The Plentiful Health Benefits of Goji Juice

Photo credit: Maukie (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The health benefits of goji juice are many, and its pleasant taste makes it one of the most popular drinks among health enthusiasts. The high concentration of Vitamin C in goji juice guarantees a stronger immune system that can fight infection and disease better and will also take away the need to consume additional vitamin supplements. This little red berry is packed with a number of essential vitamins and minerals, and there are even festivals in some parts of Asia that celebrate its existence and importance.

Weight Loss

The fact that a number of people who drink goji juice for health do it because it has weight loss benefits is an open secret. The health benefits of goji juice as an effective appetite suppressant and a valuable, vitamin-packed inclusion to a weight loss oriented diet has been promoted by celebrities and fitness gurus alike, and its other health benefits are a bonus.

Better Immunity

The health benefits of goji juice also include better immunity. Goji berries are packed with a number of vitamins, including Vitamins A and C. Goji is also one of the few fruits that contains Vitamin E, which contributes to its enhanced skin healing properties.

Senior citizens may get the most out of the many health benefits of goji juice with its ability to slow down the skin’s aging process. One can rest assured that a majority of consumers who consume goji juice for health will be slow to show the signs of aging on their skin and bodies.

Delicious and Healthy

Goji juice is one of the more delicious and healthy drinks, which also makes it one of the most popular. Goji juice is considered to be one of the best tasting healthy juices available, which adds to its popularity, unlike other healthy drinks that include ingredients such as prune, spirulina, spinach, and other things that most people think taste terrible. Goji juice is so delicious that one can drink it by itself or even mix it with a scoop of whey protein supplement for a vitamin-rich meal replacement drink.

Goji juice is healthy, delicious, and would make a valuable addition to any diet. In addition to goji juice, goji berries can be eaten alone and are safe for consumption by people of all ages. You can consume goji at least three times a week for a period of one month to reap the maximum health benefits.

Beachbody

Walk the Walk with Family Trails

Next time you’re thinking about what to do on the weekend, consider taking the family out on the trails. Family trails in your local or state parks are an ideal way to get fit together and get some fresh air and nature while you’re at it.

Healthy Fitness for People at All Levels

Walking is a very effective way for people of all ages and all fitness levels to get healthy exercise, because it strengthens the heart and lungs and burns calories. In addition, walking is good for your bones, improves your circulation, can help tone muscles and increase your metabolism. Walking also improves the body’s cardiovascular system. In fact, many medical experts agree that regular walking is better for the body than running because it puts less stress on the body.

Trails are for Everyone

Family trails are suitable for people of all ages – from toddlers to grandparents. Many trails designated for family hikes are less strenuous, with fewer hills, and a smoother path cleared of rocks, roots or other obstacles. Some are even paved in boardwalk or have stairs or bridges that aren’t available on other trails. They may be stroller friendly and pet friendly as well. Check at the informational booth, kiosk or welcome center for maps and signposts to find family-friendly trails. You can find additional hiking information on sites like trails.com, Americanhiking.org, or backpacker.com.

Explore Nature

Family trails are a way for families to get out of the house and explore nature and learn about your area. Whether you’re walking through a colorful foliage tour or hiking through the crisp white snow, enjoying spring flowers, or seeking a bit of forest shade in the summer, trail walking can be done year round.

See Wildlife

Family trails are a great opportunity to witness area wildlife first hand. Whether you’re interested in bird watching, butterflies, deer or on a hunt for the infamous jack-a-lope, there are lots of opportunities to see wildlife once you’re on the trail. Be sure to check signs for potential dangerous animals and what to do in case you meet up with one. In some trails, you might be encouraged to bring a bear bell, pepper spray or walking sticks to deter critters.

Get Fit and Work Up to More Strenuous Trails

Once you and your family have gotten into the swing of trail walking, you can work your way up to more strenuous trails. Whether they involve a gradually steepening incline, longer walks, or more off-road oriented hikes, you’ll be rewarded with the ability to explore new territory and the opportunity to increase your fitness levels.

Take to the Roads

Do you feel like you’ve explored all of the trails and hikes and parks in your area? Consider branching out. Your local hikes can help you and your family work up to a trip to Mammoth Cave, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, the redwood forests of California, the Appalachian trail or volcano tours of Hawaii. Feel like going further? Consider the centuries old pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago from the Pyrenees of France across northern Spain and ending in Santiago de Compostela. Your family will have a trip to remember and if they make the whole trek, they’ll receive a special certificate at the end of the line.

Whether you’re trekking through the woods of your backyard or across the Appalachian trail, a family walk will do your family good. It’s good exercise, fresh air and time exposed to nature. Consider taking a family walk with your loved ones – you’ll have happy trails together.

Beachbody

5 Simple Ways Procrastinators Can Improve Their Fitness Levels

Photo credit: Gary Bembridge CC BY 2.0

Staying active is the key to being healthy and living a long life, but being fit takes time and motivation. The single greatest challenge to staying fit and healthy is finding ways to stay motivated to counter your procrastination.

If you struggle with motivation, then a great place to start is to write down your goal, identify your compelling reason WHY you want it, and then reconnect with your compelling reason as often as it takes to keep you motivated and reaching your goals.

We all suffer from procrastination on some level, but there are some action steps you can take today to help you move forward and on the road to better health and fitness.

Fitness

Being physically active can produce long term health benefits. Staying active can help you have stronger muscles and bones, improve mood, boost energy, control weight, manage blood pressure, and stave off cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Also, when we workout, our body releases a cascade of hormones and chemicals that signal our cells to grow stronger.

The health benefits of a good workout are endless, so what’s stopping you from working out?

Procrastination

Procrastination is the art of putting off tasks you should be doing and replacing them with activities you would rather be doing. The most common reason that people don’t workout is because of procrastination.

“I will do it later” is the hallmark reply. Life is full of distractions and if you let life distract you, then it will.

The best way not to get distracted is to never put off until tomorrow what you can do right now. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to being fit today.

5 Simple Tips

Tip #1: Just do it!

Simple, but effective. The easiest way to do something is just to do it. When you think about doing something, the mind can come up with all kinds of reasons and excuses why you shouldn’t.

Improving your fitness levels is as easy as just getting up and moving around. Once you start to move around, you will start to build up momentum and energy, which will help to motivate you to workout for the long term. The best thing is to go into autopilot mode and just go workout!

Tip #2: Make it fun!

Anything we make hard we eventually stop doing. The trick to keeping active and fit is to have fun with it.

Find an activity you enjoy. With all the different options we have in fitness today, there is absolutely something for everyone. Try dancing to some music, jumping on a trampoline, swimming or simply go for a nature walk with your dog.

Find a physical activity that you enjoy and allow yourself to have fun doing it, that’s all there is to it.

Tip #3: Breathe more!

Most people that procrastinate say that they lack the energy to motivate themselves. Oxygen is a catalyst for creating energy. The more oxygen we have in our blood stream, the more energy we have at the same time.

So, try this… relax and breathe normally, and then slowly start to increase your breathing rate. This technique is called the breath of fire, which is a rhythmic breath with equal emphasis on the inhale and exhale to get your blood moving and give you extra energy for working out.

Tip #4: Find a workout partner!

Staying fit and motivated can be greatly helped by having someone to workout with. A workout partner can make your exercise routine more fun, enjoyable and effective.

The key to picking a good partner is to find someone that is not a procrastinator and someone that works out regularly; they can motivate you to do the same.

Having a friend to workout with is also helpful in keeping you accountable, because it’s much more difficult to skip a workout when someone is waiting for you.

Tip #5: Join a class!

An exercise class is an ideal way to motivate yourself to workout and stay fit. In a class setting you will find like-minded people that are there for one reason…to workout! And meeting these people and interacting with them outside of class can help keep you motivated.

There is no better place to stay motivated and to get fit than a gym or workout class. The right setting can do wonders for procrastination.

Bottom Line

Overthinking workouts is where trouble begins. These tips are simple, but effective. They can help anyone who wants to motivate themselves to be fit and definitely much healthier.

Take the first step and begin to create a consistent exercise routine today! A regular exercise routine is the key to improving your fitness levels and decreasing your procrastination habits at the same time.

Remember, just do it!

Beachbody

10 Concrete Ways to Achieve Your Goals in Health and Wellness

Most people make New Year’s resolutions.  Most of these New Year’s resolutions are wishes for health, wealth and happiness.  There is something about a brand new year that makes people want to start right and so they make resolutions.

The word “resolution” comes from the verb “resolve,” which means to come to a solution or a decision over some puzzle or question.  Frankly, most New Year’s resolutions are mere wishes and not really resolutions because precious few of them ever become reality.

In order for resolutions to become reality they must be more than just mere wishes, but actual action plans with action steps. Since health and fitness directly impact our personal well-being and the well-being of our families, we must resolve to be fit and healthy.

But how?

Here are some ideas:

Know the state of your health. Go and see your doctor before starting any exercise or diet regimen. Get yourself checked out thoroughly and tell your doctor about your goal of weight loss and health. People often go on crash diets out of desperation that never have a happy ending. Make sure that you choose a healthy eating plan that will allow for long term success, so you don’t set yourself up for failure right at the start.

Phrase your resolution as a principle. Let your resolution be the guiding principle that will define all the food and activity choices you will make for the whole year.  If you can, articulate it as a theme or a motivating phrase.  The catchier and shorter it is, the easier to remember and the easier to use to discipline yourself and to rally your forces against inactivity and surplus weight.For example, if you use “Thin is in in 2017” — it’s catchy, but it isn’t very precise. A spaghetti noodle is thin, but so is a flagpole. But if you phrase it as a command, “Lose 52 pounds in 2017.”  It is not a wish or a desire anymore, it’s both a goal and a command.

Break it down into small tasks. 52 pounds is a big figure. But, then again, you have 12 months or roughly 52 weeks lose those 52 pounds, which translates to about 4 and a quarter pounds each month of the year or 1 pound each week. So, there you go.  You can revise your resolution: “One pound a week in fifty-two weeks makes fifty-two pounds lost in 2017.” One pound a week is not only a healthy weight loss pace, it is also a very doable goal.

Think of particular plans of action. Answer the question: how do you intend to lose one pound each week? Here is where you have to do a lot of thinking.

  • You can’t starve yourself because starving will boomerang into binges.
  • You can’t deprive yourself because deprivation may mean malnutrition.
  • You can’t abstain from all your favorite food because you will be frustrated.

Think in terms of what you can do instead of what you can’t do.

  • Choose unsweetened plain tea instead of soda.
  • Replace your chips and fattening dip with vegetable sticks and a low-calorie dip. (You can find plenty of healthy dip recipes online.)
  • Eat fish and chicken instead of pork or beef.
  • Bake, boil or poach instead of fry.
  • Grill instead of sautee.
  • Squeeze lemon juice and a little olive oil over lettuce instead of using cream dressings.
  • Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk or bike to the market instead of taking the car.
  • Begin a cardio and strength regimen or join a fitness class.

Find a workout buddy. It’s a lot easier to jog or walk when you are with a friend – the mile goes more quickly because of the companionship and conversation. Make sure your workout buddy is a person who knows you well enough to be a drill sergeant when you’re feeling lazy and need one; and a cheerleader when you’re feeling run-down and can use a helping hand.

Continuously challenge yourself. Take baby steps at first, but when you get stronger and more confident, lengthen your stride. If you tell yourself that at the start you will walk around the block before breakfast, do this until it becomes part of your routine (about a week or two) and when you are no longer panting when you circle the block, walk to the next block and back.Gradually increase the length of time that you walk or walk more times around the block or go farther and farther until you build up stamina and strength. Once you get bored with just walking, try jogging.  And then running. Up your game to keep things interesting.

Find ways to measure your progress. Keep a log on your refrigerator door and note down how many blocks you walked today. If you use a pedometer, note the number of steps you took every day. The feeling of accomplishment will fuel further resolve to stick to your workout or physical activity routine. Also monitor weight loss and inches, this is more positive reinforcement that will keep you going.

Designate a weighin day. If you weigh yourself every day, chances are, you will have an emotional roller-coaster experience as the reading on the bathroom scale is often impacted by your daily toilet habits, the outfit you’re wearing, how much fluid you took, etc. Instead of going on a roller-coaster experience, give yourself breathing space and weigh yourself once every week or once every two weeks.

Reward yourself. If you lose 5 pounds, treat yourself to a movie or a massage. Surely a 20 pound loss deserves your favorite bottle of perfume or a new gadget? Whatever the reward, remember to choose something with meaning. Rewards reinforce behavior, which can keep you going for the long term straight to your goal!

Be kind, loving and patient toward yourself. Be your own cheerleader and your own drill sergeant. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel disappointed at not having reached a milestone. Tomorrow is a new day. Give yourself good advice and talk yourself out of giving up.  Encourage yourself to get back on track.

Beachbody

Reasons to Eat Fat to Lose Fat

Coconut oil is a healthy fat.

For decades, all forms of dietary fat were demonized like there was no tomorrow. Fat was blamed for causing numerous chronic health problems and diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer. As time marched on, researchers discovered more interesting findings. While past recommendations encouraged us to avoid fat at all costs if we wanted to achieve healthy weight loss, experts are now saying that some forms of dietary fat not only help you to burn fat, but also improve your health and well-being in the process. You see, not all fats are created equal; there are good fats, and there are bad fats. Bad fats are synthetic saturated fats and trans-fats found in processed junk foods, whereas good fats are polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and natural saturated fats like those found in animal products and organic, unrefined coconut oil. So, let’s take a closer look at a few reasons why we need to eat fat to lose fat.

Healthy fats turn your body into a fat burning machineIn the past, people were urged to follow extremely low-calorie, virtually fat-free, diets to lose weight; nowadays, the exact opposite is true. Low-calorie diets are not practical for healthy weight loss, and they are actually not that effective either. Rather than encouraging your body to burn fat for energy, the body ends up becoming more effective at using carbohydrates for fuel. What’s more, cutting out fat also reduces the activity and effectiveness of fat-burning hormones known as Adipokines. One such hormone is known as Adiponectin, which boosts the metabolism of fats in the body. This basically means that it turns the body into a fat burning machine, as you will burn stored body fat as a primary source of energy.

Healthy fats replace carbohydrate intakes – Complex carbohydrates are important macronutrients, but if we consume too many carbs, either simple or complex, we will find it harder to burn fat, and easier to store it. When we consume carbohydrates, insulin is secreted by the pancreas to regulate blood glucose levels, and to shuttle nutrients into your cells for energy. If you follow a higher healthy fat diet, your carbohydrate intakes will be lower because you need an equal macronutrient ratio. Less carbohydrates will mean less insulin being secreted. By reducing insulin secretion however, your body can access stored body fat for energy more effectively, meaning that it will use more fat for fuel, as opposed to glucose from carbohydrates.

Here are some examples of healthy fat foods to include in your diet: avocados, nuts (e.g. walnuts, almonds), olives, wild-caught salmon (not farm-raised), flaxseeds, whole eggs (yes, eat the yolk!), chia seeds, coconut and organic virgin coconut oil (cold pressed, unrefined).

Healthy fats increase satiety levels – Finally, the last reason we should try to eat more good fats if we wish to achieve healthy weight loss, is because fats can increase your satiety levels. This means that you will feel full for longer, so you’ll want to eat less. Per gram of fat, you receive 9 calories of energy, as opposed to 4, which would come from proteins and carbohydrates. Satiating fats, however, will provide more energy and keep you feeling full for longer, so you will be less likely to overeat.

Beachbody

6 Tips to Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

friendsWe all desire to be healthier and every year we make a resolution to do just that, but making a resolution is much easier than keeping it.

Have you recently made a resolution to be healthier?

Would you like some great tips to help you reach your New Year’s resolution goals?

Well, if you do, then you have come to the right place to do just that! The more you know, the easier it will be to stay focused and consistent, so you can become a healthier you for the long term.

Resolution

The key to keeping your resolution is to start with goals that you can keep. Start with a small resolution and work your way up to bigger ones.

Instead of deciding to workout every day, resolve to work out two times a week. After you accomplish that, then you can add another day to your workout routine.

Each time you keep a resolution, you will gain momentum to help you accomplish your next goal. Before you realize it, working out on a regular basis will come naturally to you.

Rewards

Set up a rewards system to help you stick to your health resolutions. If you have something to look forward to, it is much easier to stay focused on what you want.

When you do reward yourself, remember to make it a non-food reward! Choose something that will inspire you like donating all your too-big clothes to charity, or go for a relaxing spa session.

Your reward can be almost anything as long as it doesn’t undermine your efforts and motivates you to accomplish your health and fitness goals. Your reward should also fit into your budget.

Friends

A goal is always easier to accomplish with help from your friends. When we stumble and fall, our friends will be there to help us back up. Find other like-minded people that also want to be healthy and start a group so that you can all support each other.

Join a group workout class. Classes are an ideal way to stay motivated and healthy. With the right support, you will find that keeping your resolution is much easier!

Reaffirm Your Resolution

Stay focused on your goals. Set aside time each day to contemplate and to reaffirm your resolution.

Ask yourself… What can I do today to reach and keep my health and fitness goals?

The more you think about your goals, the more likely you are to keep those goals. You can even create a vision board dedicated to your resolution to be healthy.

Take a poster board and fill it with images that remind will remind you of being healthy. Hang it where you will see it every day and be reminded to stay focused on your goals.

Lifestyle Choices

Being healthy is a lifestyle choice. We make choices every day that impact our life and our health. Keeping your resolution to be healthy will be influenced by those choices.

Examine your choices carefully and ask yourself if this will hinder you or help you in keeping your goals.

When you become more aware of your choices, you will find it easier to stay focused on keeping your resolution to be healthy.

Accountability

Keep yourself accountable for your actions.

Before you skip your workout or eat that slice of pie, ask yourself…Will I regret this decision? Will your decision leave you feeling guilty?

Deep inside, you know if what you are doing is healthy or not. Thinking about the consequences may help you make the right decision. Exercise and eating right is a choice, not a jail sentence. Healthy lifestyle changes should be fun, not a chore! YOU are in charge of your life. No one can do it for you.

Stay focused on what you want and don’t let anything stop you from getting it. When you truly decide that you will keep your resolution to be healthy, then you will.

Another way to become accountable is by telling someone or multiple important people in your life about the resolution you have made. Ask them for help in checking in with you as to its progress. This can help you because you will be anticipating having to discuss your progress with another person.

Beachbody

 

Enjoy an Active Holiday Season

Holiday Season Snowshoeing

Now that there is snow on the ground and you are in a holiday mood, it does not mean that it’s time for you to give up on your exercise routine or plan. You might find it hard to eat healthily and still get a chance to work out with all the family gatherings and parties. But, you can still do it. You need to prioritize your health more during this challenging time.

First, you have to change your mindset. You can use the additional family time to bond with relatives and also work out in group settings. Below are some ideas to assist you, and your family or relatives, stay active and healthy during the holiday season.

Make a plan earlier

If you plan on traveling to another state or city, be sure to do some research online. Find out if you can be an ‘add-on’ to any of your relative’s existing memberships, or if you can get a temporary gym membership.

If you happen to be traveling somewhere warm and you prefer to be outdoors, try to look up hiking trails and running routes in the area. You will get many resources online to help you make that big step.

Make family time

Usually, the holiday season is all about spending time with your loved ones. It’s the perfect time to drink, eat and be merry with everyone. Why not consider exercising together or playing fun games that will help everyone to exercise by the end of the day?

A game like hide-and-seek or tag is ideal to play with young nephews or nieces. There are many games you can find, even for adults, once you Google search. You can even inspire your loved ones to take a walk with you around the neighborhood. The walk will help all of you to burn calories and bond with the family. This is a perfect light workout for everyone and will take you away from that pumpkin pie, even for a while.

Take part in holiday-themed runs

Most towns and cities offer various runs during the holiday season. Preparing for a walk, run or obstacle course race helps you stay motivated to exercise. Ensure that you invite all your loved ones so that you can motivate each other and show up for the event.

Bring your own equipment

If you will be traveling and you are sure that you will not access a gym, consider bringing some portable fitness equipment like a TRX suspension trainer, tubing or Valslides. These simple solutions will fit in your carry-on bag or suitcase.

Go out in the snow

Most people who work out a lot consider snow to be ideal “fitness equipment.” So, if you will be surrounded by snow the entire holiday season, make sure that you take advantage of it. You can go snowboarding, ice-skating, skiing or snowshoeing. Maybe you can take part in a friendly snowball fight, too.

All these simple solutions will help you beat the weight-gain battle and stay healthy during the holiday season.

Beachbody