Walking

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg HuntIt’s 6:00am ET, and Tina is wide awake. She grabbed a healthy breakfast, consisting of oatmeal, an egg, a banana, and a nice refreshing glass of orange juice. She has on her Proviz Women’s High Visibility Running Shorts and Proviz Women’s High Visibility Running Long Sleeve Shirt, and her shoes are tied tight. After all, she’s getting ready to go for a hunt. She received word that HeartRateMonitorsUSA was having an Easter Egg Hunt and the winning egg contained a $200 Gift Certificate. The prize is in her sights, and she’s determined to win.

She’s getting her game plan ready. The hunt will last from Saturday March 28th, and expires March 31st at Midnight ET. This gives her a chance to take her time. She straps on her Garmin Vivoactive Smartwatch so she can keep track of her daily performance, allowing her to see her strengths and weaknesses. She partners that with her GoPro Hero4 Black Edition HD Action Camera with 32GB Ultra Memory Card, so she can watch the play back and see if there was anything missed. She really wants her name to be announced as the winner.

The hunt is on, and Tina starts off slow. She’s taking her time, combing through every page of HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com, looking for all three eggs. You heard that right, there are three eggs. In order for her to claim her $200 prize, she needs to locate at least one. She’s checking the Brands page, and she searched through the Running Shoes section as well. Tina is really in it for the win. She even checked the Shipping page and noticed that there is Free 2 Day Shipping on all orders over $100 and Free Overnight on all orders over $250. This kicked her search into over-drive.

There’s one egg, she found. There’s yet another egg. Where is the third egg? It’s hidden really well, but Tina will not give up. Will she find it? Will you find it? Search the entire HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com website, and locate the hidden egg(s). Once the egg(s) have been located, e-mail the location(s) to rewards@hrmusainc.com. The search will begin on Saturday March 28th, and ends March 31st at Midnight ET. One winner will be announced on April 1, 2015 at 10:00am ET.

8 Benefits of Cycling

8 Benefits of CyclingSpring has sprung. While there are many ways to get out there to enjoy the weather, one of my favorites is biking. Because many of us have been on our bicycles since we were adolescents, we often overlook the benefits offered from two wheels, pieces of metal, and a chain. While there are numerous benefits to using this excellent machine, we’re going to look at

It’s a Nice Day
Studies show that a simple bike ride, at approximately 10 mph, can burn up to 280 calories per hour. That’s providing you with relaxation and fitness at the same time, which makes it a Win, Win! Grab your Polar RCX3 BIKE Heart Rate Monitor to keep track of your distance, cadence, and more.

It’s a Great Means of Transportation
Biking is a great means of transportation, and is environmentally friendly. Not only are you getting in a great physical workout, and playing your part in saving the planet, you’re also saving money! Gas, car insurance, and maintenance fees can be quite expensive. Grabbing your helmet and peddling is looking much more attractive isn’t it?

Increase Muscle Tone
Cycling is one of the few physical activities, with a low risk of over exercising, and great for your muscle tone. Making cycling a part of your normal routine increases mobility in the hips and knees, and is a great toner for your legs, thighs, and butt.

Improves Heart Health
Riding a bike can have great positive impact on your heart’s health. Studies show that biking an average of 20 miles per week can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by up to 50%. That’s enough incentive to get me on my bike any day. Pick up a Garmin Edge 810 Cycling Computer, and track your distance.

Reduce the Risk of Some Cancers
Studies have shown that cycling can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer. Other evidence also suggests that cycling regularly can reduce the risks of breast cancer. A simple three to six hours of riding each week can help prolong your life. Are you ready to get rolling yet?

Lower Diabetes Risk
Biking is turning out to be not only a fun way to exercise but it also provides you with more benefits. According to research performed in Finland, people who cycle for 30 minutes or more each day had a 40% reduced risk of developing diabetes. Are you beginning to see the trend here?

Strengthens Bones
Cycling strengthens bones and improves balance. Because it is a low-impact exercise, biking can also be a great exercise for those with osteoarthritis, although it will not prevent this disease, it can help make you more mobile.

Quality Time
Riding a bike is a great way to spend some time with the one you love. If you think about it, it can actually be fun and/or romantic. It’s all what you to make it. Just remember, exercise helps to release good hormones. After that long ride, you two will probably feel really warm and fuzzy towards each other.

Now that you know what you’ve been missing, it’s time to grab your bicycle and get to riding. Plan a date, or do a couple of blocks with the kids or friends. If you’re an experienced cyclist, grab a Garmin Edge 810 Cycling Computer Performance and Navigation Bundle and put yourself to new challenges or let it be your training guide to your next marathon victory!

Spring into Fitness Starter Pack

We’re two weeks away from the much anticipated (for many of us) Spring season. Some of us are happy to shed our winter fur, and show off the body we’ve worked so hard for all season. Others will begin new routines to make sure they have the perfect beach body for the summer. We’ll also see a great deal of beginners exploring physical fitness for various different reasons. Whether you’re just toning up your already perfect body, or jumping into fitness for the first time, HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com. wants to help you meet your health and fitness goals. Check out our 2015 Spring into Fitness Starter Pack:

proviz-reflect360-men-s-high-visibility-running-jacket-5Proviz Reflect360 Men’s High Visibility Running Jacket
Stand out on your nightly run in the Proviz Reflect360 Men’s High Visibility Running Jacket. The Proviz REFLECT360 running jacket is designed to be a sleek, great looking and functional. With reflective detailing designed to help you stand out on the roads during hours of darkness or poor light. To help runners keep their body temperature at an optimum level the REFLECT360 running jacket has perforated paneling on the back and under the arms to allow excess heat to escape. The front pocket is designed to house among other items your MP3 players and has a headphone socket to keep wires inside the jacket at all times.

polar-a300-fitness-and-activity-monitor-with-heart-rate-5Polar A300 Fitness and Activity Monitor with Heart Rate
Follow you daily activity, sleep, steps and calories with the Polar A300 Fitness and Activity Monitor with Heart Rate. The A300 also includes daily activity tracking with mobile connectivity to Polar’s Flow application. The A300 monitors your steps, distance, and burned calories, and motivates you to reach your activity goal. Staying still for too long will prompt the A300 to vibrate, signaling you that it’s time to move again. This is basically your personal trainer in a box.

muse-etiger-wireless-headphones-with-microphone-black-4Muse eTiger Wireless Headphones with Microphone
Take your music everywhere you go. Easy to use, fast connection and longer battery life, Muse has it all thanks to its cutting-edge embedded technology. Muse features a built-in microphone so that you can take calls any time you need, and go back to your music without lifting a thumb when your call is over, making them ideal for running, sports, exercise, and everyday living.

eco-vessel-24oz-triple-insulated-stainless-water-bottle-5Eco Vessel 24oz Triple Insulated Stainless Water Bottle
Staying hydrated during the warmer seasons is always important. The Eco Vessel 24oz Triple Insulated Stainless Water Bottle is perfect for traveling, and keeps your colds cold for up to 36 hours. Its secure top will keep drinks inside where they belong, so toss it in a backpack or tote bag and go!

lifesource-deluxe-connected-bluetooth-scale-uc-352ble-4Lifesource Deluxe Connected Bluetooth Scale
Step on this clean, modern scale, and have the results automatically transmitted to your A&D Connect app. It’s that simple! There’s no need to turn it on or remember to turn it off. The Deluxe Connected Weight Scale has an industry leading capacity of 450 lbs. that’s precise within 0.2 lbs., an easy-to-read LCD display, and a long battery life. With Step-On Start technology, you get fast and accurate results you’d expect from the leader in connected health management. And with WellnessConnected and the A&D Connect app, you can now get connected right out-of-the-box.

breathometer-breeze-4Breathometer Breeze
We all know with the spring season comes the parties. After all, isn’t Spring Break right around the corner? Now you can wirelessly transform your smart phone into a breathalyzer in seconds with this sleek, portable product that fits anywhere. Beyond providing dependable blood alcohol concentration levels—the Breathometer app is designed to help you make informed, dependable decisions. But always remember never drink and drive, get that designated driver and have a good but safe time.

camelbak-gambler-100oz-hydration-pack-rooibos-5Camelbak Gambler 100oz Hydration Pack (Rooibos)
Do you plan on doing a lot of camping or hiking this season? You better take your Camelbak Gambler 100oz Hydration Pack with you! The Gambler is designed to keep things light and fast, but carries enough supplies for a full day on the mountain. The Therminator harness keeps your drinking tube insulated from the elements, and the dedicated pockets keep your avy gear handy. We’ve also added a tuckable external gear loop and made sure all of the zipper pulls and clasps are glove-friendly, so you won’t waste time fumbling to get at your gear. Easy in, easy out: shovel, probe, skins and 3 liters of hydration all fit in this low-profile pack. Add intelligent hydration to your antidote with the Camelbak Antidote Insulated Tube with Flow Meter.

Now that you know everything that you need for your Spring Fitness Starter Kit, Go ahead and Spring Into Fitness!

5 Reasons Thermophore “Just Ain’t Your Grandma’s Heating Pad”

5 Reasons Thermophore "Just Ain't Your Grandma's Heating Pad"The benefits of moist heat therapy are undeniable and highly impressive. Moist heat can relieve stiffness and improve circulation by opening blood vessels, while relieving pain caused by a multitude of things. However, it seems that many people are under the impression that heating pads are for the elderly. Perhaps you guys have not been properly introduced to the Thermophore Moist Heating Pad. If you have not, that is perfectly okay. I will have you all acquainted very shortly. The Thermophore Moist Heating pad is nothing short of a miracle in a box. While it is true that moist heat is an excellent pain remedy for those suffering from arthritis, Raynaud’s Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and even Berger’s Disease, moist heat is also great for sore necks, sprained ankles, and pre-workouts. Check out 5 Reasons Thermophore “Just Ain’t Your Grandma’s Heating Pad”:

Joint Injuries
Moist heat allows an increased movement in stiff joints by providing better mobility and range of motion from the affected joint. This allows you to exercise the joint a little easier, making the workout more effective. The next time you’re on the basketball court, and you notice pain in your knee, first wait 48-72 hours before applying heat, as this can promote swelling. In fact, during this time you should avoid all things that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, hot packs, or alcoholic beverages and remember the acronym R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate). After the initial 48-72 hours have expired, apply your Thermophore Moist Heat Pad. Do a few gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help restore and maintain flexibility. If you need a heat treatment while on the go, check out the Good2Go Microwave Heat Pack.

Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms are an involuntary contraction in the muscle tissue. Moist heat opens your blood vessels, bringing more nutrients to the area which promotes healing. Putting ice on muscle spasms would cause more pain than relief. Ice would cause you to shiver, tightening the muscles, while the moist heat soothes them. Usually, you want to keep the heat directly applied to the sore area for 15-20 minutes per session.

Ankle Sprain
Moist Heat can be great when treating a sprained ankle. A sprained ankle is a stretched or torn ligament, which results in pain, swelling, and instability of the ankle. As with Joint Injuries, when you initially sprain your ankle, you want to follow the R.I.C.E acronym. According to the University of Virginia, you should begin to apply heat once you have pain-free ankle motion and you have no new swelling. Check to see if the injured ankle feels like the same temperature as the uninjured ankle. Apply moist heat for 20 minutes per session, as often as possible. If you notice that the heat is causing swelling, stop the heat and try using our Ice It ColdCOMFORT. This may save you soccer and football players a trip to the ER.

Stiff Neck
I’m sure we’ve all slept in that awkward position, or had a long flight or car ride, that caused us to wake up with a stiff neck. If you were thinking that a Thermophore can help with this, you would be absolutely correct. The moist heat penetrates the painful area, increasing blood circulation due to the dilation of blood vessels. The increase in blood flow reduces inflammation, allowing extra oxygen and carrying away waste and toxins. As this process takes place, pain will subside. Since an awkward sleeping position can happen to anyone, at any time, why isn’t a Thermophore in your closet?

Muscle Pain
Because of a chemical called lactic acid, overworked muscles tend to become sore. Lactic acid builds up when the muscles are put under stress and stripped of oxygen. Because of this reduced blood flow, the lactic acid builds up, causing a traffic jam, which results in muscle pain. Moist Heat Therapy helps to restore the flow of the blood, and speeds up the removal of lactic acid. Moist heat therapy can also be used before you exercise to warm up and prepare your muscles for movement, possibly reducing the likelihood of an injury. That’s something to think about before doing your next Cross fit routine.

Fact is moist heat therapy is one of the simplest, safest, and most effective home remedies for injury, pain, or discomfort in muscles and joints. Moist heat can help to loosen injured muscles before you begin any activity or simply stretching. Icing afterward, can minimize pain. If you have a chronic injury, moist heat therapy can relieve pain and stiffness and improve circulation. Moist heat therapy can also be used before beginning to exercise or to warm up and prepare your muscles for movement. If you’ve experienced an acute injury however, apply cold therapy and do NOT use moist heat therapy. Remember, Thermophore Moist Heat Pads “Ain’t Just Your Grandma’s Heating Pad,” reaching a maximum temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Please, be sure to always read the warning label.

10 Ways to Help You Maintain a Healthy Heart

10 Ways to Help You Maintain a Healthy HeartCupid will be a mighty busy guy this weekend, running around making sure he shoots everyone in sight with a heart arrow. It’s his job to make sure that every valentine receives the gift that was meant for him/her. It was then that I thought, what if you’re your own Valentine this year? Loving yourself, and treating yourself doesn’t require tons of gifts, roses or chocolates. In honor of February being American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day falling in the same month, here are 10 Ways to Help You Maintain a Healthy Heart:

Exercise Daily
Try to exercise daily. Challenge yourself to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. If you do 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week, this should be easy. Fit in a workout anywhere you can. Try wearing a Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS Heart Rate Monitor (Black) with Premium Strap, and track your results.

Eat Fish
Make fish a part of your diet. Including this high protein which is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Mackerel, tuna, and salmon are an excellent source of this, which helps protect against heart disease.

Walk More
If you’re feeling a bit tense or under pressure, go and take a walk. Walking allows you to clear your mind and collect your thoughts, which in turn can reduce tension. When you get the urge to take that walk, grab your Pedusa PE-771 Tri-Axis Multi-Function Pocket Pedometer and Clip, and see exactly how you helped yourself while on the go.

Reduce Cholesterol
Cholesterol is found only in animal products, such as meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs. Lean and low-fat foods can still be high in cholesterol. Check Nutrition Facts on the labels to keep track of the cholesterol in your food and consume no more than 300 mg daily.

Avoid Stress
Staying stress free is easier said than done. However, avoiding stress when possible is crucial. How you handle stress may directly affect your heart. Too much stress can lead to medical issues such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you’re constantly feeling stressed or overwhelmed, talk to a health care specialist about better ways of dealing with these issues. I would also recommend keeping an Omron BP742N 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor in the home, allowing you to closely monitor your blood pressure.

Drink More Water
We can never stress how important it is to stay hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. To make it easier, I’d purchase a Camelbak Eddy .75l BPA Free Bottle.  It’s spill-proof, so it’s a handy bottle to take on walks, hiking or to the gym.

Eat Healthy
Make it your business to eat healthier. Revamp your refrigerator, placing all healthy items to the front, and removing anything that may stop you from changing your healthy eating habits.

Eat More Fiber
Include fiber in your diet. Oats, whole-grain rice, beans, and potatoes are excellent sources of fiber. Be careful when choosing processed foods, as many of them have large amounts of sugar. As always, be sure to drink plenty of water, as it will prevent constipation.

Sleep Well
Poor sleeping patterns can result in heart disease, just as having heart disease can interfere with sleep. Products such as caffeine and nicotine can heighten these risks. According to the Harvard Medical School, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help you improve your sleep habits.

Cut Back on Salt
Consuming too much salt can cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Try avoiding items that are too salty such as chips, pizzas, salted nuts, canned vegetables and soups. One thing you can do to help you curb your intake of sodium, would be to check the ingredient levels of your packaged food, before adding them to your shopping basket.

Now that you have the necessary information to maintain a healthy heart, go make cupid jealous. After all, Cupid’s arrows are supposed to bring you the gift of love. By eating healthy and exercising daily, you gift yourself a longer, healthier life.

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.

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!

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.

Fitness and Supplements

The supplement in384x324-images-stories-supplements_702_277_s_c1dustry has become inundated with ineffective supplements, with false claims of helping you reach your fitness goals, making it even harder to figure out which supplements actually work. It is vital that we do our research and consult our physicians before adding any supplement to our diets. While you gather your questions for your next doctor visit, we’ll take the hard part out… The research. Here’s a list of supplements that can actually help you reach your fitness goal.

Whey
Whey tops the list of mass-gain supplements because it’s the most crucial for pushing protein synthesis. Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, No. 4 on our list). Bottom line: Whey takes the crown because it digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start building muscle. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles. This is why we always recommend consuming whey protein immediately after training.

Green Tea
Green tea fights fat. Animals who are given the extract in studies gain less weight and burn substantially more fat than animals getting a placebo. You can drink the tea, experts ideally recommend about eight glasses a day-or go the easier route and just take a supplement. Aim for 90 milligrams three times daily.

Creatine
Creatine is perhaps the most efficient supplement if you’re doing a high-intensity activity. There are very few supplements that have the solid scientific foundation available that creatine has. Experts say that creatine is beneficial to 80% of the people who have used it. Since creatine is found naturally in meat, the more meat you eat, the less likely you’ll need creatine supplementation. However, vegans or those who rarely eat meat can get huge boosts from these supplements.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids is the one type of fat you don’t want to cut back on. Two crucial ones — EPA and DHA — are primarily found in certain fish. ALA, another omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits. Fish oil supplements can lower elevated triglyceride (Blood fat) levels. Having high levels of this blood fat puts you at risk for heart disease. Omega-3s also help prevent several types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancers.

Keeping our testosterone levels high when we are training is important for building muscle mass. Testosterone is the leading hormone that is largely responsible for building lean muscle mass and increasing strength. One of the best bodybuilding investments you can make is to consume all natural test boosters.