Health & Wellness Blog
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The most effective exercises you can do for strong, defined and toned legs and firm glutes are squats, lunges and movements involving steps or stairs. You can easily begin a leg and glute program using only your bodyweight, but adding weights will increase intensity, improve your balance and provide upper body training into your lower body workout.
Here are seven exercises you should use to tone your legs and glutes at home without equipment or machines:
Single Leg Squats
Once you master the squat, turn up the intensity by adding single leg squats. This variation requires greater strength and balance but isolates and trains your glutes and hamstrings. Once you master this challenging movement, add a dumbbell or hold a weight plate across your chest to increase the intensity (and effectiveness).
Start on the floor on all fours. Bend one leg and lift it until your knee is at the level of your back. From this position, raise your leg higher, you will feel this in your glutes. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
Lie on the floor on your back with both knees bent. Stabilize your body with your arms flat on the floor by your side. Lift your butt and lower back off the floor and squeeze your glutes as you ascend. Squeeze and pause at the highest point for a second and lower your butt down until it touches the floor before raising it again.
Similar to Hip Extensions, the glute kickback exercise is an isolation exercise that should be performed toward the end of your leg and glute workout. Start on all fours with your head forward. Pull one knee to your chest and then push that leg back and up behind you. Contract your glutes throughout the movement and hold the contraction at the highest point momentarily. Repeat with the opposite leg.
For body weight calf raises, stand behind a chair or beside a wall with your legs slightly apart and toes slightly outward. Raise yourself upward until you are standing on your tiptoes and squeeze your calf muscles at the highest point. You can also perform your calf raises while standing on a stair step, board or aerobic step to increase the stretch and range of motion.
Dehydration Affects Your Mind & Body
Water is an extremely necessary element for the proper functioning of our body, since much of our body is formed by this liquid. Until today, many people do not understand the importance of drinking enough water and keeping our body hydrated.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a decrease in the amount of fluid in our body which causes a lack of water inside the cells. This situation occurs when the amount of liquid ingested is less than that which is eliminated as a consequence of the different organic functions.
It is the alteration or lack of water and mineral salts in the plasma of a body, it can also be defined as the loss of body water above 3%. It can be caused by being in a very hot situation (especially if there is a lot of humidity), intense exercise, lack of something to drink or a combination of these factors. It also occurs in those diseases where the electrolyte balance is altered.
Regardless your age, you can suffer from dehydration if you do not drink enough water on hot days, especially if you engage in intense physical activity or exercise. Mild or moderate dehydration can be tackled easily by taking fluids, but in the case of severe dehydration, immediate medical treatment is ideal.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration are noticeable after having lost 3% of the volume of water. Initially thirst and discomfort appear, possibly accompanied by loss of appetite and dry skin. Athletes may suffer a loss that increases by 30%, flushing appears, resistance is lost, heart rate increases, body temperature increases, and fatigue quickly appears.
Degrees of Dehydration
Risk Factors of Dehydration
Anyone can suffer from dehydration.
However, certain people are at greater risk:
On certain occasions, dehydration occurs due to simple reasons: When you do not drink enough because you are sick or busy, or because you do not have access to safe drinking water when you travel, are hiking or camping.
Health Complications of Dehydration
Dehydration can lead to serious complications, such as the following:
If you fail to consume enough fluid when you are performing physical activity and you sweat a lot, you may have a heat injury. The severity of this injury can range from mild muscle cramps to heat exhaustion or heat stroke that can put your life at risk.
Kidney & Urinary Problems
Electrolytes - like potassium and sodium - help carry electrical signals from one cell to the other. If your electrolytes are unbalanced, the normal electrical signal can mix, which can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes loss of consciousness.
Shock Due to Low Blood Volume (Hypovolemic Shock)
This is one of the most serious complications of dehydration and can put your life at risk. It occurs when a low volume of blood causes a decrease in blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in your body.
If you did not drink enough water, your body will begin to use the reserves of your body to carry out essential physiological functions, such as digestion or elimination of toxins. Try to adopt the habit of drinking 2 glasses of water in the morning and before going to sleep to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.
Although blood pressure varies according to different factors, one of the causes can be dehydration. When the body is well hydrated, the blood is composed of 92% water, but when we are dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker and hinders circulation, causing hypertension.
Skin Problems / Quick Aging
If you suffer from dry skin, dehydrated skin, or are prone to develop rashes or rash, your body may not be getting the amount of water it needs. Dehydration affects the body's ability to eliminate toxins, which makes the skin more vulnerable to these types of conditions. In addition, lack of water can cause premature wrinkling and discoloration of the skin. To prevent this from happening, make sure you drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day.
Constipation is one of the most annoying digestive disorders and one of the clearest signs of lack of water. The colon, the place where the last stages of the digestive process take place, is one of the main sources of water in the body. When we are dehydrated, our body begins to get water from the colon, making it difficult or obstructing the passage of waste through the large intestine. As a result, we suffer from inflammation, abdominal cramps and constipation.
Joint Paint & Stiffness
Cartilage, one of the most important parts of the joints, is composed mainly of water. Therefore, when we are dehydrated, the cartilage weakens, hindering movement and function of the joints.
How to Prevent Dehydration
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables. Letting thirst be your guide is an appropriate daily guideline for most healthy people.
This may involve drinking between 6 and 8 glasses (between 1.5 and 2 liters) daily for some people, depending on how much water they get through food and how much they sweat as a result of the physical activity they perform. You have to remember that drinking water does not add calories to your diet and is definitely very good for your health.
If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors on a hot day, it will be convenient to use appropriate clothes for the activity that will be developed: loose clothing and a hat, if possible. This will generate a sense of freshness. If there is dizziness or you feel very thirsty, it will be necessary to rest for several minutes, sit in the shade or in a cool place and drink water.
If you are going to practice a sport or participate in strenuous physical activity, you will need to hydrate well before starting the activity. Also, drink at regular intervals (every 20 minutes, approximately) during the activity and at the end of it. The best time to train or play sports is in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest hours of the day.
Recent disasters around the world have shown the importance of preparedness. One of the best ways that you can be prepared is to have a personal go bag. Or if you have a family, a family go bag. But the term go bag brings to mind a different image for everyone that hears the word. Today we are going to go over some of the basics of a go bag.
First, you should be aware of the proper use of every item that you put in your go bag. A disaster is not the time to start learning how to use the items in your bag. You will be distracted and not in a clear mindset. Training is important to being ready for an emergency or disaster, even if it is just knowing how to use basic survival items.
The first thing that you should put into your go bag is evacuation information. Come up with a detailed plan and store a copy in the bag. A good evacuation plan should have multiple routes and fail safes built in so that there is a contingency for if a plan goes south.
Food And Water
Food and water are two of the most important aspects to survival and thus to a go bag. For food you have several options for a go bag. One of the most common is Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) that were invented by the military. But these tend to be big and take up a lot of room in your bag. Instead, we recommend that you find emergency rations. These might not taste good but they will give you the nutrition and energy that you need to survive.
First Aid Supplies
During a disaster it is likely that you or someone you know will become injured. It is part of the nature of a disaster. But being ready for that with a first aid kit is essential. Have a first aid kit that is stocked with quality first aid supplies. The included supplies should match those that you are trained to use. First aid training, such as the cardiopulmonary resuscitation AKA CPR, is critical in a disaster and can be helpful in everyday life.
A tourniquet is a wise item to keep in your first aid kit. Take training on how to apply one, when to remove one, how to mark that one was used, and the like. Small and easily deploy-able tourniquets are available for your go bag. RATS Rapid Application Tourniquet System or the CAT Combat Action Tourniquet are great options and are used by professionals around the world.
Along with first aid supplies, you should include any prescriptions that you NEED in order to survive. Many doctors will give you an extra prescription for emergency bags if you need it. Talk with them about it.
Dust Mask or Filtration Mask
Filtration masks or dust masks are great for disasters where there is a lot of rubble and contaminants in the air. These contaminants can have both short term and long term health problems that will make surviving difficult. Make sure to find a mask that is professionally rated so that it is worth the money that you spend on it.
Along the same lines, a pair of goggles or safety glasses can help for when you don’t have a full-face mask. Getting debris in your eye can be a severe problem.
Just like with duct tape, 550 paracord is a great tool for your survival. It is multipurpose and allows you to build shelters, repair tools, climb, lift heavy objects, etc. The reason we suggest 550 paracord is that it is rated for up to 550 lbs. It is extremely difficult to break and works very well.
You can buy paracord at a wide variety of locations. From the internet to hardware stores. You can store a fair amount of it in your go back and around your go bag for emergency uses.
Some form of shelter should be included in your go bag. You can only live 3 hours in a very harsh environment when you don’t have shelter. Shelter can take the form of a tent that is strapped to your go bag or even something smaller that fits inside your go bag. A tarp inside your go bag or a bivy will work greatly.
Know how to set up your shelter so that you can do it quickly. You might not have a lot of time to get your shelter up when you need it.
Knife or Knives
At least one knife should be an item in your bag. These aren’t meant for defense purposes but survival purposes. You might have to cut wood, 550 cord, or other objects. You might need to whittle stakes or do something similar.
Looting and crime tend to happen during and after a disaster. Having some form of protection can be a lifesaver. We don’t recommend that someone who is untrained go out and buy a gun. OC spray (law enforcement pepper spray) or a Taser work. You can also get a pepper ball gun that shoots pepper spray balls.
Having a supply of emergency money in your go bag can help you if you find yourself needing to pay for something. However, cash can also make you a target in a survival situation. Make sure that it is hidden and you do not show it. When you need it, retrieve it in only small amounts.
Fire Starting Material
Having options to start a fire can help for a large variety of reasons when in a survival situation. A fire can keep you warm, keep away predators, help you see, and more. Fire starters are an essential. Keep a lighter and weatherproof matches both in your bag. It could also help to have a flint striker. If you do not have any of those items, you can start a fire the old fashion way - start a fire with sticks!
But a fire won’t just spring up. Keep fire building material in your bag. Dryer lint works well as does saw dust, loads of paper, or similar items work well.
Other Items To Include
Now you have the important information needed to set up your go bag. There are still important decisions that you need to make. Where are you going to keep your go bag? If you have the money, experts recommend that you keep one in your home and one in your car. This will optimize your chances of survival. Now get out there and plan your survival.
For More Disaster PreP Info
Many of tea’s health properties come from its high antioxidant content. The particular form found in tea, called flavonoids, may help prevent free-radical formation in our bodies that can contribute to cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer.
However, the more processed the tea leaves, the fewer antioxidants they contain. Thus, green tea frequently has a higher flavonoid concentration than black or oolong teas, whose leaves have been fermented or oxidized.
Certain types of tea have been consumed for centuries as a way to support digestive health. For example, ginger tea is a common natural treatment to soothe nausea or an upset stomach. Additionally, peppermint tea has been shown to soothe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Green tea, which has similar anti-inflammatory properties, has also been shown to aid in digestion and relief from IBS.
Chronic stress may influence immune function, potentially making us more susceptible to illness and disease. The effects of stress on immunity may accumulate over time. Thus, daily stress management is an important tool to add to our kit for immunity.
Meditation is one stress-reduction technique that may improve emotional well being and overall physical health.
A perfect place to practice an active lifestyle is the great outdoors. Research shows that spending time in nature may protect us against depression, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer among other diseases, and these protections are speculated to be influenced by nature’s impact on immunity. In addition to relaxing us, nature exposes us to a myriad of immune-boosting properties, such as vitamin D from sunlight and anti-microbials from plants.
How this works is very simple. If there is someone in your household who has to wake up for work using an alarm clock, you can pull a pretty funny prank on them.
For example, if they typically set their alarm for 6:00 AM to get up in time for a shower, coffee and then head off to work you can really add a little bit of April Fool’s Day flavor to their morning by changing the time the alarm goes off.
This prank is built around the classic switch move.
If there is someone in your household who has to start their day with fresh eggs for breakfast, you can get a laugh or two out of this trick. All you have to do is switch the fresh eggs in the egg tray in the refrigerator with hard-boiled eggs. That way, when the ‘cook’ goes to crack open an egg for frying it doesn’t come out of the shell.
This is a fun April Fool’s prank that requires assistance from more pranksters in order to make it work perfectly.
When someone enters the shower stall, quietly enter the bathroom and remove things from it. You can take away any and all towels, toiletries, clothing, whatever happens to be in there that the person in the shower will need as soon as they shut the water off.
Once you’ve removed the items, exit the bathroom quietly to not tip the person off. Then all you have to do is wait.
In order to pull this one off effectively, you need a fair deal of lead time.
What it involves is locating and purchasing (from thrift shops) clothing that matches items in your prank victim’s wardrobe. The difference here is that the clothing items you choose should be a size or two smaller than the normally worn clothing.
Your best bet is to stick to obvious clothing choices such as belts that are smaller, running shoes that are smaller and hats that are smaller.
We’ve called this the Fake Lottery Win Trick but it can be any kind of prize winning prank. What you need is to have someone call your intended victim at home and announce that they have just won some massive prize.
The key to making this work is that the caller has to be someone unknown to your target and that the caller has to be able to pull this off without hesitation, laughing or otherwise giving away the gag.
Let’s face it, unless you never leave your apartment, you are going to know some other Forever Alone types.
Why not toss a UN-Valentine’s Day Party and invite all of them to participate?
It’ll be fun for them and fun for you. In fact, as all of you will have something in common, you can spend time bashing couples or just making fun of those who are forced to take someone to a fancy dinner or buy expensive trinkets to act as a display of their affection.
If you are the type who would typically throw a bag of money at Valentine’s Day to make it a special event for a partner, when you are single you get to spend all of that on something just for you.
It can be a vacation, electronics or whatever the price tag will match from what you would have otherwise spent.
It’s no joke.
You won’t be the only person stuck by yourself on February 14. In fact, the odds are that you will be able to find a great place to hang out where all the other singles have decided to gravitate on the one day of the year not intended for them.
The bonus here is that you will make some new friends and possibly hook up with someone who is desperately trying to erase the memory of Valentine’s Days spent in love and just needs a little bit of company with a member of the opposite sex.
You’ve heard of random acts of kindness, right?
While you can perform these any time of the year, maybe make Valentine’s Day the one day you really go out of your way to be extra kind to strangers. You could visit seniors at a local extended care facility and share time swapping stories or maybe even reading to some.
Although the cold may make it tempting to stay cozied up on your couch, cold weather shouldn’t be an excuse to hibernate. Exercise can be a powerful tool to release endorphins, the feel-good neuro-chemical that can boost happiness fast.
Winter-proof your workouts by planning workouts that can be done at home with the aid of yoga apps or YouTube fitness channels.
The holiday season may make it tempting to overeat candy canes, Christmas cookies, and other sugary treats.
However, consumption of foods with high levels of sugar causes spikes and subsequent falls in blood sugar that can make us feel weighted down both physically and mentally.
Loneliness and isolation can weigh heavily on mental health. Thus, maintaining a social life, even in the darkest days of winter, is an important component of happiness. Joining winter sports or running groups, inviting a friend over for hot cocoa or tea, and attending holiday parties can be outlets to improve social well-being.
Bring the necessities – a passport, a credit card, travel-sized hygiene products, and medications – but forgo any nonessentials. It may help to ask yourself as you are filling your case, “Do I really need this fifth T-shirt (or seventh pair of socks or twelfth headband or whatever it may be)? Will I really use this?” If the answer is no, then let it go.
Yoga is another option that can be practiced easily from the comfort of your hotel room with minimal equipment. A towel can suffice for a mat, and an app or a favorite travel sequence can be sufficient guidance to begin. Even if it’s not our usual workout, finding the time to stay active for even a few minutes during our time away can make a difference in how we feel when we return.
Let’s not forget that the right clothes make for the best workouts. There are so many options here for any exerciser that the possibilities are limitless. Sports bras, yoga pants, water-resistant outer wear for the all-season outdoor runner, and more are all great choices. Best of all though, sports clothing manufacturers have finally caught on to what every woman really wants when it comes to workout clothes – pockets! Even on yoga pants and leggings, you’ll be seeing this hip (pardon the pun) trend popping up everywhere.
Exercise is always best when you set it to your own soundtrack.
But those pesky cords and cables can get in the way. If you’ve ever launched your smartphone or iPod across the gym by mistake because you snagged the cord while running on the treadmill, then you know just what a dream come true it would be to go wireless.
Informative blog posts about health, wellness, diet, nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle tips to live a happy and healthy life.