure. Those who usually have a lower sodium diet usually have a decreased risk of heart disease. This in turn promotes lower hypertension and better weight management.

Are you ready to prove to yourself that you are capable of reaching your goals? Whether you’re looking to lose 5 pounds or 30 or just eat healthier, be sure to have a plan. Take the appropriate steps to implement that plan, and enjoy the benefits of healthy eating. Have a Happy, Safe, and Healthy New Year!

Fitness Resolution

Fitness ResolutionIt’s almost time to put an end to 2014, and welcome in the New Year of 2015. It’s almost time for the “New Year, New Me” attitude, that many people will forget about come mid-January. Will you be one of the people who actually stick to your healthy resolution? I will share a few tips that will help you keep your Fitness Resolution.

1. Make Up Your Mind
I’ve always been told that everything starts with the determination of a made up mind. Be serious with yourself about what your goals are, and truly focus on them. Once you’ve made up your mind to exercise, you will exercise. If you’re not, then you’re voiding your New Year resolution.

2. Track Your Progress
Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and usually are more motivating. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Pair your workout with Garmin Forerunner 910XT Multisport GPS Training Watch to track distance, pace, elevation, and even Heart Rate, when you include the optional heart rate monitor.

3. Take Before Pictures
Taking before pictures is an excellent source of motivation. This allows you to physically see your progress. Just imagine comparing that before picture to an updated picture two months from now.

4. Stick to It
The saying is “it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality.” Don’t expect to lift weights today and have perfect six pack abs tomorrow. Be patient and results will appear.

5. Keep Trying
We all experience minor setbacks. It’s the comeback that really matters. If you fall off course, do not use this as an excuse to give up. We’ve all heard the saying “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again,” correct?

6. Set Measurable Goals
Make sure your goals are not too broad that you’re unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Rather than set a goal that says “I’m going to be fit in 2015,” personalize it and make it reachable. “I am going to lose 10 pounds over the next two months” isn’t this more feasible?

7. Do it For You
Too often I come across people who are attempting a fit lifestyle to benefit a boyfriend or girlfriend. I say no to this because that makes adopting an exercise routine more of a chore. However, being physically fit for yourself allows you to appreciate it more, and it takes the work out of working out.

Use these tips provided, and make 2015 the year that you really stick to your Fitness Resolution. Remember, we all have lazy days. If you fall off of course, take 24 hours and get started. Always make sure to stay properly hydrated during any fitness routine. Carry a Hydro Flask 24 oz. Narrow Mouth Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle with you, and enjoy hours of refreshing cold water. Have a Happy, Safe, Fit, and Healthy New Year!

Why Should You Wear A Heart Rate Monitor

Why Should You Wear A Heart Rate MonitorHeart rate monitors are beneficial during exercise for everyone from beginners to professional athletes. You will find many people from joggers and runners, to walkers and cyclist toting some of the best monitor tracking devices. Heart rate monitors can double as a life-saving device for those with conditions that put them at high risk of heart attack. So, Why Should You Wear A Heart Rate Monitor?

Measure your workout:

Measuring your exercise or heart rate is the most accurate way of determining how much you’re benefiting from your workout. Heart rate monitors are usually pretty dependable, when used properly.

 

Monitor Your Health:

A heart rate monitor not only helps you keep track of your heart rate, but also of your general health. A heart rate monitor allows you to detect health problems that you would not notice otherwise. For instance, you might find your heart rate going up rapidly even though you are doing light exercises. This is an indicator that something could be wrong with your health.

See if you’re Fitness Level Is Improving:

Your level of cardiovascular fitness is reflected in your recovery heart rate. As you become more aerobically fit, your heart rate should come down more quickly after a workout. A heart rate monitor makes it easier to monitor your recovery heart rate.

Track your progress:

Some monitors, like the Polar RCX3 BASIC Heart Rate Monitor, are able to store and display weeks worth of training sessions, allowing you to be sure that you are staying on course. Having a device that shows you what your goal is will usually push you to reach the mark.

Motivation:

Using wearable’s could provide the extra push that will get some off the couch, away from the television and out for some good exercise. Incorporating a heart rate monitor into your workout will show you where you may be slacking off. This is usually the motivation needed to spruce up your workout.

Calories Burned:

Some people love to see how many calories they have burned during their workouts. Having that little screen show you how many calories you have burned for the day will surely leave you feeling better. There are many different monitors that will count calories. One that I would look into is the Garmin Forerunner 910XT Multisport GPS Training Watch.

Fitness trackers provide an easy way to keep track of your daily steps as well as other points such as calories burned, water intake, sleep and more. They’re relatively inexpensive, depending on the model and features. A heart rate monitor also acts as a great substitute to a trainer, allowing you to stay disciplined during your workout.

Here are 5 Great Calf Exercises (with and without equipment) That Tone and Shape Your Legs

Are you bulky, toned, with abs of steel up top, but unable to get the same effect for your calves? Chances are you’re the guy that constantly gets called out for skipping leg day. Some of us really don’t care about the mismatch between legs and arms, figuring they’re never really seen. Then there are those of us who do try to get our calves in tip top shape, but are either stumped at what exercises to do or where to start.

You can find tons of articles on how to build muscle mass. There are hundreds more on proper eating, not including the millions of diet options found on the internet, and millions more on how to get the perfect abs. But when it comes to leg or calf exercises, it usually requires a lot more searching.

 

Movedownload (9) Your Legs
Something that we should already be doing is going for walks, jogs, and runs. You can tour your neighborhood, walk the dog an extra few blocks, or even walk/run/jog in place in your home. Anything that strains and gets your legs moving. The stairs in your home can be treated as built in exercise equipment. Go up and down a couple of times, if you’re not up to being outside. It’s important to work a little bit harder with every workout. Try including a Polar Loop into your walk, and track your steps and distance. Challenge yourself to go further and achieve more steps in the next walk. If you repeat the same routine, you won’t get the results you want.

download (10)Cycle a Lot
A bike is exercise equipment, and can usually be found in many households. If you have a sunny day, ride your bike to work for the day and leave the car at home. It’s a great way to target the muscles in your calves. Switching gears can heighten the intensity of your bicycle workout, as well as riding over hills and rougher surfaces like grass instead of pavement. Another advantage of biking is that you’ll save on gas.

 

                                          Calf Raises 

Calf-Raises-BasicAnother great calf exercise is the calf raise. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, your back straight and your hands at your sides. Contract the calf muscles, while lifting your heels off of the ground so your weight is on your toes. Hold for a second, then release back to the floor.
Repeat for twenty raises, or until you can feel a sore strain in your muscles.

 

Seated Calf Raise

or_bc95b316126642248312988This is a workout that is necessary for the calf muscles to reach their maximum capacity. While this movement is similar to the standing calf raise, the seated calf raise will actually target the lower muscles of the calf. Sit with the machine pads resting on your thighs. Again, drop your heel to 2-4 inches depending on how flexible you are. Raise again and squeeze the calf muscles once you reach the top. The rep range for this workout, as well as the standing calf raise, should between 10 and 20 depending on the needs of your body and what you can tolerate.

 

                                         Jump Rope
jumping-ropeWe’re going to go back to the basics. Get yourself a jump rope and perform either timed sets or sets for a specific number of reps. Bounce on the balls of your feet and keep your ground contact time as short as possible. Make it a game, or a competition with the family. First see who can jump the longest. Another fun game is seeing who can get more jumps in.

When working on building muscle in the lower legs, it’s important to remember to take in the proper amount of nutrients and protein to sustain your exercises. Give your body the appropriate time to rest and recover between each workout session. Never push yourself beyond your daily limit. Damaged muscles don’t serve any purpose.

8 Exercises for Pets That Get You Moving

8 Exercises for Pets That Get You MovingIs your dog as fit as you are? Dogs, both big and small, require daily exercise, just like we do. While some dogs get more than enough daily exercise, many dogs get nothing more than their daily walks, if that.

 
Without daily exercise and stimulation, your dog becomes bored, antsy, agitated, some even unhealthy and depressed. Daily fitness activities helps keep muscles toned, while adding elasticity. The same activities also promotes a healthy metabolic system, and keeps the mind stimulated. Lack of physical activity usually results in your four legged friend becoming destructive.

 
I believe many pets do not get the proper exercise they need, simply because a lot of pet owners don’t realize how important it is that their pets receive it. Another reason could be that pet owners aren’t really familiar with exercises that will keep their canine buddies in shape. Here, I will outline 8 exercises for you that will not only get your dog active and fit, but in turn will be a benefit for you as well.

 

Instead of walking your dog, have your dog walk you. Wherever she goes, you go. Think of your dog as a four-legged, furry, walking GPS that isn’t letting you know where the final destination will be. You’ll be amazed where that nose will take the two of you.

 
Running
Running is something that comes natural to most dogs. If you give my little girl an open field, without question, she’s taking off. Next time you’re going on your daily run, suit up your pooch and let him/her come along.

 
Fetch
A simple game of fetch can be all that is needed for your dog’s daily exercise fix. Fetch is easy to squeeze into busy schedules, as there is no need to travel far to fit in a game. A close-by park or backyard works great and on rainy days, fetch can be an indoor sport, played from the comfort of your couch.

 
Group Exercise
The best forms of exercise for any animal are the activities they would naturally do. For dogs, playing with other dogs fits that definition. Set up a play date for your dog, or visit the local dog park, and watch them have a blast.

 
Take your dog for a swim
Swimming is as great for dogs as it is for humans. If your dog isn’t a fan of the water, I was told a great way to get your dog into the water is to train him/her to chase a ball. Jump in the water with her and do a few laps. Perhaps you can even try racing, after you’ve thrown her ball and provided her a target.

 
Walk it out
Walking, of course, tops the list as one of the greatest doggy exercises. This is something that they should be getting every day and walking has been proven to be one of the best exercises for both you and your dog. Every so often, challenge yourself and your dog to walk a little further than normal. I suggest strapping on a FitBit to keep track of your steps.

 
Dog Stairs
A simple way to exercise indoors is to utilize your stairway. Put your dog on a leash and walk up and down the stairs. Take two steps at a time, jog up and down, or walk up sideways to vary the routine.

 
Doga
Dog yoga, often called “doga,” is a wonderful way to stretch and relax – for both owner and dog. Practitioners of doga say it helps them to de-stress and feel connected to their pups.

 
There are many more exercises available for your pet that are not listed here. If you’ve found a fitness routine that your dog is fond of, please continue. The important point of all this, is that your little buddy receives the fitness stimulation needed. This will enable him/her to have a healthy more energetic lifestyle.

 
There is one other perk out of all of this. As your pet benefits from all of this exercise, guess what? You’re benefiting from it as well. What are you waiting for, get up, grab that leash and head out the door!!

The Almighty Pumpkin

As far The Almighty Pumpkinas I can remember, the Jack-o-lantern and Halloween have gone hand in hand. Year after year, families taking a ride to the pumpkin patch, looking for the perfect orange melon or melons. Once picked, they’re taken home, gutted, and cut into a scary looking facial figure- usually with a candle burning on the inside, thus becoming the Jack-O-Lantern.

Aside from sitting on the front porch, as a Halloween ornament, many families also take the seeds from the pumpkin and roast them in the oven for a snack, bake pies, cakes, even pumpkin soup. However, there are many people who simply discard the insides of this fruit, not realizing the nutritional value they provide and dumping it into the trash. Today, we will take a look at 8 Health Benefits you may not know that the Pumpkin Offers:

Cancer
Pumpkins, and their seeds, are saturated with zinc and carotenoids, which help protect against prostate cancer. These compounds prevent growth of the prostate and over-stimulation of the male hormones that cause prostate problems. Similar to their cousins the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash, pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute. Food sources of beta-carotene seem to help more than a supplement.

Cholesterol
Pumpkin contains high amounts of phytosterols- plant-derived compounds that are similar in structure and function to cholesterol.  It can replace and or reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol, taking it back to a healthy level.

Potassium
A cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium than a banana, with 564 milligrams to a banana’s 422. A little extra potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.

Immune System
It does wonders for boosting the immune system by increasing the production and performance of white blood cells; building resistance to various kinds of infections. Packed with Vitamin C, one cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 11 milligrams, or nearly 20 percent of the 60 milligrams the IOM recommends women need daily. (Men should aim for around 75 milligrams.)

Depression
One of the cause of depression is the lack of tryptophan- precursor of serotonin and was used formerly as a dietary supplement especially to promote sleep and relieve depression in our diet.  Pumpkin is rich with L-tryptophan. When this chemical compound is supplied, it activates the feeling of happiness and well-being, reducing the depressed mood.

Kidney Health
Pumpkin seeds are also great for the kidneys. By taking about 5 – 10 grams of pumpkin seeds daily prevents stones formation in the kidneys.

Skin
The high quantity of anti-oxidants in the form of vitamins A, C and E, and zinc, provide the synergistic healing virtues that are great for the skin. These healthful properties are best obtained by drinking of its juice regularly.
Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that are very useful against the arthritis and joint inflammation.

The next time you’re carving your favorite Halloween masterpiece, keep in mind of the nutritional value that is available when you hollow out the insides. Keep the seeds, as they are a rich source of nutrients, including unsaturated fat, antioxidants, and fiber. Boasting almost 12 grams of protein per cup, pumpkin seeds also include many other vitamins and minerals, especially zinc (almost half of the daily recommended intake). Simply roast your pumpkin seeds in the oven with a little cooking spray, then toss them in your salads, mix them into your granola, or eat them alone for a snack.

Take advantage of all the benefits the “All Mighty Pumpkin” has to offer this Halloween season and all the ones that follow! And did I forget to mention Thanksgiving as well… Pumpkins are great at any time.