Fitness & Wellness

Reasons To Workout In The Morning

Reasons To Workout In The Morning

What’s your best workout time? For some people, it’s at lunch. Others like exercising after work. Many people find morning suits them best and have good reasons for that choice. There is no one right time to workout. Everyone is different, so what’s best for one is not the best for another. Your schedule, circadian rhythm, and obligations

Is your day a hectic mess?

If you never know when your day will end or what you’ll be doing next, it’s almost impossible to schedule a workout. Starting your day by working out solves that. Get up in the morning before the family and exercise. You’ll boost your energy and be ready to help the family start their day and the chaos you face until bedtime. You’ll face fewer interruptions and be more consistent in the morning.

You may burn fat more efficiently in the morning.

Several studies have shown you burn fat better in the morning. Why is that possible? When you sleep at night, you’re fasting. It’s why the first meal of the day is called BREAK-FAST. A Japanese study found that people who worked out before they had their first meal of the day burned more fat. A Belgium study showed that when people ate too many calories before working out gained weight, but those who exercised first didn’t. Exercising first provides the benefits of fasting without the deprivation.

You’ll jumpstart your day with a boost of energy when you workout first.

Exercise increases your circulation and that brings more nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body, including the brain. It gets your digestive system moving and starts your day with a load of endorphins to put you in a better mood. While you may not face any issues with stress in the morning, exercise burns off any stress hormones that can lead to health issues.

  • The best time to workout is when you’ll do it. If you are a night owl who barely gets up for work, mornings may not be best for you. Exercise when you can do it consistently.
  • Studies show that people who exercise at 7 a.m. or earlier sleep better. You can get even deeper sleep and more benefits if you exercise outside.
  • During the summer, exercising in the morning can be refreshing. You’re working out during the coolest part of the day. It’s not as easy during the winter when it’s still dark outside, but keeping your workout inside helps.
  • Many studies show that people who workout in the morning tend to stick with an exercise program and be more consistent. Not only is the family asleep, but there are also few distractions, even from TV. It’s a quiet time when you can gather your thoughts and focus on your workout.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


What You Should Teach Your Kids About Nutrition

What You Should Teach Your Kids About Nutrition

One of the biggest problems overweight people face is a lack of nutrition knowledge. It often starts early in life and starts bad habits that are difficult to break. At LIV Fitness in Livermore, CA, we help break those bad habits with nutritional education so you can teach your kids healthy habits as you develop them yourselves. Here are a few ways to boost your child’s knowledge that will be valuable throughout life.

Create a rainbow plate.

One of the easiest ways to help your kids develop good nutrition has been taught for years. It’s “Eat the rainbow.” Choosing a colorful plate of fruits and vegetables can increase the meal’s nutrition. Each color of fruit has different nutrients the body needs. As soon as children know colors, they can choose their food unaided and create a healthier meal. It’s also more fun. Let kids make a rainbow of food and then munch on the rainbow they created. Eat the rainbow food tasting activities can encourage this type of healthy eating.

Teach a simple explanation of the basics.

Teach simple lessons about carbohydrates, protein, and fat, identifying what goes into each macronutrient group. Instill the knowledge that eating foods from each group can help your body feel good. Protein provides the building blocks for cells. Carbohydrates provide energy. Fats are necessary for growth and the brain. Let them know that some options in each group are healthier than others.

Give a simple explanation for the benefits of each food.

When children are younger, there’s no way they want to hear the list of nutrients in broccoli or could even understand it. They can understand the caped crusader Captain Broccoli protects the body by joining the fight against germs. There are other superhero friends, like Citrus Woman who stops colds in their tracks. Protein power-builders like yogurt, poultry, or beans help children grow bigger and stronger. Professor Healthy Fat protects the brain to make children smarter since the brain is 70% fat. Keeping it simple makes good nutrition a game.

  • Let children help you create the meals. Getting kids to help you make healthy meals increases the potential they’ll eat the meal.
  • Don’t forget to include water as part of healthy eating. Keep bottled water or flavored water ready when the children need something to drink. Don’t stock your refrigerator with soft drinks. It’s easier to prevent starting a habit than breaking a habit.
  • Have healthy snacks ready for kids. They can also make their own. Ants on a log is a favorite snack that is fun for kids to make. It takes a celery rib filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins like ants.
  • Find healthy but fun ways to serve more fruits and vegetables. Making banana ice cream or fruit sorbet is both fun and healthy. Just freeze the fruit in pieces then blend it to a creamy consistency.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


See What Happens If You Don't Give Up

See What Happens If You Don’t Give Up

Anyone who ever has had a goal they held near and dear, knows that sometimes there are roadblocks in the way. If your goal is losing weight, building muscle, or getting fit, you might find yourself hitting a wall, too. When that happens, it’s easy to get frustrated and think about quitting, but don’t give up. It only takes one more week, one more day, or one more workout to see results. You’ll love what happens when you don’t quit.

It’s easy to get discouraged.

There are many reasons people get discouraged when working out. Plateauing is one of those reasons. If you’ve been faithful to your exercise program and healthy diet, but aren’t seeing the results you want, quitting isn’t the answer. Instead of giving up, make some changes to your workout. Plateauing can occur when you do the same routine repeatedly. Your body becomes efficient at the movements and burns fewer calories. That slows down progress or causes you to plateau.

One mistake doesn’t mean you should quit.

Whether you skipped a few gym sessions or ate a whole cake, it doesn’t mean you should quit. It means you had a setback. Start fresh the next day. Backsliding once doesn’t define you. When you were a toddler, you fell multiple times but got right back up and walked. It took many tries before you could walk for a while without falling. When you finally did, you kept on going. You walked and then ran with ease. Toddlers don’t give up and neither should you.

Don’t expect weight loss to be a straight line.

Weight loss doesn’t occur in a straight line. Some weeks you’ll lose more than your goal and other weeks less. It’s a bumpy line downward with some disappointments along the way. If you’re ready to quit because you gained a pound, even though you did everything right, don’t. Next week you’ll probably lose more than your desired goal. It’s all about progress over the long haul.

  • Using pounds as the only measurement of success can be deceiving. Sometimes, you’re gaining muscle. Muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch than fat does, so your measurements will be smaller.
  • You’ll be amazed at all the other benefits you get from a fitness program besides endurance and weight loss. You’ll feel amazing, too. A workout can eliminate stress and boost your mood.
  • You’ll notice you look and feel years younger when you don’t quit. Exercise brings relief to back aches and joint pain. Your posture will improve to help relieve headaches.
  • Your mood will improve when you don’t give up. Exercise increases endorphins that make you feel good. You’ll sleep better at night, which also is a mood booster. Sticking with the program can change your whole life.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


Science Behind Building Muscle Mass

Science Behind Building Muscle Mass

LIV Fitness in Livermore, CA, helps people build muscle mass by using science-backed methods. You’ll get stronger if you lift heavy things, but there’s more to building muscle than that. If you want to build muscle mass, it takes a different approach than it does to build strength. Knowing that difference is key. How much weight you lift, the number of repetitions, and your form is also important are also important. If you lift wrong, you can strain muscles and live in pain for months. Lifting without using scientific techniques can bring progress, but it will be slower than what you get from the best methods.

Decide whether you want to build mass or strength.

You can do both, but it waters down the results of each selection. Bodybuilders may look more powerful, but they aren’t as strong as people who train for powerlifting. Training too frequently or for too long is another potential pitfall. There are differences in the amount of weight you lift and the number of reps you do for strength and hypertrophy—building bigger muscles. The rule of thumb is that you increase by three to five repetitions at heavy loads for building strength and six to thirty repetitions at somewhat lighter loads for building more muscle mass.

You increase the load for building strength and reps for building muscle size.

You can increase load or increase repetitions to build muscle mass and strength. The difference occurs in which is best for each one. To build more strength, adding more weight is best. For muscle mass growth, you increase the number of repetitions adding less weight to the load. Instead of adding 15 pounds to the lift and no repetitions, you add 15 repetitions and two to five pounds, just enough to keep it more challenging but not exhausting.

What you eat can determine your success.

You won’t get the results you want if you don’t have adequate building blocks. Diet makes a difference. Having a healthy carb-protein snack a half hour before a workout and one immediately following it can also help. Before a workout, it gives you the energy to do your best and afterward, it jump-starts recovery.

  • The recovery period for building muscle mass is shorter than for building strength. A personal trainer can guide you through the right types of exercise, weight loading, and number of reps for each.
  • Power trainers use fewer types of exercises to build strength. Increasing the variety of exercises helps build muscle mass and increases overall muscle development. Push and pull-style exercises are both necessary.
  • Using compound exercises can help build muscle mass faster. Squats and lunges are examples. They work the hips and knees. Leg extensions aren’t an example because they only work the knee joints.
  • Taking moderate rest periods between intervals of about a minute to a minute and a half is optimal for building muscle mass. If the rest is less than 30 seconds, it doesn’t allow enough time to regain strength. Longer than three minutes reduces the stress necessary for muscle growth.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


Tips To Improve Your Running Form

Tips To Improve Your Running Form

Is there a way to improve your running form? After all, you’ve been running since you were very young and your form has served you well until now. Yes, it is not only possible but also important if you’re going to run often or in competition. It helps reduce the potential for injury, improves efficiency, and increases speed. If you want to boost health benefits, you need to improve your gait. That lets you run further and at higher intensities. You may not have learned to run properly first started to run, or you’ve picked up a lot of bad habits along the way.

Check the position of your hands and how much tension there is.

Tension travels throughout your body and affects other parts. Keep your hands relaxed and avoid clenching your fist when you run. Your hands should also be at waist level and brush the hips lightly as you run. Avoid punching when you run. It often happens as people get tired. Instead of keeping their arms to their sides, they cross them over the front of the body, as though they’re punching. Swing them freely and higher than you might if you were jogging.

Breathe deeply and use the proper breathing technique to help you run.

Focusing on breath control is crucial if you want to run successfully. Running slowly or jogging lets you focus on inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. The more you pick up speed, the more difficult that is to do unless you focus on doing it correctly. Belly breathing helps improve your breathing technique and enables deep nasal breaths. It uses the diaphragm.

Your posture plays a role in your success.

Keep your head up and eyes looking forward. Your posture should be erect with your back straight and your shoulders level. You can lean forward slightly when running. Don’t lean too far forward or backward from the waist. Try to touch your head to the clouds as you run. It’s vital to do a check near the end of the run when you’re almost out of steam. That’s when people tend to slump, which leads to pain. Pull your shoulders back if you feel that happening. Keeping your shoulders back and not rounded helps you breathe deeper. Don’t shrug your shoulders either.

  • Start slowly running shorter distances but focusing primarily on form and breathing. After a few weeks, increase your distance slightly. You can always increase it more later when your running form is correct.
  • Don’t lift your feet too far off the ground. It makes you bounce and burn more energy. Take lighter steps and focus on a quicker stride turnover. Use shorter, faster strides to save energy.
  • Land on the front of your foot to push yourself forward. Lift your thighs until they’re parallel to the ground. Don’t rotate your torso or bring your hands across your chest.
  • Vary your speed when you run to burn more calories and get fit faster. Alternate between top intensity and recovery. It turns the run into a HIIT—high intensity interval training workout.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


Best Foods To Eat Before And After A Workout

Best Foods To Eat Before And After A Workout

If you go to the gym on an empty stomach or don’t eat for hours after working out, you may be doing yourself a disservice. The food you consume before and after your workout helps determine whether you have the energy for maximum benefits, recover faster, and build muscle tissue. There’s no right combination of macronutrients, but some generalizations. Everyone is different, so the snack should have a medium amount of protein, be high in carbohydrates, and contain a small amount of healthy fat.

The more intense the workout, the more you need pre and post-workout snacks.

If you’re doing moderate exercise, you don’t need a pre-workout or post-workout snack or meal as much. If you’re doing an intense workout, it’s vital. For a pre-workout meal or snack, the bigger the serving, the longer amount of time you need before you workout. General consensus is between an hour and two hours, but for a small snack, thirty minutes is enough. You should consume the post-exercise snack or meal as soon after your workout as possible. If it’s close to your dinner, breakfast, or lunch, wait until then.

The type of food you choose is up to you.

If you’re eating a meal, make sure it includes quality protein and a high amount of carbohydrates. Snacks are simpler. It can be something as easy as cottage cheese and berries or unsweetened applesauce. Other good pre and post-workout foods include nut butter on whole wheat or spread on apple slices. If you’re trying to lose weight, keep the calorie count of the snack between 100 and 200 calories.

Get fueled and ready before the workout and start building muscle tissue after you’re done.

Getting fuel to the muscles so you don’t crash and burn mid-workout is key to a successful session. A treat like a frozen banana dipped in melted semi-sweet bits and rolled in nuts is a good example of a food that fuels your workout and builds muscle tissue. Pitted dates stuffed with a nut or nut butter is another excellent snack. Don’t forget that meals should contain both protein and carbs. For instance, a big salad, vegetable and fruit sides, and a grilled chicken breast would be a good pre or post-exercise meal.

  • Hold off on the fat, especially before you workout. Too much fat before you workout can make you sick. Skip heavy gravy, fried food, and butter.
  • Smoothies make a good pre and post-workout snack. Add lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget the protein. You can use milk products or protein powder for it.
  • Hard-boiled eggs sliced on avocado toast not only is delicious, but it’s also an excellent snack. When you mash the avocado, add a little lemon juice to prevent it from browning.
  • Pair sweet potato wedges with chicken for a snack or as part of a full meal. Use leftover chicken or canned tuna to create a salad spread on whole wheat.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


Why Sleep Is So Important For Performance And Recovery

Why Sleep Is So Important For Performance And Recovery

We help people identify ways to improve their physical at Liv Fitness in Livermore, CA. Our trainers provide personalized fitness workouts. We also provide nutrition plans specifically designed to improve performance and recovery. One factor most people overlook that affects your workout and progress is the amount of sleep you get. Adequate sleep is vital to all efforts of humans, both mental and physical.

You need to get adequate sleep to regenerate muscle tissue.

When you sleep, your body heals, and your mind reorganizes. Sleep is necessary if you want the best results when you’re building muscle tissue. The body creates new cells and repairs damaged muscle tissue. The damage can occur due to injury or from exercise. The damage from exercise is what builds muscle tissue. Sleep is also when the body releases HGH—human growth hormone. HGH starts the repair process.

Adequate sleep is heart healthy.

You don’t have to be an athlete to get heart-healthy benefits from adequate sleep. Sleep rests your entire body, including your heart. The various stages of sleep control heart rate throughout the night, promoting cardiovascular health as you rest. Sleep also helps boost your immune system to keep you healthy. The body creates cytokines during sleep. These hormones help boost the immune system. The healthier you are, the more improved your performance.

Lack of sleep can lead to a bad attitude.

Not only are you crankier when you lack sleep, but you tend to be more apathetic and willing to give up easier. That alone can affect your performance. If you aren’t willing to push harder, it dramatically diminishes the gains you make. Sleep also helps athletes learn new skills. When you sleep, it helps organize the brain and create new memories to maintain new information. Lack of sleep affects cognitive functioning. Most sports require more than just a strong body. They also require a strong mind and the ability to plan and adapt to new situations. Sleep helps you both mentally and physically.

  • Most adults require between 7 to 9 hours of sleep. A small group requires 6 hours or less and a similarly sized group requires 10 or more hours. Just as there is no perfect exercise plan for everyone, there’s also no perfect amount of sleep for all people.
  • Quality sleep positively affects athletic performance, and a lack of sleep has a detrimental effect. A great number of concerns can arise when athletes do not receive adequate sleep:
  • Studies show that tennis players who lacked sleep had decreased accuracy. They also found that volleyball players and runners became exhausted more quickly when they were sleep-deprived.
  • Another study found that lack of sleep negatively affected reaction time in male athletes. Other studies showed sleep deprivation also increased the risk of injury during sports.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


The Connection Between Meditation And Wellness

The Connection Between Meditation And Wellness

Most people struggle to define what wellness is. They either say, “not being sick” or “being well.” The same is true of meditation or stress. You can’t touch those things or see them. People understand the concepts without being able to put them into precise words or create a mental picture. That elusiveness of definition isn’t the only connection. Not only are there other links between them, but every year scientists are learning more connections.

Meditation helps you deal with stress and stress affects your wellness.

Stress can cause blood pressure to climb. It affects your immune system, digestion, and hormone production. Meditation helps you relax and decrease stress. That reduces the hormones stress creates that cause changes in the body. It reduces the hormone cortisol. High amounts of cortisol can lead to the accumulation of belly fat. Belly fat can lead to metabolic disease, heart disease, and other conditions.

Meditation can help several health issues.

You can lower blood pressure with meditation, reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal issues, and ease chronic pain. These are just a few things that bring the body closer to wellness. You may not see changes immediately, but the more you practice the better your results will be. It helps you become more aware of your inner self. New evidence shows meditation changes the brain. It makes some areas larger and others smaller. The areas it enlarges are those that help you learn, while the areas it diminishes are those that increase anxiety. Many health organizations, like the American Heart Association, scientists, and doctors recommend meditation for its healing powers.

Meditation is simple, but you have to take the time to do it.

How simple is meditation? Sit down in a quiet area where you’ll be uninterrupted. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Focus on your breaths taken in and out. Those simple acts begin the relaxation response. It sounds simple, but the effects of meditation are extremely powerful. It slows the heart rate, reduces blood pressure, and changes the brain’s electrical activity.

  • We live in a stressful world. You can’t eliminate stress, but you can change how it affects the body through meditation. It has similar effects to exercise for stress relief. Some people experience getting “lost” in their workout, which is a form of meditation.
  • Just like exercise, meditation helps relieve depression and anxiety. Studies show both exercise and meditation were as effective as some medications when dealing with depression.
  • Meditation may work because it affects the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system controls breathing and heart rate. It also controls blood pressure.
  • Meditation can slow the effects of aging on cognitive functions, reduce inflammation that leads to serious diseases, improve your immune system, aid sleep, and reduce the symptoms of menopause.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


Best Ways To Stay Hydrated During Your Workout

Best Ways To Stay Hydrated During Your Workout

It’s easier to stay hydrated when you’re lying on a lounger in the sun because you’re more aware you’re sweating and hot. It’s not as easy during your workout and hyper focused on exercise. When people workout, thirst should be the first reminder, but if the entire focus is on doing one more set, it may be ignored. The more dehydrated a person becomes, the more threatening the signs become. Take extra precautions and have a hydration system in place to avoid the problem. It can be as simple as drinking a small amount after each exercise.

Your body is primarily water.

The human body is between 40 and 65% water if you’re 18 or older. Each individual’s water content varies and it changes throughout the day. Children have an even higher percentage. The older you get, the lower your percentage. Women also have a lower percentage. If your body’s percentage is too low, it can affect your energy level. If you feel exhausted during your workout and not accomplishing your normal routine, you may be dehydrated. Dehydration can make you feel exhausted during your workout and unable to do your routine. Take a break to sip some water. Always have a bottle of water with you at the gym and refill it at the water fountain so you always have it ready.

Your body needs water to function properly.

The fluid in your body keeps your joints functioning properly. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll notice your joints ache. Muscle cramps can occur if you aren’t adequately hydrated. Muscles require fluid to function their best. If you’re prone to either muscle cramps or aching joints, set alarms on your phone to remind you to sip throughout the day. Drink two to three cups of water two hours before working out to prepare your body. If you come to the gym adequately hydrated, you’ll be less likely to become dehydrated while you work out, especially if you sip water throughout the workout. Consume a cup every 20 minutes.

If your workout is intense, drink more fluid.

Drink more frequently the harder you work. Increase your fluid intake if your workout is in a hot, humid area. Don’t drink too much water at once. If you guzzle it, it can slow the body’s absorption and make you sick. If you’re sweating profusely or working out for longer than an hour, you may need to hydrate with a sports drink. Excess sweating and too much water can cause sodium and potassium depletion. Sports drinks contain those electrolytes to replenish them.

  • Sometimes, especially if you ignore the signs, your body tricks you into thinking you’re hungry when in reality, you’re thirsty. You can cut your appetite by drinking water.
  • You get fluid from the food you eat. Your pre and post-workout snack should be juicy if you plan an intense workout. Cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, watermelon, oranges, strawberries, and cantaloupe are a few that hydrate. Some also provide electrolytes.
  • Keep the signs of dehydration front and center. You may be dehydrated if you feel tired, weak, or mentally confused. Dark urine is another tell-tale sign. Lack of skin turgor is another.
  • If your workout is long, you expect to lose more than 2% body weight, and there’s limited access to water, consider using a glycerol supplement as part of your workout protocol. Always check with your healthcare professional.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness


Will Weight Loss Help With Knee Pain?

Will Weight Loss Help With Knee Pain?

If you carried an extra 50 to 100 pounds strapped onto your waist, by the end of the day, your entire lower body would hurt. The muscles would be painful, but so would the joints. That’s because excess weight can trigger hip and knee pain. The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons says the hip and knee joints are affected by weight. They experience a force that’s greater than seven times that person’s weight. If you weigh 250 pounds, that force is 1750 pounds. If you lose 100 pounds, the force reduces to 1050 pounds of pressure, a huge difference. Weight loss is one controllable factor to reduce pain in the lower joints.

Obesity and inflammation go hand in hand.

When you accumulate an excessive amount of fat, it can interfere with body processes. The excess of macronutrients causes fatty tissues to release inflammatory mediators, which are small molecules the cells release when there’s an infection or injury. They cause the immune response to begin. That inflammation can cause problems like heart disease, diabetes, and joint issues. Obesity is the leading risk factor for knee osteoarthritis. It’s the reason knee and hip joint replacements are more common in people with a higher BMI.

Weight loss addresses several factors.

First and foremost, weight loss reduces the pressure on the knee joint. It also reduces inflammation. Doing the first two things reduces arthritis severity and allows for more movement. It can cause a remission in osteoarthritis or other causes of knee pain. It also causes the degeneration of the cartilage to slow. Eating healthy and losing weight lowers the risk of gout and reduces uric acid levels.

It’s all about eating healthier and moving more.

You can lose weight in many ways. The best way is to change to a healthy whole food diet. Eliminating processed food and sugar from the diet can help you lose weight and reduce inflammation since sugar causes inflammation. Many whole foods are anti-inflammatory. Berries, fatty fish, broccoli, avocados, green tea, and peppers are a few anti-inflammatory foods you should include in your diet.

  • If you have chronic, severe knee pain, always see a healthcare professional first to ensure starting an exercise program won’t exacerbate it. Once given the okay, proceed slowly and avoid high-impact exercises.
  • Work with a personal trainer to adapt exercises to your condition and reduce joint stress. Pay close attention to how your body feels and what it’s telling you. If an exercise hurts, don’t do it.
  • Focus on low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, or riding a bicycle. If you use a stationary bike, ease up on the tension until you find one that doesn’t hurt your knees. As your muscles get stronger and you lose weight, you can increase the tension on the bike.
  • One study found that losing as little as 10% of your body weight reduced pain and improved joints. Losing 20% increased the benefits, improved life quality, and made knee function better.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness