Fitness & Wellness

Can Running Lift Your Mood

Can Running Lift Your Mood

Getting physical and active can boost your mood and one simple way to get that benefit is by walking or running. Studies show that there’s a direct correlation between staying active and depression, so much so, many mental health care professionals use exercise as an adjunct treatment for people who are depressed. If you’ve ever experienced a day when you simply feel funky and a little depressed, but find that once you get going and get out, that mood seems to disappear, you understand how just moving and getting out can help.

Stress can cause depression and running or other physical activity helps burn off the hormones of stress.

Blame it on the caveman for that response. Way back when, that fight or flight response came in very handy. It prepared the body to take flight or stay and fight with enemies or predators. Today, stress has many faces. It can be a rude clerk and crowded stores when shopping, a traffic jam or just a crazy computer that has a mind of its own. Fighting or running just isn’t appropriate in these cases, but the brain still sends hormones that prepare the body to do just that. If those hormones aren’t burnt off by running or fighting, it can result in mental changes, such as depression or anxiety. Running is a great way to burn them off and get the beneficial rewards for good health in the process.

Don’t be surprised if your doctor or mental health care professional prescribes exercise.

Medical science is now looking into many of the wise beliefs that came from the past, but never proven. Studies are now showing it’s true. Not only can exercise, such as running, help lift the cloud of depression, it can also help prevent it from returning. It boosts energy levels, improves circulation and even aids in better sleep. Best of all, the only side effect exercise has is a healthier, fitter you.

What causes some cases of depression?

One cause of depression comes from low self-esteem. When you feel bad about yourself, it’s hard to put on a smile and face the world. When you go running, workout or even walk, it helps you look better and feel better physically. It aids in improving posture, while also improving self-esteem. That alone could be of benefit. Exercise does even more. It boosts the serotonin your body makes. Serotonin not only regulates your sleep, it also affects your appetite and your mood.

  • Running, and other forms of exercise, boost the creation of endorphins, the feel good hormones. It slows the production of chemicals that affect your immune system, causing you to feel more depressed.
  • Sticking with a regimen of exercise, even when you don’t want to do it, you start to feel you can accomplish more. Feeling that way starts you on the road to feeling better about yourself.
  • Running gets you out of the house and often just changing your environment can make a difference. You’ll see people as you run and every block will help make depression melt away and take your mind off your worries.
  • I can help you with a program of exercise that can also include running. Not only will the exercise make you feel great, the program will have specific goals and as you achieve each, you’ll feel even better.

For more information, contact us today at Liv Fitness

The Pros And Cons Of Supplements

The Pros And Cons Of Supplements

People take supplements for a lot of reasons. For those who have a medical condition that requires extra nutritional aids, supplements act like medicine, to help the body. However, there are supplements on the market to help boost energy, aid in building muscle tissue and to enhance performance in the gym. Some people take supplements for weight gain or to complement their diet with added vitamin, minerals and nutrients. There are pros and cons of supplements, which can be as benign as wasting money to as dangerous as causing health issues. I always tell clients in Dublin, CA that diet should be the first route for improved nutrition.

Don’t get caught in the trap of supplementing, when you should be improving your diet.

We’re in an age of speed and take a pill, get results. Fitness doesn’t work that way. You can’t take a pill and build muscle tissue overnight anymore than you can take a supplement as a substitute for a well balanced diet. There are reasons for supplements, such as seniors supplementing because they don’t absorb the nutrition as well or pregnant women who need extra nutrients. In those cases, paying extra for nutrients that the body can absorb more easily is important.

Vitamins that are affordable, often aren’t bioavailable.

What is bioavailability? It’s the ability to absorb the vitamin or nutrients. While it’s already been mentioned that some people have difficulty absorbing those nutrients from food, such as seniors, it’s also true that less expensive supplements often aren’t absorbed easily either. They are flushed away when you go to the bathroom. Some nutrients in supplements also affect how the person absorbs other nutrients. High fiber foods and fiber supplements can affect the absorption of nutrients. However, supplementing can boost absorption, too. Vitamin D, from either sitting in the sun or food, can help you absorb calcium better.

Bodybuilders tend to supplement with extra protein and nutrients to help improve their workout and body.

If you’re a body builder, you probably already have viewed all the supplements. Most of them are protein supplements, which provides more muscle building and repairing material. Protein is made from amino acids, such as those found in milk, beef, chicken and pork. Creatine is one of those amino acids and it helps to add bulk to muscles. While that’s a good thing for some, there’s a downside. Taking too much can cause kidney or heart problems. It can cause diarrhea, cramps and dehydration if you take too much and identifying how much each person needs without complicated testing is difficult. .

  • Supplements don’t provide the synergy that food does. There was a study focusing on isolating the anthocyanin from blueberries as a cancer treatment, but it was found ineffective, since the anthocyanin in the blueberries require the other nutrients in the blueberry to be effective.
  • Most people are far better off getting nutrition from healthy eating. To be bioavailable, a high quality, expensive supplement is necessary. Inexpensive supplements are flushed away in the toilet, rather than absorbed. For the average person, high quality supplements cost far more than a healthy diet.
  • While excess water soluble vitamins like vitamin C can be flushed out of your system via urine, that’s not true of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A. They can build in the body to toxic levels. When you get nutrition from food, that’s not possible.
  • Eating healthy is a far more satisfying way to get nutrition. I can help you with a program of healthy eating that is also satisfying, while providing all the nutrients necessary.

For more information, contact us today at Liv Fitness

Is It Possible To Burn 1000 Calories In One Workout?

Is It Possible To Burn 1000 Calories In One Workout?

If you’re focused in on weight loss, you may have run across articles about programs where you burn 1000 calories in one workout. Is that at all possible. Well it is, but for a select few and not for everyone. Sometimes, it’s all about the math, where the calorie burning numbers come from a five-minute segment of the workout, then applied to every minute of the workout. If that short five minute segment has you burning 100 calories, then it’s deduced that 50 minutes would have you burning 1,000. However, the intensity doesn’t stay the same throughout that full 50 minutes. If it did, most people would have to quit midstream.

Your gender and body composition makes a difference in how many calories you burn.

No matter how much it’s protested, when it comes to losing weight, men have all the luck. That’s because men burn more calories doing the same activity as women. It comes from Mother Nature endowing them with more muscle mass, which grows even faster than women’s muscle mass when they’re both in a program of exercise. If you compared a man with a woman after one year of weight training, a man would have put on six to nine more pounds of muscle mass doing the same thing, including expending the same effort. Women tend to start out with less muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. So their normal body composition works against them when it comes to burning that 1,000 calories.

Other factors determine how many calories you’ll burn.

Age plays a big role in how many calories you burn, so does how much you weigh and your genetics. The older someone is, the harder it is to build muscle and burn calories. That means not only will it take longer to build, but an older person will burn fewer calories while working out. Your present weight makes a difference. Think of carrying that extra 20 to 30-pounds like carrying a barbell or dumbbell of the same weight as you workout. You’d definitely burn more calories. Even genetics can work for you or against you when it comes to burning calories.

How intense the exercise is does make a difference.

As noted before, it’s all about the math. If the 1,000 calorie burner is based on an intense portion of the workout, then the calories burned will seem higher, even though it’s a false assumption. Choosing workouts that burn more calories such as weight training, will improve the number of calories burned, but it won’t get you to the 1,000 per workout if you’re the average person. That’s even when you’re going at it hard, with few breaks and heavier weight. However, it will burn more than a less intense workout.

  • Types of workouts that burn a high amount of calories include HIIT—high intensity interval training—circuit training, intense cardio and kettlebells. While they may not burn 1,000 calories a session, you’ll still get many benefits.
  • No matter how many calories you burn in a workout, you still have to eat healthy to lose weight. If you go to the gym, burn 1,000 calories and then eat a supersized double Big Mac meal that has 1580 calories, you’d still gain weight.
  • Sprint interval training is another way to burn a lot of calories. You use a treadmill and vary your speed with fast walking, sprinting, back to fast walking and then cool down. You can use a weightlifting HIIT workout that provides afterburn, too.
  • I not only help my clients with the workouts that will burn maximum calories, but also help them learn a healthy way of eating to reduce the caloric intake and lose weight faster.

For more information, contact us today at Liv Fitness

How To Measure Body Fat Accurately

How To Measure Body Fat Accurately

Changing your balance of fat to muscle tissue is the goal of most people who workout. It’s another way to measure the progress you’ve made. You have to measure body fat as accurately as possible, but still keeping within the easy access to that technique, so you’ll do it. Consider how much more frequently you weigh yourself, rather than take measurements. You need an easy, yet accurate technique to assess the amount of body fat so you’ll stick with a schedule.

One of the simplest ways to measure body fat is with body circumference measurements.

Certain measurements can tell you approximately how much body fat you have. There’s a formula that’s used in the military for calculating body fat that uses height, age and circumference measurements. The neck and waist circumferences are measured in men, while the hips, neck and waist are measure for women to calculate body fat. This technique is easy to do and has relatively accurate results.

Can you pinch that inch?

Consider skinfold calipers if you want an inexpensive, yet still relatively accurate way to measure your body subcutaneous fat. Skinfold calipers measure just how much fat is underneath the skin at three to seven sites. The sites differ based on sex. For men, the site include the chest, thigh and abdomen at a minimal and can also include the triceps, area under the scapula and chest. For women, the minimal site measurements include the triceps, hip bone and abdomen or thigh and can include the chest, armpit and shoulder blade area. You can take measurements quickly, but does take a little practice learning the right spot to measure.

You won’t be able to take measurements at home if you use the multi-compartment testers.

You’ll get a whole lot of information from a multi-compartment type of tester. It assesses the body by dividing it into three or four compartment types of models. The testing takes the body volume, water, bone content and mass by using other types of testing, such as hydrostatic weighing. It then combines all the information to a more in depth picture of body percentage. This is the most accurate way to take a measurement of body fat, but also not normally available to the public. That amount of accuracy isn’t normally necessary for most people. It’ normally used only for medical facilities.

  • 3-D body scanners are simple to use and relatively accurate. However, there are few consumer grade models that are available and affordable. As they grow in popularity, expect that to change.
  • Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis–BIA, Bio impedance Spectroscope—BIS—and Electrical Impedance Myography—EIM—all use electric current to help predict the amount of body fat you have. All three are quick and easy, but only BIA and EIM has devices you can purchase.
  • Consider hydrostatic weighing. Hydrostatic weighing submerges you under water after you exhale and then weighs you. It requires you to hold your breath under water after exhaling all the air in your lungs. It’s not normally available, except at medical centers.
  • Air Displacement Plethysmography, such as the Bod Pod, is accurate and uses air displacement to measure the amount of fat. It measures air pressure and volume. These machines are accurate, but not readily available.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Best Chest Exercises For Mass

Best Chest Exercises For Mass

Do you have a concave chest and look like the person that the bully kicks sand at on the beach? Are you a mass of jiggly skin with no muscle tone? It’s time to do chest exercises for mass that will change your body from stick thin to fabulous. Not everyone is genetically predestined to have the Mr. America bodybuilder physique, but everyone can look better than they do now and these exercises will help build your pecs and make them hard and sculpted.

You’re working with two muscles, pectoralis major and pectoralis minor.

The pectoralis major is on top of the pectoralis minor. Even though it’s two muscles that are on top of one another, when building muscles, most people think of them as three different muscle groups, upper, middle and lower chest. You can adjust the bench for working out each area. It should be at a 45 percent incline for upper chest areas, so incline dumbbell flys and incline dumbbell bench presses are recommended for the upper chest. Use flat dumbbell bench presses and flat dumbbell flys for midchest workouts and decline bench press or decline dumbbell flys for lower chest.

Push-ups are the go to chest builder.

One of the simplest and most easily used exercise is the push-up. There’s no equipment necessary with this traditional exercise. There are many different types of push-ups, but the traditional push-up targets all the muscles necessary. It works the pecs, the shoulders, triceps, abs and the muscles directly under the armpit. It helps build strength fast as it builds muscle tissue. If you’re not strong enough to tackle a push-up, consider a bent knee modified one that’s easier, until you build your strength.

You’ll want to use multi-joint movements so you hit the muscles from all angles.

Start with the most difficult workout at first, such as a dumbbell bench press, rather than using barbells, which are easier to control. That makes it more difficult, which boosts mass growth. Make sure you attempt to increase your range of motion with each exercise, too. One workout for mass might include 4 sets of 8 to 10 dumbbell bench presses, 3 sets of barbell incline bench press medium-grip, 3 sets of leverage decline chest press, 3 sets of incline dumbbell flys and finish with butterfly’s.

  • Start with low repetitions of 4 to 6 reps or up to 8 to 12 moderate reps and use heavier weights. Don’t waste your time on machines, use free weights or body weight exercises to get the maximum benefit.
  • You can work a lot of different areas just by adjusting the placement of your hands when you do a push-up. A wide placement, further out than the shoulders, works the chest muscles more, while a close placement works triceps more.
  • Start working on your chest mass by learning each movement to perfection. It’s all about form, which is far more important than weight.
  • Make sure you eat healthy if you want to build mass. Your diet should contain adequate protein if you want to build muscles quickly.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Exercises To Make You Better In Bed

Exercises To Make You Better In Bed

I have clients from all over the world, besides just Dublin, CA. It doesn’t matter where they’re from, they love the side effect of a better sex life that comes when they workout regularly. It’s true, exercise boosts your sexuality. Part of the reason is that you simply feel better about yourself and even feel sexier. However, strengthening muscles for endurance and performance also boosts your sexuality and provides more pleasure during sex. There are exercises to make you better in bed, while also boosting your overall fitness.

Men might be surprised to find that strength building exercises can boost their sex life.

Whether you’re lifting weights or doing other strength building exercises, you’ll be boosting your testosterone, which gives your sexual drive a real lift. If you want a higher testosterone level, start lifting weights and make it heavy enough that you’ll be lifting to failure by the 10th repetition. Include some body weight exercises like pushups to build the chest, ab and shoulder or sit-ups and crunches. You’ll need that extra upper body strength to perform well during relations.

Both men and women benefit from kegels and you can do them anywhere.

For years, women have known that kegel exercises boost not only their enjoyment of sex, but also their partners, by making their vagina feel tighter. It also helps prevent incontinence and other problems caused by a weak pelvic floor. It’s simple to do. First, identify the muscles you need to tighten by trying to interrupt your urine midstream. The muscles that are trying to shut down the flow are the ones you’ll be tightening. Once you’ve identified them, all you have to do is tighten and hold, then relax and tighten again. Doing it many times throughout the day can build muscle strength. Men can do kegel exercises, too. You identify the muscles the same way, tighten, hold for ten seconds and relax. Do it throughout the day. It can help you delay ejaculation by simply contracting the muscles before orgasm occurs.

Build your core strength for better sex.

Whether you’re doing planks or a glute bridge, working on abs and glutes can improve your sex life, providing more power for thrusting and giving you the energy to keep on going, while enjoying every minute. The plank is one of the easiest to master and progressively make more difficult. As a beginner, you can start with a bent knee push up position. Raise your body keeping it arms straight and hold. It exercises your back, hips, legs, abs and shoulders. It’s one of the most versatile exercises with various gradations of difficulty.

  • Doing yoga poses can help improve your sex life, especially if you do the right ones. Try doing these six as part of your workout. Start with the cat pose that’s combined with the cow, go to the bridge, happy baby, one-legged pigeon, child pose and end with the corpse pose.
  • Getting rid of stress will definitely help you get into the mood. After all, even though exercises can help you perform better, sexual desire begins in the brain. Plan a hard workout, run together or learn to meditate to help eliminate stress.
  • Exercise is good, but so is a healthy diet. Foods that can help you perform better include: Figs, bananas, avocados, chocolate, basil and even garlic. If you’re adding garlic, make sure both partners eat it.
  • Many of our clients find that working out together can not only bring more intimacy to the bedroom, add to the romance and heighten the sexual fervor. Shared interest and healthy partners make great lovers.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

Lower Back Pain Exercises

Lower Back Pain Exercises

There’s no reason to suffer in pain when you can get relief with lower back pain exercises. Doctors often prescribe exercise to help relieve pain. In fact, some work extremely well to relieve pain almost immediately. Clients in Dublin, CA have found that taking a few minutes each day to build stronger core muscles and become more flexible can make their future brighter and pain free.

Increase your circulation by starting with gentle exercise.

Lengthening muscles and strengthening them can and should be done with mild or moderate exercise, especially if you’re experiencing pain. Start with exercises that don’t put a lot of pressure on your back or require bending or lifting. You might start out by just walking or riding a bike. Swimming is another option.

Some exercises sound way too simple, but they provide big relief.

Who would think that something as simple as standing a foot from a wall and bracing your back against it, then sliding down to sitting position could bring so much relief. That’s a wall sit and it really works. Once you slide down, hold for a count of ten and the go back up to standing position. Repeat up to 12 times. No matter what you call it. a yoga cobra pose, a back extension or a Pilates swan pose, you’ll get relief. If you’re just starting a program of exercise, use a modified form. As you lay on your stomach on the floor, lift your upper body, placing your weight on your forearms. Your head will be held up as you hold the position. When you get more advanced, straighten your arms and put all your weight on the palms of your hands.

Stretch those hamstring for lower back relief.

One lower back exercise that bring almost instant relief, while stretching the muscles to prevent future problems. As you lie on your back, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Hold one end of a rolled towel in each hand, lifting one foot and looping the towel under the ball of the foot. Straighten that leg, gently pulling the leg toward you with the towel. Hold for a half minute and slowly lower the leg. Repeat 3 or 4 times and switch legs.

  • Try this simple knee-to-chest stretch. Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flatly on the floor. Start by bringing one knee toward your chest, as you keep the other foot stationary. Grasp your knee and pull as you press your lower back down to the floor, and hold that position.
  • Get into the same position as the knee-to-chest stretch. Pull your knees toward your chest, but leave your arms to your side. As you keep your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your knees first to one side then the other.
  • A vacuum exercise or draw in maneuver is a isometric exercise that can be done standing or laying. Blow all the air out of your lungs and pull your stomach in as tight as you can and hold.
  • Stretching like a cat can help relieve back pain. There are a great many back exercises from every discipline that help bring relief. I work my clients to create a workout that brings relief, while building muscle strength and flexibility.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness