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New to or out of touch with the supplement game? This post goes over my personal recommendations for supplement stacks for beginners.

My Personal Recommendations For Supplement Stacks For Beginners

My list of supplement stacks for beginners is based on purely on the routine that I use to get back in the gym. As you know, there are countless supplements out there and for different purposes. Many of these products and supplements are outstanding, but most aren’t necessary to when all you’re doing is getting back into a gym routine after a long absence.

All I really need when getting back into a routine are a few things: protein, creatine, and pre-workout supplements. The hardest part of a workout out is gathering enough motivation to get started. This is where pre-supplements come in and why I often buy one before getting into an exercise routine again. Energy (or lack thereof) is the primary reason I become sedentary.

Protein is another one I always buy. My choices for supplement stacks for beginners wouldn’t be complete without a good protein supplement or three. Protein is critical for active people to prepare the muscle tissue torn during the exercise process. It also aids in recovery. Many people question when, how much, and how many times to take protein. The short answer to that is there really is no right or wrong answer. Some people take a single scoop before and after a workout. Others consume their protein only after the workout. I personally do the former. A couple of other things I prefer to do with protein are to take it in the form of a weight gainer and drink a shake before bed. Each protein powder has ingredients and properties that make them digest at different rates in our body. Whey protein is for quick absorption whereas casein protein takes longer to digest. This makes the latter suitable for bedtime to avoid muscle breakdown overnight.

Creatine is actually the least important on this list if all you’re doing is looking to get back into a routine rather than full-on bodybuild mode. I chose to add this to my list of supplement stacks for beginners because creatine increases muscle and size. Even when I’ve taken a long hiatus I always get right back to muscle growth. Creatine not only increase muscle and size, it also helps your muscles recover quicker. This is something I notice in my workouts when I’m not as sore as when I don’t take creatine. Whether you choose to add creatine to your stack or not, there are many good options out there. Some brands even have excellent flavors, so much so that they nearly taste like Kool-Aid packets. They can come in both powder and pill form which this list includes both. No form is better than the other. It’s just a matter of preference.

Supplement stacks for beginners can be simple. Here are my top picks in the mentioned categories above and the Amazon links taking you to the product.

My Pick For Protein Powders:

Whey Protein Powder:

  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder (Amazon’s Choice)- Amazon
  • MusclePharm Combat 100% Whey Protein Powder- Amazon
  • EAS 100% Pure Whey Protein Powder- Amazon
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder (Amazon's Choice)-
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder (Amazon’s Choice)

Casein Protein Powder:

  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein Protein Powder- Amazon’s Choice
  • Dymatize Elite 100% Micellar Casein Slow Absorbing Protein- Amazon
  • MuscleTech Nitro Tech Casein Gold 100% Protein Powder- Amazon
  • Cellucor Micellar Casein Protein Powder, COR-Performance Series- Amazon

My Choices For Creatine:

Creatine Powder:

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsule- Amazon's Choice
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsule- Amazon’s Choice

Creatine Pill Form:

  • Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsule- Amazon’s Choice
  • GNC Pro Performance AMP Amplified Creatine- Amazon
  • Kreatin(TM) – Pure Creatine Monohydrate Supplement- Amazon 

My Choice For Pre-workout Supplements

  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout- Amazon’s Choice
  • Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder Energy Drink- Amazon
  • BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre-Workout Supplement- Amazon
Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder Energy Drink
Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder Energy Drink

My Choice For Weight Gainers

  • TRUE-MASS by BSN- Amazon
  • Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder- Amazon
  • MusclePharm Combat XL Mass Gainer Powder- Amazon
TRUE-MASS by BSN
TRUE-MASS by BSN

 

I do not own any images in this blog post.

Copyright (c) 2018 BlessedWithBalance.com, All Rights Reserved

Optimal Living

Maximizing Your Health and Happiness: An Idea of What Optimal Living Is

What is “Optimal Living?”

Optimal living is a theme you’ll begin hearing as my client and reading more often in my posts. It’s the perfect phrase to describe your own overall bio-individual health and wellbeing, tailored to what you want. No, it doesn’t have to mean switching to a straight vegan diet, but it could mean adding more vegetables to your diet. Living optimally can also mean your gauge of overall happiness and wellbeing based on stress, sleep levels, and other factors in your life. Seeing as we literally are what we out down to our very cells, it’s clear that one of the first things to get right when beginning your journey is getting optimal nutrition from your food. Believe it or not, food also has an impact on your hormones, nervous system, immune system, as well as many other important functions that holistically comprise of who we are.

Breaking Down Optimal Nutrition

Food belongs in what we at IIN call the Secondary Nutrition group. This is the actual food we put into our body, whereas the Primary Nutrition group focuses more on holistic health. I’ve studied Nutrition for over five years and can honestly say that I’m confident in what I know in terms of which vitamins and minerals our body needs. My year at IIN introduced me to literally hundreds of different diets, all designed for a specific purpose. However, my focus is primarily on the diets that give us optimal nutrition. What I mean by this is examining factors such as: What’s your family history of certain chronic illnesses/diseases? Where at in the country/world do you live? How often do you go to the gym? Is your job physically demanding? Are you vegan/vegetarian? By answering these questions, I get a good idea of what kind of nutrients you’re currently taking in, where you may be deficient, and what you may need more of based on current diet and physical activity.

One of my favorite subjects is food. It’s a big reason I got into the nutrition field. In fact, I love food so much, I expanded my knowledge into learning how to cook and locating places in a new town to try new foods and beverages (“good” or “bad” food). Being a Health Coach means I can eat whatever I want to eat and live the way I want to live as long as I am mindful. This means as long as I have a clear goal of what want to make me happy and I have the general knowledge to make my own healthy choices, I’m free to eat what I wish.

Optimal Living Through Secondary Nutrition

To give you an example of this I’ll use my typical daily diet. I eat a mostly plant-based diet because I wish to clear up my skin, boost my immune system, gain and maintain energy throughout the day without coffee, and keep unnecessary body fat off. My diet consists mainly of at least three leafy green salads, greens, and a little bit of chicken meat. I make a deal to eat like this for the whole eight hours I’m at work. This means I always make sure my food is packed for the next day. After my eight hour window and I’m home, I’m free to eat whatever I want. But by the time I’m home, I’ve already consumed most of my energy from healthy foods, and my desire for other foods is limited.

Optimal Living Through Primary Foods

Living optimally goes legions farther than just adjusting your diet. You can eat all the kale you want to, but the truth is if other areas in your life aren’t right, i.e. relationships, work, lack of physical activity, and spiritual/interpersonal misguidance, then you’re not going to be functioning optimally. And when you’re not functioning optimally (stress making you irritable, depressed, anxious, worried, etc.), you’re not in optimal health. It even becomes physiologically evident sometimes when we’re so stressed out that we break out into hives or shingles, for example. As cliche as the saying is, we truly aren’t meant to pay bills and die. There’s a reason diagnoses such as anxiety and depression are so high in America. We work ourselves into bad health. And when we’re not working, we add our own unnecessary stressors to our lives. That may be in the form of a toxic relationship that requires strength and clarity to move on from. Or it can be in the form of a dead-end job that’s just not fulfilling to you.

Where My Passion For Health Coaching Lies

In my mind, this is the fun part of my job. I enjoy listening to my clients talk about their stresses with complete confidentiality. It’s important that I listen to what they do for a living, the relationships in their lives while asking high-mileage questions that get to the root of what’s truly the stress barriers keeping them back from an optimal life. From here I start asking questions about how he/she would prefer certain situations be, allowing them to come to their very own conclusions. These high-mileage questions also help us get to their true desires: what really gets them excited and up and going. That could be more traveling, for instances (I’m currently working travel resources into my 1-month curriculum!). It could also be going out and connecting with nature more. Or going shooting more. Maybe it’s simply spending more time with friends and loved ones. Whatever they are, these are the true things that keep a soul thriving. Guiding my clients towards this level of clarity and ultimately freedom is what I live for. I just know the feeling of discovering my passion too well to not share my excitement and knowledge.

What’s your idea of optimal living? How do you envision your life? What are some unnecessary stressors you know you can get rid of like right after reading this? Comment below or email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com for questions about my health coaching services. Follow me on Twitter @Anthonyjrich11 and my FB page by the same tag!

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

What a Health Coach Can Do For You

Not many people are aware of exactly what a health coach is, much less what they do. As a Holistic Health Coach, I take massive pride in my services and the versatility it gives me. In no other field can I think of can I guide people towards their health, fitness, and career goals while also helping them discover themselves on a spiritual level. In this article, I’m going to talk a little bit about my services and what we as health coaches can do for you.

Achieve Your Health Goals

At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, one of the rules we live by is bio-individuality: every person is unique, and no one person’s body responds the same. What this means is what works for one individual may not work for another. As a matter of fact, that same routine that helped Joe lose weight may actually make John gain weight. This is why it’s imperative as a health coach for me to really listen to my clients and get a good understanding of what my clients’ goals are and what they’ve said worked in the past for them.

Examples of health goals include getting better sleep, feeling more energetic throughout the day, waning off of coffee or sugar, and feeling less stressed among other things. How do I help my clients with these sort of goals? By listening to them during our one-on-one health coaching sessions and getting a good feel for what will work for them based off of what they’re telling me.

Health Coaching Through a Series of High-Mileage Questions

For example, if I have a client who wants to feel more energetic throughout the day, I ask a series of questions getting to the root of what’s causing their sluggishness throughout the day. For instance, I’ll ask what they’re eating for breakfast. If they’re not eating breakfast at all due to a strict time schedule, I start there. Then I ask what their work hours look like. From the clients I’ve had, most of the time the reason their sluggish through the day is because their circadian rhythm is thrown off. They may be on a swing or mid shift which takes its toll on the human body after an extended period of time. I then ask them (notice I don’t tell them to do anything) if there’s any way they’d be able to switch with someone from day shift. If that’s not possible,  I move forward with some suggestions for what they can eat and drink, such as more green tea and mixed nuts throughout the day.

Identify and Reach Your Fitness Goals

Helping my clients reach their physical goals goes beyond just shedding a few pounds or packing on Ronnie Coleman-like muscles. I ask specific questions about their goals to help them better reach clarity. For instance, If I have a client who wants to gain more muscles, I ask him or what kind of muscle are they looking for. Do they want the buff kind of look or the cut and shredded look? Whichever one they choose, I then ask why that particular look. This helps them to better understand their intentions behind their goals. With clarity, they’re more likely to stick to the plan we’ve written down and go through with it.

Clarify Career Goals

This is part of my service is one of my favorites. As someone who’s gone through quite a bit of career changes after separating from the Air Force, I know firsthand just how hard it can be to pinpoint exactly what I want to do. Careers goals can include simple entry-level jobs, career salaried jobs, or entrepreneurial businesses. The clients I’ve worked with tend to have entrepreneurial goals as I ask more questions and dive into their intentions. One of my favorite questions to ask my clients about their career goals is what can they see themselves doing one year from now, then three, then five years. As they connect the dots, it becomes more clear to them what they want to do. We then start working towards a plan of action to get the ball rolling.

More Questions About What a Health Coach Can Do For You? Just Ask Me!

Of course, this is just an extremely small sample of what I do for my clients as a Holistic Health Coach. Spirituality and relationships are other areas of life I guide my clients through. Those are a bit tricky, as I’m not a Psychologist and there are things outside of my scope of practice. But what I can do is help my clients gain more clarity in where they stand in those areas. I love answering questions about what I do and reading comments from visitors to my site, so if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. Otherwise, you can always contact me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com for inquiries about my 1-month program and a free initial Health Histories Consultation!

I do not own the photo used for this blog

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Whey Protein Benefits You May Not Have Even Known About

5 Healthy Whey Protein Benefits You May Be Unaware Of

Whey Protein Benefits: What Are They?

Every supplement shop has their featured protein shake, their bread and butter. In particular, whey protein is the most commonly sought after protein supplement. But why? What exactly is the craze? What are some whey protein powder benefits we should really know about?

I’m comfortable saying I’m an avid supplement shop visitor and regular whey protein user. I’ve never taken the time to really explore their benefits, however. All I know is one thing about protein powder: gains. Although there are many more whey protein powder benefits, I’m only going to list these 5 from Healthline.com because they’re mostly related to our fitness health. Here are some of the benefits of whey protein:

1) High-Quality Protein With Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids are key to muscle growth and gains. Packed with all of the essential amino acids, whey protein powder’s also the fastest-digesting kind of protein. What this means is whey protein is best for muscle growth. This is particularly true right after a workout. Your muscle fibers and tissue are broken down and benefit most from immediate repair post exercise. My top high-quality whey protein powder of choice is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder. The link is Amazon’s Top Choice 5lb tub, but you can also get a smaller sample size with the 2lb tub for only $30, whereas the 5lb one is closer to $50.

Image result for gold standard whey protein
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, a popular choice on Amazon and in many supplement shops.

2) It Contains the Amino Acid Leucine to Prevent Age-Related Muscle Atrophy

As we age, our muscles mass and strength decline. The amino acid leucine helps to prevent age-related muscle atrophy. It is also the most muscle-building component of all the amino acids. What does this mean? Whey protein shakes contain plenty of leucine. Consuming this amino acid regularly paired with routine exercise will both increase your muscle mass and preserve your gains.

Can you say win?

3) Glutathione in Whey Protein Powder Increases the Body’s Antioxidant Defenses

Our bodies produce glutathione, a very important antioxidant. It’s a key antioxidant for your minimizing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. An abundant consumption of amino acids, cysteine, in particular, is required for your body to produce healthy levels. Another whey protein benefit is that it’s plentiful with cysteine. It’s just another example of how everything needs to work together in order to keep us at peak optimal performance. This cysteine supplement, Solgar- L-Cysteine 500 mg, an Amazon’s Choice, is a good quality supplement and my choice for this particular amino acid. It has 90 vegetable capsules and has Free Form L-Cysteine, making them easily digestible and absorbed.

