More than 40 Incredible Uses for Honey

In our age of western medicine, the society has turned away from the natural health remedies that were greatly used by our ancestors. We often rely more on the modern chemically produced pills than all natural traditional medicine. Honey is much sweeter than sugar and is far better for you. Honey is essentially a highly concentrated water solution of two sugars, which our bodies break down easier and faster. Because honey is low on the Glycemic Index, it is gradually absorbed into the blood stream.

More than 40 Incredible Uses for Honey

  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • Provides minerals, vitamins, antioxidants
  • Strengthens immunity
  • Honey also has its effect on weight Loss which makes me mostly excited! Simply drink warm water with lemon and honey on an empty stomach.
  • Did you know that though honey has more calories than sugar, honey when consumed with warm water helps in digesting the fat stored in your body?
  • Promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestine
  • Boosts energy and reduces fatigue
  • Restores eyesight. Mix 2 teaspoons of honey with carrot juice and consume regularly.
  • Relieves a sore throat
  • Prevents heart disease by improving blood flow
  • Soothes burns, disinfects wounds. Garlic honey, which is just a mixture of honey and garlic, can be applied directly to infected wounds to clean the area
  • Reduces inflammation and pain
  • Alkalizes bodys pH
  • Contains phytonutrients, which possess cancer-preventing and anti-tumor properties
  • Helps with indigestion and acid reflux
  • Destroys bacteria causing acne
  • Prevents low white blood cell count
  • Counters pollen allergies. Take a teaspoon of raw honey a couple of times a day starting a few months prior to allergy season.
  • Flushes parasites from liver and colon
  • A salve made of honey can be applied to eczema
  • For hangovers. Mix 15ml of raw honey with 80ml of orange juice and 70ml of organic yogurt.
  • Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders
  • Honey helps build stamina in athletes
  • Honey and cinnamon can help with Arthritis. Mix one part honey with two parts of luke warm water and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Massage the mixture on the itching part of the body.
  • Helps with scalp problems and dandruff
  • Helps with anxiety
  • Reduces metabolic stress
  • Helps clear your sinuses. To clear your sinuses, take a mixture of 1 teaspoon each of fresh ginger juice and honey two or three times a day.
  • Cures toothache. Make a paste of honey and cinnamon and apply on the aching tooth.
  • Moisturizes skin. Mix a dollop of honey and two tablespoons of warm water and massage the mixture into your skin.
  • Relieves morning sickness
  • Helps with hiccups
  • Reduces hay fever. Take a tablespoon of honey in the morning
  • Helps with tension headaches. Simply sip on a 12 glass of warm water with a couple of added teaspoons of honey.
  • Helps with pink eye. Place a teaspoon of honey with a cup of water and heat just enough to melt the honey. Let cool and use an eye dropper drop the mixture in the infected eye.
  • Leg cramps. Take 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp. of honey each evening before bed.
  • Reduces cholesterol. Mix two tablespoons of honey and three tablespoons of cinnamon in 16 ounces of tea.
  • Helps with bad breath. Mix one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon in hot water.
  • Soften hard water, Just add honey to bath water

But make sure to buy raw honey, organic because the heating during manufacturing destroys nutrients and enzymes. Additionally, locally grown raw honey from the area you live is more beneficial as it possesses the immune stimulating properties needed for your body to adapt to its environment. The best part about it, you dont have to sacrifice the taste of sweetness by using sugar substitutes, but can actually enjoy eating what you like and be healthy at the same time!!!

Delicious Basil Herb Recipes

Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad

tomato-basil-and-fresh-mozzarella-salad
Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

For basil sauce:

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For salad:

  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices yellow tomato
  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices red tomato
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Procedure:

To prepare basil sauce:

  1. Cook 1 cup basil leaves in boiling water 15 seconds; drain.
  2. Plunge basil into ice water; drain and pat dry.
  3. Combine basil and broth in a blender; process until smooth. Let mixture stand 2 hours at room temperature.
  4. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  5. Add vinegar and salt, stirring with a whisk.

To prepare salad:

  1. Arrange yellow and red tomato slices alternately on a large platter.
  2. Drizzle with basil sauce; sprinkle with cheese and pepper.
  3. Top with 1/2 cup sliced basil. Serve immediately.

Recipe credit: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tomato-basil-fresh-mozzarella-salad

Salmon with Basil Sauce

grilled-salmon-with-basil-sauce

Makes: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Procedure:

  1. Drizzle salmon with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside 10 minutes to absorb flavor.
  2. Meanwhile, combine basil, 1/2 cup olive oil, and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, and set aside.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté salmon 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until desired degree of doneness. Place on serving plates. In the warm skillet, heat reserved basil sauce, and pour over salmon.

Perfect Pairing: California lifestyle expert Susie Coelho recommends Meridian Pinot Noir for the Salmon with Basil Sauce. A hint of lemon means the recipe would work equally well with Meridian’s Chardonnay. Another option is Meridian Sauvignon Blanc. Its bright, sunny quality matches the acidity of the tomatoes.

Recipe Credit: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/salmon-with-basil-sauce

Basil Herb: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, Side Effects

By Appreciate Goods

It is not surprising as to why the Greeks refer to basil as the ‘king of the herbs’ since it has both culinary value and medical uses. Native to India, basil is used as a cooking staple in dishes all around the world, particularly in the Italian cuisine. It is also widely used in Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Generally, basil is used fresh and added at the last moment of cooking, because it destroys the flavor of the herb. Drying the herb also makes it lose its flavor and aroma, which is why fresh basil can only be stored for a short time in the refrigerator. The flower buds are edible and are also used to give flavor to dishes in place of the leaves.

In addition to its culinary applications, basil has numerous health benefits that range from promoting mental health to preventing bacterial infections. Here are 15 reasons why you should consider planting basil in your garden and start incorporating it into your diet.

15 Health Benefits of Basil Herb

  1. Combats depression

Basil is believed to combat the onset of depression by acting on the adrenal cortex and stimulating the production of cortisol, the hormones responsible for fighting stress. Drinking it as a tea or chewing on the leaves can greatly uplift your mood and decrease your risks of experiencing depression.

  1. Prevents bacterial infection

The abundance of essential oils in basil contributes to its excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, making it an effective treatment for wounds and skin infections. The essential oils citral, citronellol, linalool, terpineol, and eugenol are all chemical components of basil that can kill infection-causing bacteria.

  1. Relieves cough

When it is steeped and made into a hot tea, basil can effectively relieve cough, asthma, and bronchitis. It is also used as an expectorant, which enhances the expulsion of phlegm from the air passages of the lungs.

  1. Reduces risk of anemia

Basil is a rich source of iron, and a healthy diet that regularly includes basil will reduce the risk of having anemia, a deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood. Eating iron-rich food helps the blood enhance its oxygen-carrying capacity, thus preventing weakness and fatigue.

  1. Prevents eye diseases

Zeaxanthin, a carotenoid compound, is responsible for filtering harmful UV rays from reaching the retina of the eyes. Since basil contains zeaxanthin, it can help protect the eyes from diseases such as age-related macular disease (ARMD), a common eye problem among the elderly.

  1. Helps in blood-clotting

The vitamin K found in basil is important in the production of clotting factors in the blood, as well as in building strong bones.

  1. Regulates blood pressure

Basil contains plenty of minerals that are needed by the body, such as manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium. Potassium is an essential component of body fluids, which helps regulate blood pressure and control normal heart rate.

  1. Soothes insect bites

A teaspoon of basil juice can soothe the redness and itchiness caused by insect bites. Rub the juice generously on the affected area to reduce swelling and discomfort.

  1. Counters bad breath

Due to its anti-bacterial properties, an herbal toothpaste made primarily from basil can kill the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. The leaves can be ground into a powder and mixed with mustard oil, then massaged on the gums to prevent bad breath and other dental problems.

  1. Acts as an aphrodisiac

The strong and pungent aroma of basil is believed to promote libido and arousal by increasing blood flow and stimulating the production of hormones responsible for happiness and energy.

  1. Protects against radiation injury

The flavonoids orientin and vicenin are known to be good antioxidants found in basil. It inhibits the formation of free radicals in the body and protects against radiation injury.

  1. Cures headache

The steam of basil leaves is said to cure mild headaches, as the aroma can calm the nerves, relieve pain, and reduce swelling. To do this, add a couple of basil leaves in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and inhale the steam for a few minutes until your headache subside.

  1. Calms an upset stomach

Basil can also calm an upset stomach and treat bowel disorders. The beta-caryophyllene found in basil can effectively cure indigestion, relieve stomach spasms, and expel intestinal gas.

  1. Clears acne

There are plenty of reasons that cause breakouts on the face: sudden hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and excessive sebum production. Whatever the reason may be, applying agel containing basil and orange essential oils on the affected area can clear up the skin from acne.

  1. Improves mental alertness

An aromatherapy with basil, sandy everlasting, and peppermint oils is said to improve mental alertness, focus, and attention to people who have been experiencing feelings of mental exhaustion.

Basil Nutrition Facts

You can get the following nutrients in every 5 grams (2 tablespoons) of fresh, chopped basil leaves:
  • 2 Calories
  • 1 grams Total Carbohydrate
  • 0 grams Total Fat (0% Daily Value)
  • 6 milligrams Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • 8 milligrams Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids
  • 2 grams Protein (0% Daily Value)
  • 277 IU Vitamin A (6% Daily Value)
  • 9 milligrams Vitamin C (2% Daily Value)
  • 8 micrograms Vitamin K (27% Daily Value)
  • 6 micrograms Folate (1% Daily Value)
  • 3 milligrams Calcium (1% Daily Value)
  • 2 milligrams Iron (1% Daily Value)
  • 4 milligrams Magnesium (1% Daily Value)
  • 9 milligrams Phosphorus (0% Daily Value)
  • 5 milligrams Potassium (0% Daily Value)
  • 2 milligrams Sodium (0% Daily Value)
  • 0 milligrams Copper (1% Daily Value)
  • 1 milligrams Manganese (3% Daily Value)
  • 0 milligrams Cholesterol (0% Daily Value)
  • 8 grams Water
  • 1 gram Ash

Potential Side Effects of Basil

  •  Basil is safe when consumed as a food in moderate amounts, and as a short-term medicine in adults. However, it may cause low blood sugar in some people.
  • The shoots of the basil should not be taken as a long-term medicine since it contains the chemical estragole. In a laboratory study of estragole, the chemical caused liver cancer to the mice used in the experiment.
  • For pregnant and breastfeeding women, basil is safe when consumed as a food in moderate amounts.
  • For children, basil is safe when consumed as a food in moderate amounts, but should not be taken as a long-term medicine.
  • For people with low blood pressure, consuming basil might lower the blood pressure even more. Thus, extreme precaution should be exercised when consuming basil for people with this condition.

Basil Herb Fun Facts

  • In the Jewish folklore, it suggests that basil adds strength during fasting periods.
  • European lore claims that basil is the symbol of Satan, while a French physician said that smelling basil too much would breed scorpions in the brain.
  • In India, people place basil in the mouths of their dying loved ones to ensure that they reach
  • Certain regions in Mexico believed that basil draws fortune to their business. Shopkeepers would hang a bunch of basil by the window, and its growth would reflect how the business would prosper.

Basil Herb Top View

Continue reading “Basil Herb: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, Side Effects”

11 Nutrition Myths That Cause Weight Gain

[Original Article]

July 29, 2013

Losing weight is a journey, a confusing one at that. End the confusion with these myth-busting tips from Shape!

1. Going vegan is a healthy way to lose weight.

“While various research shows that vegetarians and vegans, on average, consume fewer calories and less fat than omnivores (a 2009 Oxford study found that vegetarians weigh 3 to 20 percent less than their meat-eating counterparts, and a National Cancer Institute study found that subjects who consumed four ounces or more of red meat weekly were 30 percent more likely to die of any cause than those who ate less), these numbers may be misleading,” says Rania Batayneh, MPH, a certified nutritionist and owner of Essential Nutrition for You.

Going vegan solely for weight loss can backfire, big time. If you aren’t vigilant with a vegan diet, it’s easy to lack in vital nutrients, vitamins, and proteins, which give you energy and help keep your metabolism stoked. Many first-time vegans may also find themselves reaching for more processed foods like vegan cookies, chips, or even ‘ice cream’ more often with such a restricted diet, and many end up packing on the pounds instead.

If you do decide to adopt a vegan diet, be sure to keep the ‘treats’ to a minimum and plan balanced meals. “Aim to get about 10 to 20 percent of your calories from protein (or about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight), replacing animal protein with healthy plant proteins, like those found in beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products,” Batayneh says. “And, whether you are vegan or not, eating more green, leafy vegetables is great for your health and your waistline.”

2. Cut all carbs to shed pounds.
Your body needs ‘carbs’ for energy, and many carbohydrate foods are rich in essential vitamins, nutrients, and dietary fiber that help you stay full and fuel your workouts. “Eliminating carbohydrates not only reduces whole grains, B vitamins, and a good source of fiber, but it also reduces your body’s feel-good capacity (it’s no wonder that most comfort foods are carbohydrate based),” Batayneh says.

Plus, cutting out food groups may only make you crave them more, and you may find yourself finishing off an entire bag of chips in a moment of weakness. “Starches and carbs are actually an important tool in weight management,” Batayneh says. “They provide belly-filling fiber, complex carbohydrates to keep your engine running all day, and they stimulate the production of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that regulates mood.”

Stay healthy, full, and happy while dropping the lbs. by swapping out processed carbs for fiber- and nutrition-filled foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

3. Diet drinks are a good way to cut calories.
You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by sipping artificially sweetened drinks, but recent research says you may just be setting yourself up to crave sweets even more. ‘Fake’ sugar can trick our bodies, since we aren’t actually providing it with any calories to back up the sweetness, causing a vicious cycle of cravings. “Artificial sweeteners tend to trigger your appetite, making you want more and more sugar, but without actually satisfying a desire for sweets like normal sugar does,” Batayneh says. “Diet soda-drinkers may end up eating tons of sugary and fatty snacks in order to satisfy their cravings.”

Case in point: One University of Texas study found that people who drink diet soda regularly (more than two per day) had a 70 percent greater waist circumference than those that don’t. Not to mention, diet sodas are also often loaded with additives, including caramel coloring, which is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites, resulting in two compounds that have been found to cause lung, liver, and thyroid cancers in mice, Batayneh says.

4. Fat-free snacks are better for your waistline.
“Reduced-fat versions of snacks typically have been stripped of one quarter of their original healthy monounsaturated fats, and to replace that flavor, the brand adds in fillings, additives, and sugar — all for the same amount of calories,” Batayneh says. “Picking reduced-fat products may even end up hurting your waistline: in one study, average-weight participants ate 22 percent more calories if the food was labeled ‘low fat’ and overweight participants ate up to 50 percent more.”

Your body needs fat to absorb vitamins, and it may also help you shed pounds — a recent Stanford University study found that people on a moderate-fat diet lost twice as much weight as subjects eating a low fat diet.

So skip the highly processed, fat-free snacks that are basically empty calories and fill up on healthy, whole foods that will help you stay satisfied on a lower-calorie diet such as avocados, nuts, and coconuts.

See seven more weight-loss tips after the break!

5. Fruit has too much sugar to be healthy for weight loss.
With all the sugar that is added to processed foods, the sugar in fruit is the least of your worries. Getting rid of fruit means you are losing out on valuable vitamins and nutrients that your body absorbs easily since they’re found in their natural, whole state.

“Eliminating fruit from your diet when trying to lose weight makes no sense,” Batayneh says. You’ll miss out on a whole lot of filling fiber, which studies have directly linked to long-term weight loss, and you may be more likely to reach for other processed, empty food items instead.

6. Protein shakes will help you lose weight.
Drinking protein shakes alone can’t help you lose weight, but replacing a meal with them could. The trouble is, many would-be dieters make the mistake of adding in a shake to their current daily intake, which can pack on the pounds (this is why bodybuilders trying to gain size use them often).

If you want to add protein shakes to your diet, look for a mix that is low in sugar and has a short ingredient list. Depending on the calorie count, and what you add to it (Batayneh recommends whey protein, milk, and fruit), you can substitute a shake for a snack or a meal to help move the scale down, not up.

7. A high-protein diet is the best way to shed fat.
While protein is important for weight loss, eliminating other food groups (like carbs) for the sake of eating more protein could be setting you up for a carbo-loading binge later. Plus, you may be missing out on the fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in unprocessed carbohydrates, and you run the risk of eating too much fat in your diet, which can lead to high cholesterol and triglycerides, Batayneh says.

Skip the yo-yo cycle and round out your meals with a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. “When you have all three macro-nutrients in your diet, you are less likely to feel deprived and may experience less cravings.”

8. Swear off all your favorite fattening foods to lose weight.
Anyone who has ever sworn off pizza, chocolate, or chips knows that as soon as you tell yourself you can’t have them, you start dreaming of swimming in gooey, cheesy pizza or rich, dark chocolate cake. “Moderation is key. We tend to be in ‘all or nothing’ mode when we diet. And while you can’t have pizza, french fries, and chocolate cake all in the same day, with careful planning, you can still enjoy them in moderation,” Batayneh says. Have your cake, and eat it too — just share it with a friend or save the other half for another day.

9. Eating after 8 p.m. makes you fat.
Eating after a certain hour won’t necessarily mean you’ll pack on pounds, just as staying out after midnight won’t turn you into a pumpkin. This Cinderella-esque fat fairy tale continues to exist, but the bottom line is that your metabolism doesn’t know what time it is, Batayneh says.
Skip the mad rush to consume as much food as you can before the clock strikes 8:00.

“Calories are calories, no matter when you eat them, but what does matter is what and how much of it you eat. Late-night snacking gets a bad rap because often the foods that are consumed late at night are calorie-dense foods (chips, ice cream, pizza, and other junk food) and may be in excess calories to your daily caloric needs, which translates to weight gain.”

10. You’ll burn more fat if you don’t eat before a workout.
Exercise normally burns away your glycogen (carbohydrate) reserves, and when you’re done burning those, you’ll start dipping into your fat stores for energy. It’s true that when you’re already running on empty, you burn fat right away, but you’ll likely run out of steam before your workout is over or end up ravenous and grabbing whatever food you can find in an attempt to refuel afterwards, Batayneh says.

“Energy comes from calories. A study from the University of Birmingham compared two groups of cyclists — some ate before their workout and the others fasted. While the group who fasted did end up burning more fat, the group who ate cycled at a much higher intensity than the fasting group, and burned more calories. A person needs fuel to run, just like a car, so find the foods that give you the energy to work out at your hardest.”

11. You can eat whatever you want on weekends.
If you do the math, eating ‘whatever you want’ Friday-Sunday adds up to 12 days, or almost half of a 30-day month! Not exactly the recipe for weight loss success. “When you throw caution to the wind on the weekends it can actually offset the consistency and success you had all week,” Batayneh says. Instead of taking a no-holds-barred approach to your weekends, Batayneh recommends trying to scale back the little things that really add up like the bread basket and having a few extra glasses of wine during dinners out, along with mindless munching out of boredom.

More on SHAPE:
7 Foods a Nutritionist Would Never Eat
Must-Know Hot-Weather Workout Tips
A Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet

Image Source: Thinkstock

The Greatest Fitness Tips. Ever.

[Original Article]

Our all-time best fitness advice, all in one place.

Photo: Kurt Markus

Three decades ago, endurance training consisted of pretty much one workout: all-out, all the time. Then fitness went mainstream, CEOs started wearing spandex, and “sports scientist” became a legitimate career goal. The result? Periodization, VO2 max, functional strength, and more. Herewith, a highly concentrated dose of Outside training advice distilled from 30 years of health-and-fitness expertise.

Get a Routine 
Embrace daily rituals, whether it’s making coffee just so or walking the dog. Routines can lower blood pressure and slow heart rate.

Learn from Other Athletes 
“The Kenyan runners who always win marathons never jog,” says pro soccer player LANDON DONOVAN. So Donovan trains at 80 percent of his maximum heart rate until he’s exhausted, teaching his body “recovery endurance” through a sequence of sprints and rests. Over time, you’ll still need to give your body a break to optimize gains (see Train with a Plan, below), but this ability to push yourself to the brink of collapse and recover quickly is essential for top aerobic athletes.

Turn Big Challenges into Small Goals 
“Think only about the present and focus on micro-goals,” says ultramarathoner DEAN KARNAZES. “Just make it to that stop sign up ahead; OK, now make it to the tree up the street; and so on.”

Find Your Lactate Threshold 
What’s that? LT is the point at which lactic acid accumulates in your blood faster than your body can process it—causing a drop in performance (read: pain). Training below your LT builds aerobic capacity. Training above it builds speed. How to determine your LT:

  1. Warm up, 10 minutes.
  2. With a heart-rate monitor on, run or cycle on a flat course as fast as you can for 30 minutes.
  3. Your LT is your average heart rate for that period.

Protect Your Knees
By doing nothing. A lot of blown ACLs could be avoided by simply staying down and resting after a fall. A stretched ACL is easily torn
on subsequent falls.

To Get Faster, You Must Push Yourself 
“A runner churning out seven-minute miles will never know how quickly his arms and legs have to move to run a six-minute mile. You can’t practice by running slow.” —MARK VERSTEGEN, Athletes’ Performance founder, author of the Core Performance series

Train with a Plan
Here’s how to reach peak shape for any sport with one 12-week program.
FIRST MONTH: Complete a full-body weight-lifting circuit twice weekly. Do your cardio workouts on three other days, going long once. Each week, increase the duration of the long day’s workout by 10 percent. During the fourth week, cut the workout load by 50 percent.
SECOND MONTH: Follow the first month’s plan, but cut back to lifting once a week and add another day of cardio. During the eighth week, which is for recovery, cut everything in half.
THIRD MONTH: Stop lifting and use that day for cross-training. Ramp up speed by completing one cardio day each week with intervals at your intended race pace. Your long cardio day remains the same for the first two weeks, and for weeks 11 and 12 you cut its duration in half. During week 12, taper by doing only 50 percent of week 11’s work.

Cheat Sheet 
Lift. Lower weights slowly. It helps train your muscles to absorb shock and control your descent in real-world action.
Hydrate. For workouts lasting one hour or less, drink only water. For longer outings, bring a sports drink with carbs.
Relax. Don’t try to make up for missed workouts by doing two long days back to back. If you miss a day, just let it go.

Maintain Base Fitness
“Never get so out of shape that getting back into shape would be a monumental effort,” says alpinist CONRAD ANKER. “I do two things every year: climb El Capitan and do a marathon-length run. They give me goals, and I train accordingly.”

Have Fun
“A competition is just to show off how hard you’ve been playing,” says freestyle kayaking champ ERIC JACKSON, who credits the fun factor for his success.

Schedule Recovery Time 
You’re not slacking off; you’re recovering. Take two days off each week, an easy week every month, and a month of active rest—like surfing or riding a cruiser—per year.

Cross-Train with the Right Sport 
Runners: Cycling maintains leg strength and cardio fitness while giving you a break from impact on your joints.
Cyclists: Running and rowing develop strength in the torso, quads, and glutes.
Climbers: Calisthenics use body-weight resistance to build strength without adding bulk.
Swimmers: Rowing builds key strength in the shoulders, arms, legs, and torso.
Kayakers: Swimming works the arms, shoulders, and torso, improving power and range of motion.

Mix It Up
“Strength and endurance are of equal importance, so if you only have limited time, do a little of both.” —MARK ALLEN, six-time Kona Ironman champ

You Need More Than Calcium
Bones weaken if you do only low-impact activities. Strengthen your skeleton by mixing in high-impact workouts like running, jumping rope, or playing ball sports.

Work Your Core
A weak trunk can cause chronic back pain and other torso problems. The prevention: crunches and planks (brace yourself on forearms and toes, body rigid like a plank).

Build Functional Strength
“When you sit down on an exercise machine, with your back against a chair, you tend to shut down the rest of your body,” warns LAIRD HAMILTON. “You want strength that you can actually control and apply.” It’s called functional strength, and it dictates the way you should lift weights. Here’s our complete workout. Do Group 1 once a week. Two days later, do Group 2. Concentrate on smooth, controlled lifts throughout.

Group 1 (10–12 reps)
(a) Dumbbell flies lying on a stability ball
(b) Barbell squats
(c) Wide-grip pull-ups
(d) Medicine-ball chops
(e) Standing dumbbell pullovers
(f) Dumbbell lunges
(g) Standing bent-over rows with hand on
a stability ball
(h) Upright barbell rows

Group 2 (25 reps)
(a) Stability-ball push-ups
(b) Stability-ball crunches

Don’t Overdo It
Unless you’re winning prize money, allow six months between marathons or Ironman triathlons.

Listen to Your Heart
It will help you avoid overtraining during intervals. Use a two-to-one work-to-recovery ratio. Let’s say your intervals last two minutes each. After the first one, recover for one minute and check your heart rate. The first time your heart rate fails to drop to this number on subsequent intervals, you’re done.

Stretching Is No Joke
OK, the scorpion pose is a joke. But daily yoga or stretching improves flexibility and muscle endurance.

From the Vault The Life & Times of Outside
On Second Thought…
Wow. As much as the exceedingly wise counsel here makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, we’ve also spouted some really bad health-and-fitness advice over the years. For example, the time we tendered this moronic little gem: “Exercising above 85 percent of your maximum heart rate yields little or no additional cardiovascular benefit” (7/86). D’oh! But wait, it gets much, much worse. Somewhere among the six cigarette ads in our June ’83 Best of Summer issue, you’ll find this: “Tanning shouldn’t inspire guilt…. Relax. Enjoy the heat. You’re going to look great.” But don’t forget your “tanning product”: “Choose a label showing someone with a tan you especially like, then buy that one.” OK! And those strange new “SPF” numbers on some bottles? “Some mathematically inclined people pay attention to them.” But in our defense, way back in the fall of ’79, we had the good sense to hold up for ridicule Chicago physician Allan Charles, who opined that jogging could make a woman’s insides fall out. “Their pelvic muscles are too weak,” said the good doctor. “They’re perforated by the vagina.”

Don’t Blame Food 
“Thinking that carbs make you fat is wrong,” says CHRIS CARMICHAEL, founder and head coach of Carmichael Training Systems. “You’re fat because you’re not exercising. To simply blame a food type for being fat is bullshit.”

Keep Your Head in the Game
Mental fitness can be just as important as the physical sort. Surfer KELLY SLATER says his record seventh world title was due largely to the personal growth he achieved from healing strained family relationships. “I’m relaxed as I’ve ever been,” he said prior to winning.

Hit the Sack 
Skimping on sleep triggers a decrease in human growth hormone (HGH), which can cause muscles to wither and fat to build up. It’s crucial for everyone to get a full eight hours of sleep each night, and you can use an afternoon nap to reach that eight-hour goal.

Understand What Motivates You
“I don’t know if it’s so much winning but the fear of losing,” LANCE ARMSTRONG famously said before winning the Tour de France in 2003. “I don’t like to lose. I just despise it.”

Boost Immunity
How?  

  1. Exercise five days a week.
  2. Get antioxidants from whole foods, not supplements.
  3. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly.
  4. Get a flu shot.

Listen to Your Mother 
Straighten up. Balance, coordination, and flexibility all begin with good posture. When standing erect, you should be able to draw a line from your ear to your heel, with the line bisecting your shoulder, passing through your hip, and grazing the back of your knee.

Stock Your Travel Kit
Keep this in your Dopp kit, and hope you don’t need it:
IBUPROFEN and aspirin for sore muscles.
ACETAMINOPHEN (Tylenol) for pain from viral illnesses (colds, flu) and injuries involving bleeding.
COLD TABLETS containing pseudoephedrine to clear up sinus congestion without causing drowsiness.
ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning wounds.
SHOT GLASS, in case none of the above works.

Have More Friends!
“Energy makes people beautiful,” says JACK LALANNE. “You don’t want to be close to someone who’s dead and crapped out all the time, who’s bitching that it’s a lousy fucking world and ‘Christ, my ulcers are killing me.'”

Stay Trim

  1. Lift weights to build muscle. This raises your resting metabolic rate, the energy you burn to keep your body (and muscles) alive.
  2. Eat often, approximately every three hours. Eating frequent, small meals is linked with lower body-fat percentage.
  3. Avoid calorie-dense foods, like sweets and dried fruits. Eat more foods with high levels of water and fiber, like raw vegetables and whole grains.
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