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Friday, December 09, 2011

What's Your Favorite Way to Strength Train?

Any comprehensive workout routine includes a few days of strength training, for good reasons. Having more muscles helps you burn more calories, not to mention the fact that a good set of muscles help your body look its defined best. When it comes to choosing how you tend to your muscles, the possibilities are endless.

For me, having a trainer was a good way to learn how to use machines and other equipment at the gym. When I'm not using those on the gym floor, I take a class at my gym that mixes cardio and strength training, and I occasionally take yoga on the weekends to build muscle while increasing my flexibility.
What about you? Whether you pump iron or are a Pilates master, what's your favorite way to strength train?
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Monday, December 05, 2011

4 Don'ts For Your Next Breakfast

When it comes to meals, breakfast is the champ. Instead of grabbing a muffin at the coffee shop to fuel your day, give the mealtime the attention it deserves. Here are four don'ts for the most important meal of the day.
Don't skip it: Eating breakfast helps jump-start your metabolism after it slows down during your sleep. Not only that, but eating breakfast is an important tool in maintaining weight loss. So don't wait until lunch to nosh; eat a filling, healthy meal early in the day to keep your energy up, brain on, and weight loss goals in check.
Don't delay: The best time to eat breakfast is within an hour of waking up, so don't delay! Unless, of course, you are working out first, in which case you should make sure you fuel up with a pre-workout snack before you go (read our tips for choosing a pre-workout snack here). Afterward, be sure to eat a protein- and carbohydrate-filled breakfast 30 minutes to two hours after a workout in order to fuel your body the right way.
Read on for more breakfast don'ts.
Don't forget the fiber (and protein): Filling up on fiber and protein helps keep you full long into the morning. Instead of grabbing a sugary pastry, which can only leave you feeling hungry sooner, not to mention cranky and sluggish, eat a breakfast high in fiber and lean protein. Try these five low-sugar breakfast ideas that are full of protein and fiber.
Don't go caffeine overboard: It's been proven that a cup of coffee a day can do a lot — like reduce risk of diseases and help your memory — but you shouldn't drink too much. Stick to a cup or two a day to keep from feeling jittery, anxious, or developing high blood pressure. If breakfast is normally a two-cup affair, try switching your second cup with antioxidant-loaded green tea instead.
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3 Good Reasons to Work Out in the Morning

Now that you've reaped that extra hour of sleep over the weekend, you may be annoyed at the fact that the end of daylight savings means that your days seem so much shorter. But instead of wasting that extra hour of morning sunlight still in bed, here are three good reasons for switching your workout to take advantage of the early morning daylight.
You may burn more calories: Research has shown that morning exercisers tend to work out harder and longer than afternoon or evening exercisers. It may be just in their personality, but scheduling has a lot to do with it, too — you're more apt to spend more time on your workout, and you may be more energetic and alert at the beginning of the day.
You'll get it out of the way: Constantly deciding between after-work plans or a trip to the gym? Can't stand a lunch workout because of the post-workout beauty routine? By working out in the morning, you won't have to think about schlepping gym bags to and from work or figuring out a time to shower before fancy dinner plans.
You'll stick to it: If you exercise in the morning, you are more apt to keep with your routine. That's because there's usually no reason to reschedule; you'll finish your workout before your day officially starts, and there's nothing like an exceptionally trying day at work to make you want to skip.
A.m. exercise may not work if you're not a morning person, but when we asked, many of you said you would be getting up early to work out in the morning. Tell us why you get up early to exercise!
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