Image result for solgar cysteine
Solgar- L-Cysteine 500 mg, 90 vegetable capsules. Excellent to have in conjunction with whey protein.

4) Whey Protein is Highly Satiating

Protein fills the stomach regardless of source. Not to mention many of us just get the downright bubble-guts anyways, regardless of which type of protein we consume. In my program, if one of my client’s goals is steady weight loss, I introduce some diet theories high in protein. This helps them to “crowd out” the bad foods by eliminating random cravings throughout the day. The great thing about whey protein powder is that you don’t always have to take it in conjunction with a workout. You can wake up early in the morning and drink one, or late at night before you hit the sack, although casein protein is best for this situation, as it’s slower digesting, therefore slowing down the catabolic process (muscle breakdown).

Image result for casein

5) Whey Protein May Have the Added Benefit of Reducing Inflammation

In the world of holistic health/integrative nutrition, inflammation may as well be public enemy #1. Inflammation is the cause of many illnesses and diseases around the world. What’s worse is that we cause internal inflammation to ourselves through poor diet choice. We weren’t meant to consume grains, sugar, and dairy at such high rates. For this reason, our bodies don’t know how to respond, often igniting our immune systems to counter some of this junk entering our bodies.

Thankfully for the gym rat, A benefit of whey protein may be that it reduces inflammation. A randomized controlled study published by PubMed in 2015 suggests that people with high levels of C-reactive protein, a regular component in inflammation, is reduced, although more conclusive studies are needed.

There Are Countless Whey Protein Benefits

These were just a few examples of the benefits of whey protein and how you can incorporate them into your daily life. To recap, whey protein powder is a high-quality protein with benefits including prevention of aging muscles, keeps you full, may reduce inflammation, and has many amino acids for muscle-building and antioxidants for immunity and disease prevention. I frequent supplement shops often and buy from Amazon often, so be on the look-out for more articles like this as I expand my online marketplace community for veterans!

If you feel I missed important information or would like to add your favorite whey protein supplement, please feel free to comment below and share this! To schedule a free Health Histories consultation and get your fitness goals going, email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com or schedule it through my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/Anthonyjrich11/!

I do not own any pictures on this blog.

The links in this blog are Amazon links that I do get paid commission for if the reader decides to purchase the items listed on this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

 

Proud Veteran Health Coach: My Background and Integrative Nutrition

Hello and welcome to Anthonyjrichard.com. I’m an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a proud U.S. Air Force Veteran of seven years. I became a Health Coach to fulfill my desire to keep the comradery and bond only found in the military while also serving as a guide to my brothers and sisters through a pivotal point in their lives. I decided the best way to achieve this is to develop a 1-month program to work with transitioning veterans to improve their health and guide them towards clarity as they embark on civilian life, a new and exciting chapter in their lives flooded with opportunities!

I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I received in-depth training in nutrition, health and wellness, coaching skills, and business development. I lead workshops on nutrition and resume building and offer individual health and nutrition coaching to veterans entering the civilian world again.

Contact me today to schedule a free consultation!

Anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com

(803) 609-7940

 

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach for Transitioning Veterans

Education Background:

Institute For Integrative Nutrition:

1-Year Program Covers:

  • Primary Nutrition (Relationship, Career, Spirituality, Physical Activity) and Secondary (Food) Nutrition
  • Importance of Nutrition to our Health & Wellbeing
  • 100+ Different Diet Theories
  • Healthy Eating Habits
  • Meal Planning
  • Bio-Individuality (One person’s medicine is another person’s poison)
  • Healthy Habits for Energy and Better Sleep
  • Importance of Physical Fitness to Wellbeing
  • Fitness Planning
  • Self-Care
  • Breathing Techniques
  • Benefits of Yoga
  • Meditation Techniques and Benefits of Meditation
  • Coaching Techniques and Practices
  • Business & Entrepreneurship Growth
  • Marketing Techniques and Social Media Marketing
  • Legal Business Practices and Contracts

Arizona State University:

Nutrition, Health, and Wellness Related Classes:

  • Advanced Human Nutrition I
  • Applications in Human Nutrition
  • Applied Food Principles
  • Community Nutrition
  • Cultural Aspects of Food
  • Food Services Purchasing
  • Health Communications
  • Human Nutrition
  • Intro/Plan Therapeutic Diets
  • Intro/Prof/Nutrition/Dietetics
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Nutrition Management & Leadership
  • Nutrition In the Life Cycle
  • Western Diet

Business, Marketing, and Finance Related Classes:

  • Accounting and Financial Analysis
  • Essentials of Selling
  • Macroeconomic Principles
  • Management and Strategy

 

3 Lower-Ab Workouts To Do From Home

Lower-Ab Workouts You Heard Of, But Have You Tried Them?

Most of us are well aware of how to get stronger, sleek-looking abs by now. We know that sculpting the core takes calculated effort and motions that you can only get from certain workouts. Unfortunately, that means machines and equipment you may only have access to in a gym. If you’re like me, once there’s been a long period of absence from the gym (about a week), it’s tough to get back in there full throttle. Sometimes it’s just easier to start from home with a couple of simple workouts first to at least get a little volume (and thus a little motivation) back. This is why I’ve slowly constructed home workouts, as I’ve fallen off the wagon to a point where I’ll be staying fit from home more often than not. Here, I’m going to discuss and show demonstrations of three home lower-ab workouts that will produce results without even setting foot in a gym.

Flutter Kicks

The flutter kicks exercise is one of my favorite lower-ab workouts to do at home for two reasons. The first reason is that you feel these bad boys when they’re done properly. The amount of energy it takes to lift the lower half of your body and move in a controlled, flutter-like motion for an extended period of time is enough to have you tap out for the day. Of course once they’re done regularly you start to get used to the burn, but believe me when I say you’ll always somewhat feel it. The second reason is that you can compound this with horizontal scissor kicks, which I will go more in detail in the next workout.

To properly perform this exercise, lie flat on the ground with your hands underneath your buttocks. Next, lift your legs about six inches above the ground. Lift your head so you can see the motion using only your neck and not your trunk. From this position, alternate kicking (or fluttering) your legs in a controlled up and downward motion. The cadence should go something along the lines of, “1, 2, 3, ONE! 1, 2, 3, TWO!” with the reps usually ranging from 10-15. Here is a YouTube video demonstration of a properly executed flutter kick:

Horizontal Scissor Kicks

The second lower-ab workout from home you’ll really feel, and thus see quick results from is the horizontal scissor kicks exercise. This one is similar to flutter kicks in that the starting positions are basically identical. The only difference is in the motion of the workout. With scissor kicks, you simultaneously kick your feet outward and back in with a controlled motion, whereas flutter kicks are upward kicks. As I mentioned earlier, this workout can be compounded with flutter kicks. Usually, after I’ve done about 10-12 reps of flutter kicks, I stop and hold my legs six inches above the ground for about five seconds, then I switch to scissor kicks. I try and do at least 5 reps with the exact same cadence as I use with flutter kicks, but of course, go for more when I feel I can do more.

To properly execute horizontal scissor kicks, begin in the same position as you would with flutter kicks. Next, spread out your legs simultaneously (1-count), then back in (2-count), then back out (3-count), then back closed (ONE!). Repeat this motion for about 9-14 more reps, or compound them with either flutter kicks or this next lower-ab workout…

Leg Raises

Another lower-ab workout that is so simple it’s almost mind-numbing, yet at the same time just as effective as the first two is the leg raise exercise. Like the other two, you begin lying down with your hands underneath your buttocks with your feet six inches above the ground. From here, you simultaneously lift your legs up, toes pointed, directly upward to the 12 o’clock position, then slowly lower your legs back down in a controlled motion. Unlike the other two lower-ab workouts, this one is a one-count cadence. For this reason, I like to compound it with both flutter kicks and scissor kicks. First I do my set of 10-12 reps of flutter kicks. Then I actually do a combination of the latter two workouts by doing one leg raise rep, then lowering my legs down to the six-inch position and spreading them out in the horizontal scissor kick motion. After I close my legs, that’s one full rep of the combo workout. I repeat this for about 5-8 reps.

This YouTube video demonstrates in detail the proper way to do leg raises:

These Lower-Ab Workouts Will Start Bringing Out The ‘V’ In No Time

No Gym needed for these three home workouts. All it takes is some dedication, focus, and a few minutes out of your 24 hour day to make these lower-ab workouts a regular part of your daily routine. When all you have to do is wake up, do your morning routine (I like to meditate for 10 minutes), knock out the exercises, then have your cup of coffee before work, there’s literally nothing to lose and everything to gain trying them!

For questions regarding my Integrative Health Coaching services please feel free to contact me at anthonyjrichard@gmail.com. Otherwise view more tips on lower-ab workouts from home as well as other fitness tips on my other blogs here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any pictures or videos used in this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Strengthen Your Core Without Setting Foot In A Gym

No Gym Needed

Strengthening the core is a very popular thing to do, particularly during this time of the year. Everyone wants to have a solid six-pack when they hit the pools and beaches, or at least be a little firmer around the waist. While many aim to strengthen their cores for vanity (nothing wrong with that. . .guilty!), others target it for health and safety reasons. That’s right, it’s actually healthy to have a strong core. A powerful midsection leads to increased performance and strength in other areas of your body. It also protects the spine from injury assuming good form in everything you do is always practiced. For these reasons, this is why strengthing your core is so important and why I often stress it in many of my blog posts, such as this one I wrote a few months back. Of course, the list of home workouts below aren’t the only methods to get the best results, but here are a few that will definitely get the core cracking.

1) Planks

Image result for planks

This workout focuses on stabilizing your core for a long period of time. Planks are one of my favorite workouts for strengthening my core because it’s a clear mental challenge. It’s difficult to stay in a plank position for long periods of time not only because you’re feeling the burn in your core, but also because you’re basically stuck with focusing on the task at hand. This makes the countdown extremely grueling. A clear advantage of planks for strengthening your core is that you can literally do them anywhere. When I worked my office job I used to use my 15-minute breaks to go outside near my car and plank for about 45 seconds to a minute. Literally anywhere at anytime!

2) Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are an excellent way to strengthen your core, particularly your lower abs and pelvic muscles. What many don’t realize is that our muscles are an intricate network. Not only do we hit our lower obliques when properly executing flutter kicks, but we also strengthen the muscles in our hips and upper thighs. Tightening these areas will give you that ‘V’ in the lower abdomen area, knocking out two birds with one stone (stronger core, partial beach bod)!

To properly execute this exercise, lay down flat on your back. Place your hands underneath your glutes to cushion your back bone from rolling around the ground. I’ve noticed that this is actually optional, as some find having their hands by their side rather than underneath them more comfortable. Make sure your head is slightly elevated, using your neck and not your trunk to lift your head. Next, lift your feet about six inches above the ground. Once in this position, begin alternating your legs up and down, limiting your motion to six inches with each up and down motion. Your count cadence should go something like, “1-2-3, ONE, 1-2-3, TWO,” as you do sets of about 10-12 reps. The video in this link demonstrates the proper technique for flutter kicks. What I like to do to add intensity to my core workout is hold my feet at the six-inch position after I’ve completed my reps, then spread and close them in a scissor motion. Of course, my abs are absolutely pulverized at this point in the workout, so I usually only make it to about five reps of those.

3) Perfect Push-ups

As lame as this one may sound, never underestimate the power of well-executed push-ups. When done the way they’re supposed to be done, this simple workout can tighten the abs in the way that planks do. Too many times you’ll see people incorrectly doing push-ups, focusing on quantity rather than quality. I experienced this firsthand in the military, as our goal in PT tests was to do as many push-ups as we could do in a minute and a half without doing the worm. If the focus is placed on your push-up count rather than form, you begin to compromise your straight plank form, leading to fewer core muscles used.

I’m not going to get into how to properly do a proper push-up as that would seem like quite an insult to anyone much less someone who already knows their way around a gym, but for demonstration purposes, here is a video of how a proper core-strengthening push-up is executed.

Don’t Stress, Strengthening Your Core At Home Is As Easy As A Few Push-Ups

It doesn’t always have to be all sit-ups and crunches to have a strong core. Now if you’re looking more for the Gerard Butler 300-style abs, sure some crunches may help along with a stringent diet and torturous hours on the treadmill. But if you’re just wanting a solid, powerful midsection mostly geared toward the purpose of health, safety, and gains in other areas of your body, the workouts mentioned above are excellent choices to start with at home.

If you have any questions regarding my Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching services, please feel free to email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. Otherwise look for more tips on strengthening your core and other fitness tips here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

 

I do not own any photos in this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

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Defining Physical Fitness: A Broader Explanation

So What Is Physical Fitness Exactly?

You can describe physical fitness in many ways. It doesn’t have to be intense, strenuous two-hour workouts, but the activity should raise your heart rate. Physical fitness is described as a state of overall healthy well-being, both physically and mentally. Although that’s the technical definition, it can be anything to each of us. We can make being physically fit unique to who we are and what we enjoy. For example, if you’ve never had the lungs to run but you enjoy a good lifting session, make that activity your physical activity of choice!

Physical Fitness That Fits Everything You

Many people get discouraged when working towards their exercise goals. One of the reasons for this is because they try a new workout that doesn’t fit their natural compatibility. For instance, your goal may be to lose 10 lbs in four weeks, so you look up popular and effective workout routines that will help you achieve this. As you delve more into the program, you realize that these workouts are brutal and relentless. On top of that, there are many workouts in the program you either are not good at or despise (like a lot of running). Now it’s gotten to a point where you dread those days in the gym, with these often being the days you skip.

This is why it’s so important to develop a physical fitness regimen that fits you to a tee! Like everything else in life, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re not going to have the will to continue to do it. What this translates to in the fitness world is find the workouts and activities you enjoy doing to increase your likelihood of following through with your goals.

Kinds Of Physical Fitness

Physical fitness includes such a broad variety of exercises and activities it’s really impossible to define what constitutes a bonafide physical activity. It can include any of the following types of activity:

  1. Light Physical Activity- This is where you’re doing enough to not be considered sedentary. Exercises often considered light physical fitness activity are brisk walking, yoga, and golf.
  2. Moderate Physical Activity- Exercises and activities considered moderate activities would ones that demand more oxygen through your blood as a result of an increase in either volume of work, intensity, or both. Think of jogging, jumping jacks, and bicycling as good examples of moderate physical activity.
  3. Heavy physical activity- Heavy activity involves an increase in work volume, intensity, and time spent on the activity. They’re normally considered strenuous workouts and are not advised if you’re either somewhat new to the active lifestyle or are re-acclimating yourself to it again. Workouts considered heavy physical activity include various forms of martial arts, physical sports like football, basketball, and wrestling, sprinting, and circuit training weight lifting.

Finding The Right Physical Fitness Routines For Y.O.U.

As stated in the beginning of the article, there really is no accurate way to pinpoint what constitutes as physical fitness. Think of it this way; if you’re not stationary and it gets your heart rate going quicker than in your sedentary state, you’re physically active. Sure, the pictures of summer bodies in blogs with their exact routine posted can be enticing, but if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not going to keep it up. I often liken it to the workforce; one of the primary reasons people quit good paying jobs is because they don’t enjoy it. When it’s all said and done, it’s really up to you how you define your own version of physical fitness. Just make sure it’s something you can see yourself doing regularly, like looking forward to doing. But most importantly, make sure it’s safe.

The photos used in this blog post do not belong to me.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

 

3 Reasons Taking Care of the Core is So Vital To Your Well-Being

 

1) A Powerful Core Means a Powerful Body

I can’t even begin to describe just how critical it is for any athlete to have a strong core. A strong core helps athletes out immensely in strength and contact sports like football. For instance, skilled positions like wide receiver and defensive backs need a steady core for speed and quick-twitch muscle movements. More on its role in sports down below.

Core Health’s Role In Physical Activity

In tennis and golf, the core is needed for trunk rotations swing timing. For MMA fighters, the core is the center of strength, balance, and guard. Put simply: it’s pretty damn important for maximum function for most physical activities. Furthermore, you use your core in almost every body workout or exercise anyway. This means you probably already have more of a foundation to start with than you think.

Quick tip: DON’T go home and overdue it on the crunches. Although crunches do harden your ab muscles, the movement doesn’t necessarily strengthen them. Also, studies have shown that the movement for crunches is not good for the spine; a repetitive motion of this nature could lead to extensive damage.

Instead, aim for more exercises with balancing motions. Try timing yourself with planks if you don’t have anyone holding your feet for conventional sit-ups.

Everyday Exercises That Strengthen The Core When Done Properly

With those tips in mind, the real way to truly add functional strength to your core is through these simple body weight exercises:

  1. Push-Up
  2. Squats
  3. Pull-Ups
  4. Dips

How? With each of these workouts, tighten your abs as if you’re bracing to be hit in the gut. Your core is the center link that connects all the major muscles in your body. Tightening them during exercises not only strengthens your abs but also activates, strengthens and maximizes the muscles in play. It’s also a mechanism to protect our spines from serious injury, and if your back is straight and your core is tight during an exercise, then chances are your form is right, and therefore, you’re doing the exercise right.

Also noteworthy is that it’s a mechanism to protect our spines from serious injury. If your back is straight and your core is tight during an exercise, then chances are your form is right. Therefore it would be safe to say you’re likely doing the exercise right. This is another reason core care is so critical to our health.

https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/increase-your-fast-twitch-potential-with-isometricswww.livestrong.com/article/483473-are-situps-crunches-bad-for-the-spine/

2) The Core is One of Many Active Beacons Indicating Your Overall Health

Another reason core care is important is that it’s a good indicator of your overall healthThe midsection is one of the first places you’ll exhibit symptoms if there is an outside intruder in your body. Nasty microorganisms sneak their ways inside our bodies more so than we would like to think. Harmful viruses and bacteria can enter our systems through the mouth or nasal cavity. From there they travel down through our digestive system.

Here they interact with our own natural microbiome in our guts, the “good” bacteria. This could upset our stomach and trigger physiological responses like aches, vomiting and/or diarrhea depending on the microscopic varmint intruding.

Sometimes, it literally comes down to listening to your gut.

When I first got Pneumonia in October 2016, I was exhibiting many symptoms of the flu. I don’t like going to the doctor and would rather treat myself at home with natural remedies. This time, however, it was different. I was experiencing both diarrhea and throwing up to a point where I couldn’t keep food or fluids down. Not being able to nourish my body properly was enough for me to finally visit an urgent care and get treatment.

It’s important to note that it wasn’t the coughing or the fevers that prompted me to seek medical attention; it was the issues and red flags at the core of my body. The reason for that is because my livelihood depends on my gut’s ability to digest and absorb the food I eat. If my body isn’t keeping food down, obviously I’m not absorbing it. This literally makes it impossible for me to maintain my overall health.

3) A Healthy Core Is Also A Healthy Metabolism

Functions such as digesting, absorbing, and filtering nutrients create energy. As a result, our core serves as an internal furnace assisting in the regulation of our metabolisms. When we combine healthy eating and lifestyle habits with exercise, our core can function at its optimal level. Here are a few things you can try that strengthen your gut microbiome, regulating your digestive system and ultimately your metabolism:

  1. Lemon water in the morning. This moistens your digestive organs, activating their juices and enzymes for digestion.
  2. Taking fish oil pills. Omega 3 is a known good fat that also aids in helping your gut flora thrive. Dr. Tobias Omega 3 pills are a goods source.
  3. Eating vegetables. Vegetables like your dark, leafy greens have antioxidants and other nutrients that activate your digestive juices while also strengthening your digestive immunity.
  4. Herbs, mushrooms and spices. Spices like turmeric used in many Indian cuisines, garlic, and ginger are magnificent anti-inflammatory foods. They reduce inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract resulting from illness or physiological symptoms of stress.
  5. Probiotics. Probiotics are foods and supplements with healthy bacteria cultures in them used to increase the healthy cultures in your gut. For more in-depth information on probiotics and some good supplements to try, take a look at my blog post on it here.

It’s important to combine these core-healthy lifestyle habits with exercise as well to further stimulate a balanced metabolism as well as to maintain your overall health.

http://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/a-battle-within-how-the-immune-system-helps-good-bacteria-fight-off-bad-microbes-in-the-gut/

Go With Your Gut My Friend

Of all the areas of the body to take a particular health interest to, the core is my favorite. Core care is intertwined in so many areas of our life. A strong core is vital for exercise, sports, and daily activity. It also reduces chances of spinal damage.

A healthy core with the right foods and nutrients going into it can help prevent illness as well as regulate our metabolism and subsequently our weight. It tells us when something is wrong with us, whether that’s through inflammation as a result of stress or from antigens. With all of these vital things that a healthy, strong core can do, it’s safe to say that it’s best to go with your gut in terms of maintaining good health.

More Resources:

https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/increase-your-fast-twitch-potential-with-isometrics

www.livestrong.com/article/483473-are-situps-crunches-bad-for-the-spine/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-real-world-benefits-of-strengthening-your-core

http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/The-Digestive-System-and-Body-Metabolism.html

http://www.nowcureme.com/articles/10-foods-to-detox-your-liver-now?utm_content=buffer55414&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#.WLhA-Hl0Gz0.facebook

I do not own any photos in this blog.

For transparency purposes, there are affiliate links in this post where I will be compensated if purchases were directed from this page.

© 2017 Anthony J. Richard All Rights Reserved

Anthonjrichard.com lifestyle blog site.

Anthony J. Richard: A Little Bit About Myself

Hello and thank you for checking out my Lifestyle, Recreation, and Product blog site!

I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to check out what I have to share, so let me introduce a little bit about myself and my background.

Live. Love. Laugh. Learn. Leisure. That’s the motto I live by.

I was born in Del Rio, Texas, grew up as a military brat to an Army mother, and was mostly raised in the beautiful state of Arizona. I joined the military myself fresh out of high school at age 18, only choosing the Air Force over the Army. I served four years Active Duty and three years in the California National Guard. Once I got out of Active Duty in 2012, I went to school for Nutrition at Pasadena City College. I continued my pursuit of a degree in Nutrition at Arizona State University until a previous co-worker from the Air Force introduced me to a holistic health program called the Institute For Integrative Nutrition.

While taking this course, I rediscovered my passion for writing and expressing myself. Though the IIN program makes me a Certified Health Coach (woohoo!!), my heart lies in writing and blogging about everything related to Holistic Health, Fitness, Traveling, and Writing. My passion for travel was also rediscovered through this amazing program. With the health and business knowledge attained from IIN combined with my previous knowledge from my courses at PCC and ASU, I plan to share my knowledge and experiences as well as meet new people and potential business partners and clients. I also enjoy expanding my knowledge in the SEO Web Content Writing field, having successfully published over 50 articles, 15 of them for paying clients (exciting stuff!).

Through my life experiences, I’ve been blessed to experience and try out many products, tools, and tips to help me get the absolute best out of living. I’ve combined the appreciation of these things along with my passion for writing to share some of them. As an Amazon Associate, I also write articles specifically geared to the attention of these items, sharing pros, cons, and how they’ve helped me throughout my travel, fitness, health, and overall lifeystle/recreational experience.

I would like to once again thank you for visiting my lifestyle blog site! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at my email at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com.

Welcome to the Anthonyjrichard Universe!

Anthony J. Richard

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved.