“We Have Designed Cities To Make People Ill”

Do you believe cities were PURPOSELY designed to make us ILL? Well SEE what this world famous architect has to say about it. MIND UP!

By Slicker City


“We are all suffering from the bad design in the world,” Thomas Fisher, an architecture professor and dean of the University of Minnesota‘s design college, declared at a panel at the American Institute of Architects convention in Chicago yesterday. Fisher was part of a discussion on the link between public health and architecture with Heather R. Britt and Jess Roberts of Allina Health, a Minnesota-based not-for-profit health care system.

Continue reading

10 Timeless Fitness Laws

A list of 10 TIMELESS fitness laws. Can you guess how many of these laws are in BARTENDAZ natural movement system? – MIND UP!

In an age of whiz-bang techno-training, it’s way too easy to lose track of what made us fit in the first place: quality movement, good food, and high-intensity common sense.


In the not-so-distant past, your food grew on a farm. Meals were home-cooked (on an actual fire, in an actual stove). The outdoors was your gym. Watches? They tracked time, not activity. Blue light, texting neck, and the masses getting supersized by McDonald’s were issues for a future generation. Yet somewhere along the way, conventional wisdom got muddled with modern mechanisms. And the results weren’t pretty. We became much more sedentary and got fatter. And slower. And weaker (seriously). At the table, our food began to look less and less like it ever came from the ground. “Western society is the most overfed but malnourished, sick society due to the imbalance of physical activity and real nourishment, says Stacy Sims, MSc, Ph.D., co-founder of Osmo Nutrition. “The body is designed to move all the time and use food that supports health, not quick hits of ‘feel good’ sugar and fat.” So how do we go back? By homing in on the fundamentals and returning to the principles that have stood the test of time. Here, 10 laws of fitness your grandfather would approve of.

#1: Perfect the Pushup

When Charles Atlas promised the men of America that he’d transform them from weaklings into masses of muscle, the fitness industry was forever changed. But “Dynamic Tension”—for all its faults—also had its strengths. It was a program based on the basics: bodyweight. As the legend goes, Atlas studied lions, noticing that animals had no exercise equipment. They had no gyms. Instead, they pitted one muscle against another. And dropping down and giving 10—or 20 or 50—should still have its place in your routine. “With proper form, your pushups and pull-ups are still the best exercises you can do. They engage your core with a functional push-pull action,” says Sims.

#2: Do It Right—or Stop Doing It

Focus on form. If your technique is all wrong, you might be doing more harm than good. Why? Misalignment means the biomechanics of movement are out of whack.  The result: increased stress in different joints and potential muscle imbalances—the perfect setup for overuse, chronic pain, and injury, Sims says. But mastering the “how to” isn’t all about taking preventative measures. “The other aspect of proper form is that you end up using the smaller, stabilizing muscles giving you core stability for daily movement,” Sims explains. And if you’re engaging your muscles all day—with good posture (yes, you really should pull your shoulders back), or by perfecting a pushup—you’re building core strength without realizing it. Slouched over, resting on your elbows, back twisted? It should be no surprise that you make grandpa noises when getting up from your chair.

#3: Drink, Baby, Drink

Athletes have been around far longer than Gatorade and the new class of beverages strewn across supermarket shelves (ones that promise to replenish, hydrate, and boost performance). And when a run was no more than a run, athletes didn’t swear by high-concentration sugary liquids. When a workout isn’t long enough or intense enough to result in severe fatigue, plain old water works, says Matt Fitzgerald, sports nutritionist, and author of thebook Diet Cults. “In fact, it’s not necessary to drink anything in most workouts lasting less than an hour,” he adds. That’s not to say that drink scientists aren’t onto something: “You need a small amount of sodium to actually pull water into the body,” says Sims. That’s why low-concentration approaches (Nuun, SOS, and Sims’ OSMO) have become popular.

#4: Eat a Quality Breakfast

Rising with the sun means more hours to move and more hours to eat well. “One of the overlooked benefits of eating breakfast is that it provides an early and additional opportunity to make progress toward meeting daily quotas for high-quality food types such as vegetables and fruit,” says Fitzgerald. It’s not hard to start knocking out nutritional requirements before your day begins either—one serving of vegetables or fresh berries added to whole-grain cereal—can make all the difference, says Fitzgerald. Just remember composition, says Sims. A croissant and a coffee won’t cut it: “You wake up with high levels of cortisol (the belly fat hormone), and adding sugar and caffeine will perpetuate cortisol’s actions,” she says.

#5: Repeat After Us (One More Time): I Will Eat Real Food

You won’t find the recipe for a healthy diet on the back of a package. Change the way a food naturally exists, and you change the way your body absorbs it. “There is a disconnect between the marketing claims of pre-packaged food and real food made from scratch. And food can’t just be reduced to single compounds,” says says Allen Lim, Ph.D., founder of Skratch Labs. To that extent, Fitzgerald has spent time analyzing world-class endurance athletes—a group as fit and healthy as any population on earth—finding a simple trend: “what I call ‘agnostic healthy eating,’” he says. What that means: eating inculturally normal ways, but not avoiding food groups entirely; filling meals with vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish and high-quality meat, whole grains, and dairy; and only sparingly eating low-quality refined grains, processed meat, and sweets. “If this formula is good enough for athletes who place tremendous demands on their bodies, it’s good enough for us,” he says.

#6: Feel Your Way to Faster

The most sophisticated and reliable fitness monitoring device that exists—or will ever exist—isn’t a device at all: it’s your brain, says Fitzgerald. “If your body needs rest, your brain will communicate that to your conscious awareness in the form of feelings of fatigue and low motivation,” he explains. The symptom: a greater perceived effort: “If the body is fatigued or if its performance capacity is compromised, the brain will have to work harder to get the same level of output, and the greater the effort the exerciser will perceive.” On the other hand? If your body is responding well to your training and is ready for more hard work, your brain will let you know that too in no uncertain terms, Fitzgerald says.

#7: Lighten Up and Have Some Fun

“The more you enjoy your training, the more you’ll put into it,” says Fitzgerald. “And the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.” The research agrees: Your best efforts will likely come when you’re having the most fun, a 2012 study by Alan St. Clair Gibson of the University of Worcester found. Find something you like and the addiction will come naturally: “Research indicates that the association of ‘fun’ with things you do perpetuates stress release, making you want to go back for more,” says Sims.

#8: Recover. No, Really: RECOVER.

One of the problems with the evolution of cross-training is that you can go hard every day. The problem: That’s not what your body needs. The key is finding an easy-hard cycle you can give into, says Michael Joyner, M.D., and physiologist and anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic. “People have forgotten to make the hard days harder and the easy days easier.” Think in terms of “active rest”—a 3- or 4-mile run for a distance runner, calisthenics, jumping rope, or classic conditioning drills, Joyner says. “That’s really important.”

#9: It’s Not All About the Bike, the Shoes, or the Compression Underwear

Aerodynamics, biomechanics, breathability—they’re words that get a lot of ink (on labels, in magazines, and in the scripts of gear salespeople across the world). And yeah, tech has its perks. Breathable fabrics make long and hot hikes more bearable. But will your gear always make the difference? A recent University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill study found only 14 percent of runners who laced up in lightweight kicks reported injury in a year’s time; almost half of runners in traditional sneakers did. So plus one for minimalism? Not so fast. The same University of North Carolina research revealed that people who chose traditional shoes landed differently from those who donned the minimalist shoes (on their heel or mid-foot versus on their forefoot). The point: Everyone is different. And gear that works is subjective. “Good gear makes things more enjoyable, and most importantly prevents injury,” says Sims. So don’t skimp on no-brainers: proper bike fit, shoes, and protective items—but don’t become slaves to them.

#10: Never Stop Moving

Take this in the most expansive and philosophical way: Build movement into all aspects of your life—work, home, play—and throughout your life. You name the disease and exercise is the cure. “It’s proven to reduce the likelihood of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, and a host of infectious diseases,” says Fitzgerald. Work out, and not only will you be healthier, but happier, more confident, and (bonus!) smarter, Fitzgerald adds.

4 surprising benefits of vegetables

The benefits of eating vegetables explained in this video. CHECK it out and share your thoughts on CNN’s findings. – MIND UP!

By The Nutrition Twins, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames, also known as The Nutrition Twins, are registered dietitians, personal trainers and authors of “The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.” Connect with them on NutritionTwins.comPinterestTwitter and Facebook.

(CNN) – You’ve seen Meatless Mondays, vegan restaurants and green drinks become all the rage. You know that vegetables can help you lose weight and fend off chronic diseases. Yet if you’re like most Americans, you probably still aren’t eating enough of them.

If you need a little motivation to get your share, here are four surprising reasons to increase your vegetable intake:

1. They fight bloat

Although you may associate vegetables with creating a bloated belly, most vegetables actually do the opposite. Vegetables are rich in fiber, which flushes out waste and gastric irritants and prevents constipation by keeping the digestive tract moving.

Vegetables can also help you look leaner by counteracting bloat caused by salt. Most American adults get nearly twice the recommended sodium limit. Eating a bacon and egg biscuit, a typical restaurant meal, or instant soup means consuming nearly an entire day’s sodium allotment. Vegetables are rich in both potassium and water, which help flush excess sodium out of the body while restoring the body’s normal fluid balance.

To ease that full feeling in your stomach, try eating fennel, cucumbers, summer squash, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce or tomatoes.

If you experience gas when you start to add more fiber and vegetables to your diet, choose steamed vegetables rather than raw ones. The heat from cooking breaks down some of the fiber and will keep gastric distress to a minimum as your body adjusts to consuming the fiber you need.

5 ways to flatten your belly (no crunches needed)

2. They create a youthful glow

Want younger-looking skin? Vegetables prevent unwanted signs of aging and keep skin young and supple thanks to phytonutrients, vitamin C and high water content.

Many vegetables are 85% to 95% water, which helps hydrate the skin and reduce wrinkles. And phytonutrients, found in all vegetables, can guard against premature aging by preventing cell damage from stress, the sun, pollution and other environmental toxins. Vitamin C aids in collagen formation, according to studies.

Choose brightly colored red and orange vegetables and you’ll get an added boost of beta carotene, which can give you a healthy glow as it protects skin from sun damage. Similarly, lycopene, found in red vegetables such as tomatoes, also has been shown to act as a natural sunscreen.

6 common sun myths exposed

Eat vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli and potatoes for vitamin C, and carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and other orange produce for beta carotene.

3. They reduce stress

Stress can make you tired and moody, hindering your ability to make healthy nutrition choices. The result is emotional overeating and binges.

Meanwhile, nutrients like magnesium and vitamin C are quickly depleted during stressful times. Luckily, many vegetables contain these very nutrients, as well as tension-reducing omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins that fight anxiety and depression.

The potassium and magnesium found in some vegetables can also calm you on the inside as they relax blood vessels and keep your blood pressure down, according to research. And fiber keeps blood sugar levels stable, preventing dips in energy and the associated mood swings.

To reduce stress, eat any vegetable. Mushrooms, leafy greens, squash, potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, bok choy, fennel, string beans and edamame are especially good sources of several vitamins and minerals.

For a no-fuss way to consume more vegetables and combat stress, add leafy greens, mushrooms and peppers to your sandwiches, wraps, soups, pizza, tomato sauce and omelets.

Destress your life in 10 easy steps

4. They protect your bones

Most people think of dairy foods as the bone protectors, thanks to their high calcium and vitamin D content. But some vegetables also have these same nutrients in addition to bone-building vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and prebiotic fiber.

Tomatoes in particular have recently been connected to bone health.A study found that when you remove lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes from the diet, women are at increased risk of osteoporosis.

Eat strong-spined, dark leafy greens like collard greens, turnip greens, kale, spinach (cooked for more calcium!), broccoli and green peas for calcium and vitamin K. Mushrooms contain vitamin D while asparagus, chard, kale, artichokes, onions, garlic and leeks are full of prebiotic fiber.

Tips to keep your bones healthy

Sound Off: Where The Military’s Rhythm Came From

LEARN where the military got their soul from. This story highlights one of the main principals of BARTENDAZ natural movement system RHYTHM. – MIND UP!

By Frannie Kelley

U.S. Army soldiers take part in a morning run at Camp New York, Kuwait, in 2002.

U.S. Army soldiers take part in a morning run at Camp New York, Kuwait, in 2002.

Think about all of those Hollywood depictions of the American military, from Stripes to Full Metal Jacket to Cadence. In almost every one, a bunch of guys will jog past the camera at some point, singing and stepping in unison.

The first time that happened was in 1944, when a particular rhythm infiltrated the segregated Army. The cadence was credited to a soldier named Willie Duckworth. As told on a V-Disc, one of the inspirational recordings made during World War II by the U.S. military and sent to troops overseas, Duckworth was “chanting to build up the spirits of his weary comrades.”

Until just this spring, Bobby Gerhardt served in the Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. He says he has spent more than nine years marching to, running to and calling cadence. His favorite to call follows the rhythm of Duckworth’s now 70-year-old composition, though with updated lyrics.

“When I joined I had no idea how anything worked. Everything was brand new,” Gerhardt says. “For me, hearing that first cadence the very first time was awesome. Because you always wanted to hear what the next verse was. So you always wanted to keep up so that you could hear the person calling the cadence so you knew what to say back to them.”

The infectious appeal of cadences is used to motivate and coordinate people who might not have anything else in common. But they also do something more fundamental.

“The main purpose that I was always taught with staying in step and keeping up with the cadence, was that it would help your breathing and help your cardio if you could run and sing and manage your breath at the same time,” Gerhardt says.

Cadences get a group of people doing that in unison. They rely on the call-and-response action of work songs, so they come from a long tradition. Richard Rath, an associate professor at the University of Hawaii, and author of the book How Early America Soundedsays slaves brought work songs here, and they developed to help deal with dangerous jobs.

“Like pounding rice in a mortar and pestle, where one person has to scoop the rice out and two other people are pounding with big pestles — if somebody messes up, they get scrunched,” Rath says.

But a little deviation, lyrically or rhythmically, can make the cadence more effective. Bobby Gerhardt cites one cadence in particular that appeared in the 1960 Elvis Presley movie G.I. Blues.

“It’s kind of off-step. And it’s kind of in-between a step, but once you have a group of people marching to that cadence, it puts a big smile on your face because it’s a cadence that no one’s calling around the rest of the base,” he says.

It’s not the marchlike one-two of the standard military cadence. It’s syncopated — the emphasis is on the offbeat. And that can put a spring in a soldier’s step or help a worker move faster. Richard Rath says syncopation and complex rhythms made music more useful to workers than the bosses realized. Say you’re rowing a boat on a rice plantation and singing to pace yourself.

“If you’re rowing on the twos and the planter says speed up, you speed up the song and then row on the threes,” Rath says.

It’s resistance through rhythm.

Pvt. Willie Duckworth, raised by his sharecropper grandparents in Jim Crow Georgia, knew something about that. And the concept isn’t foreign to Gerhardt.

“I had a couple of ‘em that I’d always call, because they kind of pushed the envelope of what we were allowed to call,” he says.

The aim of cadences might be to control people. But they don’t always work that way.


10 Best Meatfree Muscle Builders

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]You CAN get protein without eating meat. Which one of these meat free protein alternatives do you eat? – MIND UP!

Incorporate alternative proteins, like seitan, sea vegetables, and chia seeds into your diet—our expert teaches you how. 

By Dana Leigh Smith

Protein is the key ingredient in muscle building and recovery. But downing cholesterol-laden eggs and fatty cuts of meat every day isn’t the healthiest way to get your fix. In fact, diets rich in animal protein and fat have been linked to chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Not sure what meatfree proteins to pick when you’re bored with chicken and fish? Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., founder of The NY Nutrition Group, gave us the scoop on ten of the most nutrient-dense meat alternatives—and the best ways to prepare them.

10 Health Foods That Don’t Taste Terrible>>>[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-teff
What it is: A tiny, gluten-free whole grain that has a mild, nutty flavor
Protein payout: 10 grams per cup, cooked
Other notable nutrients: Fiber, essential amino acids, calcium, iron and vitamin C (which isn’t normally found in grains)
How to eat it: Moskovitz suggests breakfast porridge: Combine 1/4 cup teff with 3/4 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until it thickens. Remove from heat and top with honey, berries, and unsweetened coconut flakes.

10 Gluten-Free Breakfast Recipes>>>[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-hemp seed
What it is: Hemp seeds, sometimes called hemp hearts, come from the cannabis plant (but no, eating them won’t get you high).
Protein payout: 10 grams per 3 tablespoons
Other notable nutrients: Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, iron, and magnesium
How to eat it: Add the seeds to smoothies (we love this Blue, Green, and Blue Smoothie recipe), cereals, yogurt, salads, and trail mixes, suggests Moskovitz.

Build the Perfect Salad>>>[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-triticale
What it is: A hearty, whole grain wheat-rye hybrid
Protein payout: 13 grams per half-cup
Other notable nutrients: Iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber
How to eat it: Moskovitz likes to use triticale berries in place of rice. She also suggests trying triticale flour in lieu of white flour.

5 Food Rules for Fighting Cancer>>>[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-seitan
What it is: A versatile, low-carb meat substitute made from wheat gluten and seasoned with salt and savory spices. “Its texture is similar to that of meat, and it has more protein than tofu and tempeh, making it a great alternative for men who don’t love the thought of vegetarian alternatives,” says Moskovitz.
Protein payout: 21 grams per half cup
Other notable nutrients: Phosphorus, selenium and iron
How to eat it: Bake, grill, braise, or boil it. Use it in any recipe that calls for poultry.

7 Foods That Fight Sun Damage>>>[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-sea vegetables
What it is: Renowned for their medicinal and healing properties, high-protein sea vegetables include arame, dulse, kelp, kombu, nori, and spirulina.
Protein payout: 8-32 grams per cup 
Other notable nutrients: Calcium, iron, iodine, potassium, and vitamin A
How to eat it: “Many sea vegetables are high in iodine, making them great salt substitutes in soup and grain dishes,” notes Moskovitz. Need more specific instructions? Fill a nori wrap with sweet potato, brown rice, avocado, and greens.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-chai seeds
What it is: This trendy superfood comes from the Mexican desert plant Salvia hispanica.
Protein payout: 5 grams per 2 tablespoons 
Other notable nutrients: Calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium, and fiber (half the daily recommended amount is in 2 tablespoons)
How to eat it: “Chia seeds are basically flavorless so they are easy to toss into just about anything,” explains Moskovitz. “Sprinkle them into salads, yogurt, oatmeal, or mix into smoothies and homemade baked goods.”

5 Muscle-Building Summer Salad Recipes>>>[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-natto
What it is: Considered to be the “breakfast of champions” by the Japanese, nattō is made from fermented soybeans and has a chewy texture. Look for it in Asian specialty stores.
Protein payout: 16 grams per half cup
Other notable nutrients: Vitamins E, B2, and K. It’s also rich in the enzyme nattōkinase, which may help prevent blood clots.
How to eat it: “Pair nattō with rice or serve it with whole-wheat spaghetti mixed with pan-fried garlic and onion,” suggests Moskovitz.

No-Bull Guide to Bulking>>> [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-salsify
What it is: A lesser-known root vegetable that tastes a bit like artichoke hearts. Look for it in specialty markets during its prime season between October and January.
Protein payout: 4 grams per cup
Other notable nutrients: Calcium, vitamin C, and iron
How to eat it: Similar to a potato, salsify can be boiled, mashed or used in soups and stews, explains Moskovitz. “Before you start cooking, scrub it under cold running water, and peel the skin like a carrot.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-pea & rice
What it is: Mild-flavored, vegan, gluten-free alternatives to whey and casein protein. Pea and rice protein are often blended together in a single tub, but the two types are also sold separately.
Protein payout: 15-24 grams per two tablespoons
Other notable nutrients: Amino acids and fiber
How to eat it: “Use pea or rice protein in any recipe that calls for protein powder. The end result will usually be the same,” notes Moskovitz.

12 Great Uses for Protein Powder>>>[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][divider line_type="Full Width Line"][divider line_type="No Line"][vc_column_text]bartendaz-farro
What it is: Farro, the Italian name for emmer wheat, is known for its nutty flavor and chewy texture.
Protein payout: 8 grams per cup 
Other notable nutrients: Fiber, magnesium and B vitamins
How to eat it: “Use farro in place of rice, couscous and other grains, advises Moskovitz. “It’s also a great addition to salads and soups.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

‘Natural’ Food Sounds Good But Doesn’t Mean Much

When shopping for food. Reading and UNDERSTANDING the labels is crucial. Click the link and share your thoughts on this provoking article?  MIND UP!

By Dan Charles

Advocates say consumers may assume that the "natural" label is the same as "organic."

Advocates say consumers may assume that the “natural” label is the same as “organic.”

Some people have had it with “natural” food.For fifteen years, Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety and sustainability for Consumer Reports, has been pointing out that “natural” is just about the most misleading label that you’ll ever see on a food package. Yet consumers still look for that word, food companies still love to use it and the Food and Drug Administration can’t or won’t define it.

Continue reading

The Mind-Body Practices of 5 Mega-Successful Entrepreneurs

Its official, there is a mind/body connection the best of the best use to stay on top of their game. Which one of these techniques do you use for peak performance? – MIND UP!

By Adam Toren

The Mind-Body Practices of 5 Mega-Successful Entrepreneurs

There’s lots of research and advice around making sure you care for your body and mind as much as your business. You know it’s important to stay mentally and physically healthy, but can there be a strong case made for mind-body-connected mega-successful entrepreneurs? You bet.

Continue reading

Train like an athlete, score a body to match

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Be you because nobody else can. Yet take a page from the pros book on training to get in the best shape of your life. Can you guess how many of these principals BARTENDAZ utilize? – MIND UP

By Sheila Monaghan, SELF

Athletes are always training for something. Find your something.
Athletes are always training for something. Find your something.

(Self) – No, you don’t need superior genes to achieve the body results you want. Just shift your focus to these training strategies and you’ll get hotter almost by accident.

Do a dynamic warm-up

The proper exercise prequel is not a quick quad stretch. Athletes like basketball pro Skylar Diggins, who does butt kicks and high knees, and jogs in place, know this well.

“Dynamic moves are vital to my training — they prep me physically and mentally,” says the WNBA guard.

She’s right.

“A bout of low-intensity full-body aerobic movement boosts blood flow and oxygen to working muscles, increasing core temperature,” says Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist in Darien, Connecticut. “This allows you to move faster and with more power during a workout, and it decreases injury risk.”

Elites might dedicate 30 minutes of a two-hour session to a dynamic warm-up. You can prime your body in five minutes for a cardio or strength workout with this total-body move: The walk-out plank push-up with rotation gets blood flowing as it loosens hammies, opens hip flexors, fires shoulder, chest, back, ab and leg muscles and readies your spine to pull, push and rotate with ease.

Try it: Stand tall, bend forward, walk hands out to plank. Do a push-up, then bring right foot to outside of right hand; extend right arm up as you open torso to right. Return to plank; repeat twist on left. Plank again. Walk hands back to feet and stand for one rep. Do five reps.

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/4"][image_with_animation image_url="2976" animation="Fade In" img_link_target="_self"][vc_column_text]Do a chopping motion with a medicine ball to whittle your waistline.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="3/4"][vc_column_text]


If Serena Williams only played tennis, there’s a good chance she’d burn out, get hurt or both.

“Any workout done exclusively can lead to an overuse injury and decreased results,” Holland says. “Cross-training, engaging in an activity with different cardiovascular demands and muscle activation patterns, can increase endurance, strength and flexibility while allowing you to continue favorite activities with less risk.”

How to cross-train if you’re a…

Runner: Spin to boost your aerobic capacity, without added pounding on joints.

Cyclist: Take a pilates class to stretch your low back and strengthen abs, two spots that can suffer on a bike.

Yogi: Add two weekly strength workouts with bands or weights to build muscle.

Boot Camper: Do a weekly long, slow jog to build endurance and offset intervals.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/4"][image_with_animation image_url="2978" animation="Fade In" img_link_target="_self"][vc_column_text]Progressive overload means making each workout push you a bit farther than you’ve gone before.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="3/4"][vc_column_text]

Work hard, then ease up

Athletes are always training for something. Find your something — and that doesn’t necessarily have to be a race. Having that deadline allows you to structure your training using a pro strategy called periodization.

Think of it as a super specific scheduling method that gets you fit, fitter, fittest at precisely the right time to meet your goal (the Olympic trials, or maybe your best friend’s wedding).

A short-term plan might entail three weeks of increasing workout intensity followed by a taper, or down week, that allows muscles to recover and results to set in, says Andrew Kastor, a onetime competitive runner and current coach of the Asics Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes, California.

That brings us to another term to think about when structuring your training: progressive overload.

“It means making each workout push you a bit farther than you’ve gone before,” says strength and conditioning coach Martin Rooney, founder of Training for Warriors and former speed coach for the New York Giants. “You add a little weight to the bar, or you run a bit faster, and you change your body.”

A good trainer or class instructor builds periodization and progressive overload into the workouts, so you’re doing it without realizing it. No coach? No problem.

Try it: Apply this formula from Kastor to any cardio or strength program: Increase intensity by 10% each week for three weeks.

Let’s say you typically jog 5 miles. For Week 1, go 5.5 miles, which is 10% farther; if you usually lift 7-pound weights, up it to 8s that first week. Then for Week 2, dial it up 10% more, and again for Week 3. When you hit Week 4, you get a breather: Scale back to your base numbers (5 miles, 7 pounds).

You can repeat the four-week plan with one caveat: Make your base intensities higher the next cycle.

SELF: 20 superfoods for weight loss

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/4"][image_with_animation image_url="2977" animation="Fade In" img_link_target="_self"][vc_column_text]Side hopping over agility ladders sculpts sexy thighs and reduces injury risk.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="3/4"][vc_column_text]

Move in every direction

Few moments are more inspiring than watching a skier like Julia Mancuso carve side-to-side down a mountain at 80 mph. One training secret that makes that moment possible: “multiplanar” exercises (as in: exercises that have you move 360 degrees).

The four-time Olympic medalist says, “I do hops and jumps in all directions, balance moves on a surfboard and agility-ladder drills.”

Chances are you’re more one-dimensional (as in forward).

“Most people train in the sagittal plane only — moving straight forward and backward, like when you run or raise and lower your arm for a biceps curl,” explains Aletheia Fadness, performance specialist for the EXOS elite athlete-training facility in Carlsbad, California.

But in life and in sport, you’re constantly moving in all three planes of motion: sagittal, transverse (a sweeping cross-body move like when Michelle Wie rotates to swing a golf club) and frontal (soccer goalie Hope Solo facing forward and shuffling laterally to block a shot).

Multiplanar moves have a laundry list of benefits. They engage more muscles, so you tone more quickly from every angle. They may help improve agility by 10%, according to research from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Why does being nimble matter? The ability to move quickly and easily can contribute to a bigger calorie burn. And these moves help prevent muscle imbalances, thereby lowering injury risk, which is to say, they’ll keep you working out.

Try it: Pick one exercise from each group below to create a mix-and-match multiplanar workout.

1. Sprint, squat or lunge: Your choice here covers the sagittal plane. For the squat or lunge, do 2 sets of 12 reps. Pick sprints and go 30 seconds all-out with one-minute recoveries; repeat 5 times.

2. Side shuffle, star jump or side raise: Now you’re working in the frontal plane. Choose the shuffles or jumps and work for time: 45 seconds on, one minute rest; repeat six times. If you opt for the raises, perform 2 sets of 12 reps.

3. 180 jump, wood chop or bicycle: Your third move is in the transverse plane. Here, you’ll work for time again. Go 20 seconds hard, 10 seconds rest; repeat 8 times.

SELF: 6 moves To resize your butt and thighs

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/4"][image_with_animation image_url="2975" animation="Fade In" img_link_target="_self"][vc_column_text]Don’t forget to schedule rest days: Yep, into your calendar just like you would a workout.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="3/4"][vc_column_text]

Your body is a Ferrari

For athletes, food is fuel, and they go for premium. Mindlessly inhaling refined carbs is like filling up on regular unleaded. Instead, focus on nutrients that help you hit your numbers, recover fast and get back at it the next day. Ask Kastor’s wife and star trainee, elite distance runner Deena Kastor.

“Processed foods make me feel terrible,” she says. “I don’t restrict myself — I eat cheese, risotto, drink red wine — but I always try to make my own meals, and I focus on quality ingredients.”

Add in these super-for-athletes foods:

Beets: The chemical nitrate naturally found in the veggie has been shown to lower blood pressure and protect your heart, and as a preworkout beverage in, say, a smoothie, beetroot juice could reduce breath rate during exercise, which means it can be easier to move faster and go longer, say SELF contributing experts Willow Jarosh and Stephanie Clarke.

Watermelon: A compound in the fruit may help increase the amount of nitric oxide in your blood. That’s just a fancy way of saying it could help you run a little longer or do a few more box jumps if you have a slice about an hour pre-exercise.

Tart cherries: They contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which research has shown reduce inflammation after a tough session, so you may feel less sore and bounce back faster. Drink the juice, bake with them, or spread a jam on whole-grain toast.

SELF: 25 easy (delicious!) ways to eat healthy

Get serious about rest

Yes, Gabby Douglas loves flying into a double-flip on the gymnastics floor, but ask her to do it Monday through Sunday and she may just flip out. That’s because athletes know that more isn’t more.

“Pros are phenomenal rest takers; it’s everyday exercisers who often don’t have enough confidence in their routines to take a day off,” says David Epstein, author of “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance.”

Built-in rest days are physically necessary for your body to get fitter. When you work out hard, you create tiny tears in your muscle tissue; those fibers can’t rebuild and strengthen if you’re asking them to go at it again the next day, Holland explains.

So see, we’re not saying you deserve a rest; it’s part of your training! That also means no junk workouts. Skip kickboxing if you’re still dead from yesterday’s MetCon class. Don’t run 30 minutes longer than you’d planned, just to make up for eating brownies the night before.

That seemingly innocuous extra work adds up and can keep your body from being able to do crucial muscle repair; it may even edge you into overtraining — an ugly, plateau- and injury-inducing zone.

SELF: 5 simple steps to cellulite-free skin

Borrow a page from the pros and

Schedule rest days: Yep, right into your Google Calendar or smartphone, just like you would a workout. You want a breather at least every three to four days, Rooney says, to prevent muscle fatigue from intense workouts, or 24 to 36 hours after a workout that makes you body-crushingly sore. (That’s when delayed onset muscle soreness tends to strike, and when your muscles need the most reprieve.)

Don’t just sit there: Athletes foam-roll, stretch, take ice baths. OK, maybe that last one doesn’t sound so appealing, but François Bieuzen, who has studied contrast water therapy, says alternating your shower temp between super cold (50 degrees) and hot (crank it to 100), for two minutes each, may help ease muscle soreness, too.

Do lie there: For at least seven hours. You need that sleep to capitalize on the gains you made in the gym. Some 80% of your supply of human growth hormone, what’s created in your brain’s pituitary gland to repair and strengthen muscles, is produced while you snooze.

Regularly get less than seven hours a night and you’re limiting your potential gains.

“In fact, among some professional coaches and trainers, sleep is now being considered an ‘advantage metric,’” says Epstein. Follow all six of our strategies and it’s advantage, you.

SELF: Sneaky stomach slimmers


Legit Ways to Move More During Work—and Avoid Death By Sitting

We know, you work 24/7, but READ these things you can do to keep yourself healthy while working round the clock. – MIND UP!

By Fran Melmed

Exercise at Work

Say goodbye to coffee shops or conference rooms and hello to the pavement. Moving while working? Now that’s the way to get things done.

Why You Should Ditch Your Chair

Unbroken hours spent seated in a chair hurt our bodies in a way that even regular visits to the gym or a 5K weekend run can’t fix. One of the earliest studies to investigate the risks of “sitting disease” occurred in the 1940s, when a Scottish epidemiologist discovered conductors were at lower risk for coronary heart disease than their bus-driving colleagues. Morris and his team found similar results when they expanded the study and compared postal delivery workers to sedentary postal clerks.

Since Morris’ time, more and more research links sitting for uninterrupted periods of time—the kind of sitting we experience at work and while commuting—with two times greater risk of diabetes, a 90 percent greater risk of cardiovascular disease, and a 49 percent greater risk of death, among other conditions and diseases [1]. It’s this research that drives the media buzz about how our jobs are killing us.

The good news is that we have choices when it comes to death by chair. To quote Dr. James Levine, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist credited with developing the concept of the treadmill desk: “There are solutions to chair-associated ill health that range from population-wide gym attendance, pharmacological administration, or genetic manipulation. Alternatively, people could get up” [2].

The Benefits of Moving at Work

So how does a person get up at work? It may sound like a funny question, but, if you’ve ever found yourself sitting at your desk for hours on end, you know not to laugh.

Some people work for companies that willingly invest in office equipment that gets employees moving, such as treadmill desks or adjustable-height desks. If you’re not one of them, then you’ll have to move yourself. You can perform exercises at your desk or do bodyweight exercises by the copy machine, in the restroom, or in your office (provided you’re lucky enough to have your own). But one of the easiest (and least sweaty) ways to move more at work is to start walking while meeting.

 Whatever it is, it’s solved by walking. 

Regardless of how you choose to do it, studies show there are numerous benefits to moving at work. Physical activity at work can help employees in the following ways:

  • Boost Creativity
    A recent Stanford study found that simply going for a walk (outside or on the treadmill) can get our creative juices moving—and help them stay that way. In fact, study participants had twice as many creative responses after a jaunt as a person who’d remained seated.
  • Improve Focus and Retention
    The absolute best way to move? Get outside. When people venture outdoors into a forested area or an arboretum, or simply look at scenes of nature, their bodies relax and their memories and attention improve.
  • Meet Activity Goals
    NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, is the energy we expend for all activities not associated with eating, sleeping, or gut-busting exercise. Even though they may not require much effort, these little bits of movement (like walking) can help us meet daily and weekly physical activity guidelines in a manageable way [3].
  • Shape Work Culture
    “A movement must be public,” pronounced Derek Sivers in his superb TED talk, How to Start a Movement. When one person does something, he or she may be declared a “lone nut”—but when two or three join? Then you have a leader and a movement. Walking meetings or group fitness outings make movement a true priority and help to establish a work culture that support employees’ healthy choices.

Your Action Plan

Convinced that it’s time to ditch the seat and move more during work? Fill out this breakup madlib, then use the simple steps below to get started.

How to Move More at Work

1. Find a path. Before you set off on your first walking meeting, build your route map and identify options of varying lengths and direction. You’ll want walking routes that are safe, not too noisy, and easily accessed from the office without an additional commute.

2. Walk by yourself. There’s no hard-and-fast rule that a walking meeting needs to be a group activity. When you need to mull something over or come up with fresh ideas, get out of your head and head outside. If available time or company rules restrict walking outside, walking the perimeter of a factory or office floor is an excellent stand-in.

3. Invite appointments to walk instead of having a seated meeting. In his famous laws of motion, Newton found that an object at rest will remain at rest unless an external force acts upon it. Be that external force, and start inviting appointments to walk and talk instead of meeting on seats. You may experience a few quizzical looks at first (remember our “lone nut”), but plenty will soon become walking meeting devotees.

[Ready to get a move on? Greatist and Hotseat are offering the first 200 readers a free download of Hotseat, an app that uses nudges, social accountability, and game play to help you ditch the seat. To request the gift, email Help@GetHotseatApp.com with the subject line “Greatist Gift.” To check out Hotseat, visit GetHotseatApp.com or @GetHotseatApp. Note that Hotseat is currently only available for Apple products.]

4. Set walking meetings up for success. There’s no telling whether your first overtures to turn traditional meetings into walking ones will be met positively. But there are ways to make your efforts, and the meetings themselves, more successful:

  • Let your walking partners know about the idea in advance so they can best prepare themselves.
  • Consider what the other person is wearing and modify the walk’s length and path accordingly (e.g. If your walking partner is wearing high heels, steer clear of bumpy sidewalks).
  • Keep the group size small, and vary its size depending on the topic at hand. If the plan is to brainstorm, for example, consider breaking the larger group into small subgroups before you set out walking. Then each subgroup can generate ideas to share with the whole once everyone has returned to the office.
  • Be mindful of when walking meetings don’t make sense (but check whether this is outmoded thinking first). While difficult performance conversations could be well served by a real breath of fresh air, for example, your company’s human resources policy might prefer you stay indoors.

5. Find a sponsor to champion walking meetings. Change happens within an organization when a visible and influential leader drives it. To that end, seek out an influential person within your company (a manager, a beloved colleague, even the CEO if they’re accessible and you feel comfortable) and invite him or her to a walking meeting. Then slip all the research cited in this article into your conversation. If they still need some convincing, let them know that great thinkers like Aristotle and Freud swore by them, today’s technology and political leaders advance their agendas through them, and numerous companies are promoting group activity as a means of increasing productivity, ramping up collaboration, and lowering health-related risks and costs. By the end of the walk, it’s likely they’ll be at least a little more receptive to making movement a company-wide priority.

6. Sneak it in. At certain jobs and companies, it’s simply not possible to move while meeting (or even to leave your station at all). That doesn’t mean all is lost. The key takeaway is that any type of movement counts. Try to exercise at your desk, take the long way to the break, lunch, or rest room, and squeeze in some form of movement before and after work. If desperate times call for desperate measures on the job, simply fidget (pace while you’re on the phone, fiddle with a pen while you’re talking, etc.); you’ll still be moving more than you otherwise would. With a little creativity, it’s possible to find subtle ways to sneak in a little wiggle or a walk on the job.

This post was written by Fran Melmed, the owner of context, a boutique communication and change management consulting firm that specializes in workplace wellness. Fran wrote this article while walking on her hacked-together treadmill desk after walks through Philadelphia’s historic Washington Square helped pull her thoughts together.