Fitness & Wellness

Can Certain Exercises Remove Cellulite?

Can Certain Exercises Remove Cellulite?

If you found this blog using a search engine, you probably saw dozens of articles with titles that make you believe you can permanently eliminate cellulite with special exercises. It’s simply not true. That doesn’t mean it’s hopeless to workout. Exercise may not eliminate cellulite, but it will make it less noticeable. Some people think that exercises can remove fatty tissues in specific areas, but like all weight loss, it comes off evenly throughout the body. The exercises tone the underlying muscles and give a sleeker appearance,

Doctors can identify some of the risk factors for cellulite.

You can help prevent or eradicate cellulite by eliminating some of the risk factors. Fat tissues that poke through connective tissues create a lumpy orange-peel appearance on the thin layer of skin that covers the area. Women tend to have more cellulite because of a difference in fat muscle and connective tissue distribution. There are a variety of reasons for cellulite, such as excess fat. That doesn’t mean you won’t get it if you’re thin. Even thin people have it.

Hormones play a role in cellulite development.

Many theories suggest that several hormones play a role in creating cellulite. Estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, prolactin, and certain thyroid hormones play a role. Menopause can increase cellulite by slowing the connective tissue—collagen—-production. Impeded circulation causes less oxygen to the area, which also reduces collagen production. As hormone levels during menopause drop, the reduction of estrogen creates larger fat cells and thinner skin to make cellulite more noticeable.

Focus on eating healthy food and cutting back on sugar.

Focusing on healthy eating can help lose weight or prevent weight gain. Highly processed food can cause toxin accumulation that leads to cellulite. When you eat food with added sugar, it reduces the amount of collagen or weakens it. Dehydration also makes cellulite more noticeable. Smoking affects circulation and alcohol causes dehydration to increase the appearance of cellulite. Both aerobic and strength-building exercises can help make cellulite less noticeable. It improves circulation, increases collagen, and makes it stronger.

  • Female sex hormones increase fat storage on the thighs, buttocks, and hips. That makes those areas more prone to cellulite. The more stored fat there is, the more potential there is for cellulite.
  • Using a natural brush or loofah plant for dry brushing helps boost new cell growth as it removes dead skin cells. It can help improve circulation and aid in reducing the appearance of cellulite. You can also use coffee grounds mixed with coconut oil as an exfoliant.
  • Alternating between hot and cold showers boosts circulation. Steam baths, total body massage, and full-body cryotherapy can also make cellulite less noticeable by increasing circulation which builds collagen strength.
  • There are medical procedures that break up the collagen bands to make the surface more even. Cellfina, for example, shows results in about a month that last about three years. It costs between $3000 and $5000.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Do You Really Know What Foods To Eat?

Do You Really Know What Foods To Eat?

It’s not always easy to know the right foods to eat. If you walk through a grocery store, you’ll often see food wrappers with words like “gluten-free” in big letters on the package. Are they really healthy? Just read the label. If it sounds like the ingredients for an experiment in a high-level lab, it’s probably not a healthy option. For instance, a tub of margarine may tout that it’s 100% vegan, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy or healthier than butter. Butter made from the milk of grass-fed pastured cows is extremely healthy. You have to look at the ingredients. The artificial alternative may have a list of ingredients you’d expect to find in a lab.

Eating whole foods is the key.

Whole foods are foods not significantly processed. They may be washed, cooked, frozen, or canned but don’t have additives. Healthy canned fruit is packed in its own juice and contains no added sugar. Choosing organic is best in many cases, but it’s not always necessary. Avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, onions, and cabbage are a few on the Clean 15. Non-organic fruits and vegetables are tested each year for pesticides. Some show high amounts even after washing. Others show no chemicals or very few. They are the Clean 15. Sweet corn, pineapple asparagus, onions, sweet potatoes, and papayas are a few.

Avoid choosing fat-free or low-fat milk options.

Some people see fat-free on a label and believe it’s healthier. They also think it will help them lose weight. Both of these suppositions are incorrect. For instance, when they remove the fat from yogurt or milk, the flavor and texture disappear, too. To give your mouth the feel of yogurt or milk and provide the same flavor, sugar and thickening ingredients are added. Fat helps you lose weight. Sugar makes you gain it. Fat keeps you feeling full longer. Added sugar messes with your blood sugar level. That can increase insulin, keep you hungry, and lead to insulin resistance.

Do you carry around granola bars or trail mix for quick snacks?

Many granola bars are nothing more than glorified candy bars. You may think you’re making a healthy choice, but once you read the label, you’ll notice it contains a ton of sugar, preservatives, artificial flavoring, and refined oils. High-fiber bars are a poor contender against high-fiber fruit like apples. Make your own trail mix to control the ingredients it contains.

  • Consider how you cook food. For instance, overcooked meat contains heterocyclic amines—HCA. They are cancer-causing agents. Choose your meat broiled, boiled, or baked, not fried.
  • Choosing food that is naturally gluten-free is only vital for people who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. A bag of potato chips is naturally gluten-free, but not very healthy.
  • Don’t eat frozen yogurt as a healthy alternative to ice cream. Frozen yogurt sounds healthy, but it has the sugar and flavoring that makes ice cream a less healthy option.
  • Don’t eat Impossible Burgers or veggie burgers because you think it’s healthier. Most are high in sodium. Find alternatives like a grilled portabella to substitute for a burger.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

How To Gain Muscle Mass

How To Gain Muscle Mass

If you’re working out, you’re probably hoping to lose fat and gain muscle mass in addition to your ultimate goal. You have to make lifestyle changes to do it. It takes both exercise and a healthy diet to increase your muscle mass. You also need adequate sleep and adequate hydration. Focusing on natural techniques is the best way to do it. It ensures you aren’t consuming harmful additives that can affect your body later.

Start with the right nutrition.

Eat a healthy snack or meal before and after a workout. It should contain a healthy source of protein and healthy carbs. If it’s close to workout time, stick with the healthy snack, but if it’s a couple of hours before your workout, you should eat a healthy meal. Include food like salmon, dairy, lean beef, or poultry. Chicken breasts are a good choice. Before you workout, avoid fat. It takes longer to digest and can cause issues. A healthy snack before working out can improve your workout and start the process of recovery. After working out it replaces the glycogen and boosts recovery.

Maximize the benefits of your workout.

Our personal trainers can help you with the most beneficial muscle-building exercises. HIIT—high intensity interval training is one technique. HIIT isn’t a particular exercise but a way of doing any exercise. You alternate between peak intensity and recovery. To build muscles, you have to stress them. Lifting weights is one way. You’re working against the force of gravity. Resistance bands also provide that resistance, but on various planes. They aren’t as beneficial for building bulk, however.

You need a recovery period.

Don’t exercise the same muscle groups every day. When you do strength training, you make micro-tears in your muscles. It takes 48 to 72 hours for those tears to heal. If don’t give them a rest and allow recovery, it can tear down muscle tissue and diminish it. You also require adequate sleep. Your body heals when you sleep.

  • Using heavy weights and fewer repetitions will build strength. Lighter weights and more repetitions build bulk. If you do bodyweight exercises, as you get fitter, they become easier to do. Either carry weights or increase repetitions.
  • Compound exercises can provide more benefits. They work several muscle groups, tendons, and joints at once. The larger muscles provide the most growth.
  • Don’t skip fat in your diet. It’s necessary for producing hormones that help build muscle. Foods containing healthy fat include salmon, nuts, and avocados.
  • Staying hydrated before, after, and during your workout is vital. If you’re slightly dehydrated, it can cause you to be tired. That can affect your workout. Drink an 8 oz. bottle of water 30 minutes before exercising and sip it throughout the workout.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Is Coconut Milk Good For You?

Is Coconut Milk Good For You?

You can find coconut milk in almost any grocery in Livermore, CA. It’s as popular as coconut water. Both come from coconuts, except coconut water is the unprocessed liquid in the middle of immature coconuts, and coconut milk is a processed product. Are both good for you? Does the processing make a difference? Coconut water is the liquid in the center of immature coconut that eventually hardens into the meat of the coconut. Coconut milk is made from the shredded meat of a mature coconut. It’s boiled or blended and strained. The amount of water added and the time spent cooking determines the consistency.

There are differences in the nutritional profiles.

Coconut water is primarily water. One cup contains just 46 calories and 9 carbs. One cup of coconut milk has 13 grams of carbs and 552 calories. The big difference is the amount of fat it contains. While coconut water has a half gram of fat, coconut milk has 57 grams. Coconut milk also has almost three times the protein, six times the manganese, and five times the folate. Coconut water has 11 times more sodium than coconut milk. Both are a good source of vitamins.

Canned coconut milk is different than the one that comes in a carton.

The coconut milk for cooking usually comes in cans. It’s a creamier version. You can store it for years and it doesn’t require refrigeration. It’s thicker than coconut milk in a carton. The coconut milk that acts as a milk substitute comes in a carton. It’s lower in calories. It may be as much as much as fourteen times lower. It’s processed differently and has additives. They may include guar gum, xanthan gum, tricalcium, sorbitol, or dipotassium phosphate. It has less fat, is watery, needs refrigeration, and has a shorter shelf life. While both provide nutrients, the canned version is higher in saturated fat, while the carton version contains additives that may affect your health.

Coconut milk has many benefits.

The brain relies on fat for energy to function properly. The MCT in coconut milk is a readily available source of brain energy. One study showed that drinking coconut milk can also help you lose weight. Again, it’s the MCTs in coconut milk that provide the aid. They also help control blood insulin levels and prevent sugar spikes. The MCTs in coconut milk can slow aging and provide anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain.

  • Carton coconut milk may also contain healthy additives. Some have added vitamins D, A, E, and B12. Canned coconut milk doesn’t contain those additives, but it does contain natural vitamin C and folate.
  • If you have IBS—irritable bowel syndrome—read the ingredient label carefully. Some contain carrageenan to prevent the separation of the milk. It can cause inflammation.
  • Coconut milk without any additives can help reduce inflammation. It’s a good alternative for anyone who has issues with dairy. Homemade is best for controlling ingredients.
  • Coconut milk is heart healthy. About half the fat in coconut milk is lauric acid. Lauric acid is a healthy omega-3 fatty acid that supports heart health. The vitamins and minerals in it help lower blood pressure.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

How Important Are Good Workout Shoes?

How Important Are Good Workout Shoes?

If you’re starting to run or jog, you might think those old sneakers in your closet are adequate. You might be wrong. Having good workout shoes can make a difference when you exercise. They’re the grounding force that stabilizes your entire body. If you don’t have good shoes for your daily run in Livermore, CA, you could be doing damage to your feet. They protect you from foot injuries and help you maintain the proper alignment.

The soles of your shoes are truly where the rubber meets the road.

If your car tires are slick and haven’t had tread for a while, you’re putting your life in danger every time you drive. The same is true for your shoes. They are more important than any other workout clothing and need a precise fit. Your other clothing can be a bit baggy or ill-fitting without much consequences, but the same isn’t true of the shoes. The right shoe meets six different criteria. The heel, instep, width, and length should match your feet. The shoe should also have the proper amount of flex for your foot and made specifically for the sport or exercise.

If you don’t have adequate support, it can cause injury.

If you’ve ever worn shoes to a workout that pinched your foot at any point or were so big your foot slid around inside them, you probably ended the workout quickly because your feet hurt or had blisters. Most people understand that a good fit should be a priority. They often don’t realize the amount of spring makes a difference. The lack of spring makes the shoe useless as a shock absorber if you’re running on pavement. It can cause stress fractures and foot misalignment. Lack of spring can come from the construction of the shoe or overuse.

Choosing quality and the right shoe for your workout is vital.

Injury can cause a big setback, and the wrong type of shoe can promote it. Your foot is complex. It has nineteen muscles, twenty-six bones, over thirty joints, and hundreds of ligaments and tendons. Damaging any one of those can keep you from exercising. Trying to save a few dollars by buying tennis shoes from superstores where you buy groceries and toiletries isn’t the answer. It’s best to use a store carrying only athletic shoes with specialists ready to help you.

  • Each type of exercise affects the foot differently. Specialized shoes address those needs. Running shoes protect from the constant pounding. Weight-lifting shoes have hard, stable soles to give a good grip.
  • Shop for shoes when your feet are their largest. That’s in the afternoon, evening, or after working out. Wear the socks you’d wear to the gym. Walk in the shoes before you purchase them.
  • You don’t have to buy the latest fashion trend. Choose only one outfit appropriate for your exercise. Cross-training shoes are best when you do a little of everything.
  • The longer you wear shoes, the more they lose compression capabilities. The National Strength and Conditioning Association—NSCA–suggests retiring running shoes after six months or about 400 miles. The more intense the workout, the sooner you retire shoes.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Food Labels - Understand What You're Eating

Food Labels – Understand What You’re Eating

You’ll hear a lot of claims when you listen to commercials or look at the front of the food package, but the real truth comes from reading the part of food labels where the nutritional information is. Knowing serving size and calories per serving can make a huge difference if you’re trying to lose weight. Checking the food label can tell you how much sugar was added to the product. It informs you on the amount of sodium, fat, total carbohydrates, and cholesterol to guide you to make the healthiest choices.

The label also contains ingredients.

Eating whole foods is always best. It’s closer to its natural state without a lot of additives. If you check a food label and it reads like a science experiment, put the food back on the shelf. If you don’t know what the ingredient name means, it’s a signal that it may be a chemical additive. Peanut butter, for example, should contain only peanuts and maybe salt. You can find the information in two places, the ingredient list and the nutritional information where they identify added sugar.

The percentage of daily nutritional values based on a 2000-calorie diet is on the label in two spots.

The label shows the daily value of macronutrients and sodium at the top, and below it, there’s a chart for the other nutrients it contains. It’s a percentage of the nutrient you need or the amount not to exceed each day. For instance, the percentage for sodium is the amount not to exceed, while the percentage for vitamin A is the amount you need. When you check food labels, you can compare similar products and choose the healthiest.

You’ll learn the serving size and whether health food is really healthy.

Check out cookies or chips. They don’t appear to contain that many calories until you notice the serving size. The serving size may be so small it would only suit a toddler. Some foods you thought were healthy will show their true colors when you read the food label. They often are high in sugar and fat with few nutrients. It can open your eyes and help you find the best workout snack that puts more power into your efforts.

  • If you’re counting carbs or calories, the food label helps you by showing both per serving. Some labels will surprise you with the amount of added sugar they contain.
  • You’ll be newly impressed with some of the canned vegetables. Most have nothing or just salt added and contain almost as much nutrition as fresh alternatives but at a lower price.
  • Before the last mandated change to food labels, manufacturers used several types of sugar to make each type further down on the list and mask the amount of sugar the food contained.
  • Manufacturers are required to show the amount of vitamin D, iron, calcium, and potassium. If they choose, they can show the vitamin A and C content.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Is It Possible To Change My Attitude Toward Fitness?

Is It Possible To Change My Attitude Toward Fitness?

Your attitude can determine so much. If you have a negative attitude and think everyone is against you, you’ll interpret everything that way and find reasons to reinforce your belief. If you don’t think you can do something, you’ll give up before you master it. The same is true for fitness. Whether you hate exercise or just think you’ll never lose weight or get fit, that attitude can spell disaster. Luckily, you can change your attitude toward fitness and turn failure into success.

If you hate working out, make it a game.

Tracking your workout can turn it into a game. It’s more fun when you have a challenge and can see progress daily. Track the number of sets, reps, or amount of weight you lift. You can also include other factors like how hard it was to do the last few reps or how fast you finished a mile if you’re running. The results of your hard efforts don’t show on your body immediately. They also occur slowly, so you don’t notice the change. Tracking your workout gives you the challenge of achieving fitness goals where you see immediate results.

You’ll like to get fit more if you enjoy the activity.

Do you hate going to the gym or doing calisthenics? Go dancing or swimming if you prefer. It’s all about getting active. A full-body workout with all types of fitness is still necessary, so spending a couple of days in the gym and the rest doing fun activities can improve your attitude. Set aside a day or two to ride bikes, run, play basketball with the kids, or go hiking. You’ll still be exercising but enjoying every minute of it.

Join a group or take a class with a friend.

Group sessions are popular for a reason. They’re often more fun. There’s a lot of comradery when you workout with a group. If you join with a spouse or friend, it can be more fun, especially if you make a night of it and have a healthy meal after the class. If there’s healthy competition, you might want to workout to improve your fitness for your class and perform better.

  • Tracking your progress can also help you realize you aren’t beyond hope. It can show you how much progress you made in a few weeks or months. You should never compare yourself to others, only to your history of fitness.
  • Focus on the reason you want to get fitter. Are you doing it for your health? If so, think about your loved ones or what you’ll miss if you can’t keep up with others. If you want to look better, choose a new outfit to buy when you lose weight or get fitter.
  • Start your program expecting it to be difficult but knowing you can do it. Expect it to take a while to feel and see results. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much sooner they occur.
  • Appreciate the control you’re gaining over your body. Find something you love about each workout session. Attitude is everything. What you focus on develops that attitude. Focus only on the good.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Pilates Can Give You A Stronger Core

Pilates Can Give You A Stronger Core

If you want a flat stomach and that lean, svelte appearance, Pilates can help. It’s a good way to build core strength that supplements traditional workout techniques used in the gym. It involves low impact exercises that balance muscles and improve the neuromuscular pattern. You’ll gain flexibility, strength, and functional fitness. You’ll also reduce pain. As Pilates builds core strength, it also builds grace and agility.

Pilates is best known for improving core strength and posture.

Unlike some types of exercise that are strictly for building bulk, Pilates builds lean muscle strength. It works on core muscles—the muscles in the front and back of your trunk that support the body and stabilize it. Core strength can relieve back pain and put more power into explosive movements. Core strength also improves posture. That helps relieve back, shoulder, and head pain and makes you look more confident.

Improved core strength helps prevent injury.

Strengthening your core muscles while preventing them from becoming too tight is the goal of Pilates. It helps protect the body from injury. Both too tight of muscles or too weak and loose create the perfect conditions for injury. Pilates gives you an improved range of motion but also supplies stabilization of the joints and overall support. If you play sports, studies show it can help prevent injury.

Pilates enhances the body-mind connection.

The practice puts your focus on what’s happening in your body and builds awareness of pain, discomfort, pleasure, and even your emotions. That heightened awareness makes you more aware of potential dangers from a fall. Improved mindfulness can also help in other areas of your life, including weight loss and satiation points when eating. You’ll also increase your energy. It’s low impact, so it tends to leave you feeling exhilarated and not exhausted when you’re finished.

  • It improves circulation and boosts immunity. The immunity boost occurs because it boosts circulation and improves immune functioning. Studies showed that Pilates is particularly beneficial for immune functioning the older you are.
  • It can help boost your strength and build stronger bones, like many types of exercise. It also improves cognitive functioning. That’s because of increased blood flow to the brain, the creation of neurotransmitters, and a longer lifespan of neurons.
  • Improved flexibility, strength, and endurance can improve your sex life. It allows for longer sessions and new positions. It strengthens the pelvic floor to improve women’s sexual pleasure.
  • You’ll improve your sleep and reduce inflammation when you practice Pilates. Like all exercise, Pilates helps you sleep better. It also increases lymphatic and synovial fluid movement to reduce inflammation, toxic build-up, and pain.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

How To Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Workout

How To Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Workout

Mindfulness is a practice often used in Livermore, CA, and throughout the world. It is often associated with yoga and Eastern religions but has become part of the fitness community in recent years. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and the body-mind connection. If that sounds like doublespeak, explaining it as an example is better. When you’re working out, you focus on each move and how every muscle feels, using all your senses. Your mind is on the present movements. You’re not thinking of the problems you face at work or what to make for supper.

There are benefits to incorporating mindfulness into your workout.

Mindfulness can enhance your performance by improving focus and concentration. It can help motivate you and keep your mind centered. You’ll start your workout more relaxed. That can reduce muscle tension. That relaxes muscles, allowing you to work muscles in a wider range of motion. Using mindful breathing techniques helps lower stress levels and the cortisol the body creates. It can improve performance and boost recovery. The more relaxed you are, the faster you heal and the quicker you recover.

Start with focused breathing.

Breathing exercises used for mindfulness can prepare your body for a workout. It also can lower your blood pressure and relax you during stressful times. Before you begin your workout breathe in deeply through your nose, hold the breath, then breathe it out through your mouth. Be aware of how your body feels throughout the process. You’ll often feel tension in certain areas. Once your body is relaxed, set a clear intention of staying focused on your body as you exercise or being present in the moment.

Really feel your workout instead of going through the motions.

If you’re like most people who exercise, at one time or another you’ve looked at the clock or calculated how many more sets you still have to do. Turn your focus inward. Feel your muscles working and everything happening in your body. Appreciate how your muscles are responding and the control you maintain over their movement.

  • Learn breath control first. Deep breathing is a significant part of mindfulness. Learn to take deep breaths, keeping it natural and relaxed even during strength-building exercises.
  • After your workout, take time to appreciate what you’ve accomplished. Feel your muscles and your other body functions like your heart sending oxygen-rich blood to your body. Reflect on what you did well and what you would change.
  • Mindfulness gets you in touch with your body. It helps you read the messages the body sends, such as telling you to push harder or to rest. It can enhance recovery by reducing tension in the muscles.
  • Mindfulness can help you appreciate your workout more. It also can transfer to mindful eating. Mindful eating can help you lose weight. Being present in the moment can improve all facets of your life.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Kickboxing - Your Full Body Workout

Kickboxing – Your Full Body Workout

If you’re like most people who exercise regularly, your activity doesn’t end when you leave the gym. Most people live an active lifestyle, whether it’s dancing on the weekend or playing sports like softball or basketball. One interesting active interest is kickboxing. While you get plenty of cardio when you play basketball, with kickboxing you get a full-body workout. Unlike softball, where you’re not moving constantly, kickboxing keeps you constantly active. It resembles a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout.

Kickboxing includes all fitness areas in one session.

Kickboxing builds strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. While it doesn’t give you the big muscles of some types of strength training, it does build strength and sinewy lean muscle mass. You’ll also get a cardio workout that rivals running. Since you’re not always moving at the same pace, it becomes a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout. HIIT workouts get faster endurance results than steady-state ones. The kicks, bobbing, and punches boost flexibility and balance.

Your entire body is used during kickboxing.

Kickboxing creates a lean but muscular body. It torches fat. Studies show that kickboxers have a lower percentage of body fat than the rest of the population. It helps flatten the abdomen by building core muscles and creates attractive legs. Kickboxers build leg muscles so they don’t have a chicken leg appearance. It cuts fat to eliminate flabby thighs and cellulite.

Kickboxing is good for stress relief.

Some people love kickboxing because it’s a way to take out aggression in a socially acceptable manner. Studies show it can help improve your mood due to the extensive physical activity. You’ll be able to handle daily stress even better. The competitive nature of kickboxing and the perseverance it takes to achieve build mental toughness, improved confidence, and self-belief. It helps build motivation to accomplish more beyond the sessions. It also can motivate you to exercise more in the gym.

  • Kickboxing is also good for the brain. It improved coordination, brain functioning, and memory. You’ll learn to focus more and improve your cognitive functioning.
  • You’ll build your energy level. Kickboxing increases blood flow, triggering hormones that make you more alert. It builds energy the longer you do it.
  • Kickboxing compliments traditional exercising by promoting functional fitness. Everyday movements aren’t like those of calisthenics. They’re more chaotic like kickboxing moves. You’ll be able to do everyday tasks better when you practice kickboxing.
  • People who have kickboxed for a while become more aware of their bodies and the needs of their bodies. They tend to focus more on good health and a healthier lifestyle, such as a better diet and more sleep.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness