Let’s be honest here, do you know why most people prefer to eat protein bars? It’s either because they feel it’s a convenient yet healthy alternative and might even help in losing weight. Originally, meal replacement bars were designed to fulfill the nutritional requirements of athletes.
Since some of the earlier protein bars were high in carbohydrates and ample protein, it served as ideal nourishment to carry on during endurance events. The best part is that protein bars make a food combo in a pack, which is a convenient snack during training.
Originally, athletes required protein rich diets to supplement their training routines while cutting out the extra carbohydrates. Besides athletic training, we exercise to burn off calories so that they are not stored as fat.
Exploring the Sources of Protein for Meal Replacement Bars
Here’s a glimpse into the natural sources of protein used for making protein bars.
Soy beans and Legumes
Soybeans are considered as one of the most used legume in the world especially in China. Soy grows in pods and can be of green, yellow, brown or black color. They have high protein and carbohydrate content.
The proteins found in soybeans are the perfect form of proteins since they have all the amino acids that are found to be useful for the body. This accounts for the valued demand of soybeans all over the world as compared to other types of beans and legumes.
The proteins found in Soy beans can be classified according to their type and the method employed in their preparation. Half a cup of properly cooked soybeans will contribute to about 16g of proteins while a half cup of soy beans roasted will give 39g. Research also suggests that in about 1 cup of soymilk 10g of proteins is present. Similarly, 13g of proteins is present in 4ounce of tofu and likewise 9g is present in 4oz of silken tofu.
Whey and Soy Protein Sources
Whey Protein is extracted from the milk of a cow. This protein is a complete one since it possesses all the necessary amino acids required. It is also a very definable source of branched chain amino acids like leucine and valine. These amino acids are very useful to athletes and those with tough physical activities because the body requires these amino acids for the purpose of muscle formation.
Whey protein like other protein sources is very good for treating obesity and weight gain. This is carried out by promoting regular lean muscle mass and catalyzing the metabolism functions and creating a fulfilling appetite. In addition, whey protein is absorbed very quickly in the blood, which makes it perfect tool for bodybuilding since it starts building muscles as soon as it is provided to the system.
It has certain negative aspects to it too like people allergic to dairy foods have to avoid them and faster muscle building give lesser resting time between workouts.
Protein Bars as meal replacement
But before you go out shopping to pick protein bars from the shelf, you must have a clear view upon all your fitness goals. So why do you intend to take protein bars?
• To lose unhealthy weight (fat)
• To find a meal replacement option
• As an alternative to candy or unhealthy snacks
• To gain healthy weight
• To provide sustenance to your body during intense training
Soy vs. whey protein bars
The proteins found in soybeans are the perfect form of proteins since they have all the amino acids that are found to be useful for the body. Alternatively, the whey is derived from milk which means they come from dairy source. Since some people are lactose intolerant, it’s advisable for them to opt for soy protein bars instead.
About the Author
Katy is a writer, blogger and fitness expert. Ask her anything about health and fitness and she would love to share some valuable information. Refer to more articles at http://www.fitnessrepublic.com/.
Well, we aren’t really talking about just roses and other flowers here. Gardening, in general, is said to give joy to people. In fact, according to a study conducted by City & Guilds, gardeners are among the happiest workers in the UK. And this is due to a variety of reasons.
The Act Itself
Among the biggest pleasures of gardening are the rewards of being one with nature. There’s the fun of merely being outdoors. And for many people, “getting down and dirty” is simply liberating; this means digging soil, cultivating plants, and dealing with insects. In addition, waiting for seedlings to sprout under the sun and seeing lovely blossoms surrounding garden sheds are pure bliss.
Studies Say So
Many studies have proven gardening to be an effective stress-buster to those who rely on it for work or simply as a hobby. Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium found in soil, has been found to stimulate the release of serotonin, a chemical that plays an important role in the regulation of mood. And it isn’t any wonder this chemical is called the “molecule of happiness” or “happiness drug.” Its presence or absence has a major impact on a person’s overall mental health and happiness.
Strong evidence shows that getting your hands dirty with soil in the garden can increase the serotonin levels in your brain. So, thanks to the bacteria present in your garden soil, getting dirty has never been this beneficial, even in a biological point of view.
Reaping What You’ve Sown
The reward of having flowers, fruits or vegetables right in your own backyard has also been shown to bring happiness to whoever planted them. According to research, a flush of dopamine is released in the reward center of the brain when gardeners “see” or “smell” the fruits of their labor after toiling in their backyards. Simply sniffing the flowers and fruits you’ve picked from your garden is a great therapy for individuals who aren’t exactly in a happy mood.
Aside from your emotions and your brain, your physique also benefits from gardening. 45 minutes of digging and planting in the backyard can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of joining an aerobics class.
Aside from working out your muscles, your skin, bones and immune system also benefit from the good dose of Vitamin D from the sun that helps prevent various diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.
Health and Wealth
In addition to the advantages mentioned above, growing your own garden, particularly an edible one, helps keep your finances in good condition. Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is more inexpensive and efficient.
So if you’re down in the dumps, don’t immediately reach for a bottle of beer, rant endlessly or take it out on your neighbor. Rather, head to your garden shed and grab your tools for an hour or so of gardening activity. It will stimulate the release of happy chemicals in your brain and will consequently improve your mood and make your day more worthwhile.
About the Author
Raquel Merc has mainly contributed about travel and lifestyle. But she’s also started writing a variety of articles on home management and parenting since becoming a mother in 2010. Among her recent works feature ideas and insights on food, home organisers, and garden sheds.
Heavy bag training has been famously known as a boxer’s tool when preparing for bouts. But they are becoming popular as a fitness tool to tone your body into a fighting machine. The punch bag helps burn fat and build power fast in an intensive workout.
Before you start working with a punch bag, you have to ensure that you are protected. This reduces the risk of injury while working out. Use wraps around you knuckle and hand area to provide support to your hand and wrist, also wrap your feet for when you do kicks.
Then wear gloves on top of the wraps, you can have lighter to heavier gloves depending on what level you are with a heavy bag. Lighter gloves are about 10ounces, used by beginners for heavy bag training and when boxers want to improve their punching technique. Heavier gloves are used by experienced athletes to develop hand speed.
Start off your heavy bag training with a warm up to prepare you for the demands of the workout. Some warms ups you can do are skipping for about 5mins, rotating your joints and shadow boxing. Shadow boxing involves punching the air while using your shadow as an opponent. Then move to the heavy bag, begin with throwing light punches then increase power as you get more comfortable.
All punches should start from the fighting stance position, with the right distance between you and the bag so that there is enough space to make effective contact but not too close that you end up pushing the bag instead of punching it.
There are five basic types of punches you can practice with a heavy bag; straight, hook, cross, jab and uppercut. It is important to remember that you have to develop the right technique of throwing each type of punch in order to increase your punching power, speed and to get the results you want. A heavy bag allows you to add kick boxing to your workout; this helps you build leg muscles. Doing a combination of punches and kick will give you a full upper and lower body workout.
There are various benefits you can gain from training with a heavy bag. You develop power and strength through the resistance workout when you force your muscles to work against the resistance of the heavy bag as you strike it.
Strength is also built by using the muscles that are not normally worked in the arms, shoulders, legs and back.
As you kick and punch the heavy bag you rotate your core abs muscles strengthening them, this leads fat loss and toned abs. The increasing muscle strength will allow you to punch and kick more powerfully. Your coordination skills will increase overtime because when you move around the punch bag you are also trying to aim your hand specifically before you throw a punch or kick.
Heavy bags can be a great stress reliever, punching and kicking the bag helps your body remove stress hormones while increasing the release of hormones which improve mood and reduces pain. The bag becomes a cheap therapist that you can release your frustration and anger on.
You get toned using the bag. A heavy bag works a range of muscle groups like the triceps, biceps and core muscles of the abs, this will lead to changes in your physique as your muscles begin to develop, you can slow down and increase the development of different muscle group depending on what better meets your needs. This will make you feel more confident about yourself in reaching your target level of fitness and ability to defend yourself.
If you are beginner to punch bags you may need to consult your trainer who will assist you on the right way to hit the bag. You have to stay consistent with the workout in order to achieve that toned body. So why don’t you join in and give the heavy bag a try to see how amazing it is.
“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go.'” ~Maya Angelou
The days when children spent their free time running around outside, playing tag and hide and go seek have slowly been replaced by gaming systems, computers and television. Most parents would love it if their child asked permission to go outside to play before you ever had a chance to send them out. This is where just a little bit or work, along with help from a company that specializes in providing safe outdoor play areas for children, comes in handy.
Providing your children with a place to play, exercise and have fun will in turn produce a happier, healthier child. This may seem like a difficult task but, in reality, it is only as far as your own computer. Jungle gyms have been around for many years and they continue to provide a fun form of exercise that children never seem to get tired of.
Jungle gyms offer children an opportunity to create a world limited only by their own imaginations and with the proper resources, parents can add onto existing jungle gyms to build an entire playground. Getting children to set down the gaming controller to go outside and play can be as easy as that.
If you have older kids and a jungle gym just doesn’t excite them like it used to, then why not consider installing a basketball net? Basketball equipment in Toronto is readily available and can easily be installed. Turning this process into a family project is a fantastic way of getting your kids excited about the idea before it even becomes a reality and you might just be surprised as to how much easier it will be to get your older kids to go outside for some fresh air and exercise.
As you can imagine, the task of providing fun indoor or outdoor play areas will take some time to build but it will surely be time well spent. There is nothing more important than the health of our children and the outcome rests in our hands. The choices are simple. Take the easy route and let the televisions, computers, and gaming systems determine how our children spend their free time or take the route that will require a little bit of elbow grease that will bring about results that your family will benefit from forever. The choice is yours!.
There is a social epidemic among children, and that epidemic is that they are not socializing. Sadly, most children today are socializing over the computer in the form of Facebook, Twitter, or various chat rooms, just to name a few.
And even more disconcerting is that these same children are at a higher risk of obesity and depression. They are unable to obtain the proper amount of exercise and social interaction needed for healthy brain and body development. What’s more, they lack the ability to use their imaginations.
It may be surprising that parents of previous generations overcame these obstacles with their children by allowing them to play on swing sets and/or a jungle gym. Who can forget the many hours spent outside with friends and siblings swinging effortlessly through the air on a swing or climbing about on the jungle gym? That generation now has children today and those parents are left wondering how to get their children to replace their computers with their imaginations.
One of the best ways parents can encourage active outdoor play is to install a swing set and jungle gym right in their own backyard. Swing sets have drastically changed in the last few years. They are more affordable and easier to install. Best of all, parents can add other equipment as well, such as a slide, to customize it to their child’s own interests.
Of course, it is always more fun to get the whole family involved when playing outdoors or indoors. A great option for the whole family is playing basketball. Whether you are purchasing a basketball net or an entire basketball play area, playing together as a family always makes for a closer and healthier family.
It is vital for parents to get their children away from the television, computer and other electronics and get them outdoors. Installing a swing set and other sports equipment will encourage them to go outside and actually have face to face interaction with others. They will be healthier with the amount of exercise they will get and prompt them to develop their creativity by encouraging them to use their imaginations. Getting outdoors and playing is not just good for the children, but for the whole family. So get outside, get healthier and have fun with swing sets!
About the Author
Kyle Randling blogs about the health industry, with a particular interest in the growing obesity epidemic in children. Kyle highly recommends that parents check out the variety of Play Rainbow systems available online, such as the swing sets, as a way to encourage their kids to get outside and get active!
So, you want to lose weight, but you hate working out. What can you do? Are you doomed to be overweight and out of shape forever?
I have good news for you. Shedding weight is not just about how many calories one burns, but about what changes one can bring in one’s overall lifestyle.
This is where yoga comes into the picture. It spiritually brings you closer to your body, giving you the power to change the way you eat, exercise, and live. Plus, it’s a huge hit among celebrities who are concerned about their health.
“Yoga has brought me to the part of religion I really like — the positive sides of religion, the parts we all share, rather than the things that create separation,” said model Christy Turlington in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
And plenty more celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Madonna and many others are already reaping benefits from the sophisticated mind-body exercise, Yoga.
“It completely changed my life,” Anniston said in the intro to her yoga teacher’s workout video, Yogalosophy. “It’s one of the most fun workouts I’ve ever had . . . So have fun and work hard because it will totally pay off.”
But, a question widely perturbing people is whether this no-strain exercise can actually help in weight loss? It is true that Yoga does not have the same calorie burning capacity as any other aerobic exercise.
Still, many people say that the act of doing yoga keeps them working out – such as Julianne Moore, who practics Ashtanga yoga.
“I do Ashtanga yoga three times a week, and I run a couple of times a week, too,” Moore says. “I really like yoga; I enjoy the actual doing of it, so it doesn’t feel like the agony of the gym felt like to me.”
According to statistics, if a person weighing 150 pounds does yoga for an hour, the numbers of calories he’ll burn is around 150.
This when compared to swift walking for an hour is only half the calories burnt. But such statistics are only one side of the picture.
According to a well known yoga instructor, Dana Edison, director of Radius Yoga, Yoga helps one get in touch with their body like nothing else, and it can certainly helps you shed the extra kilos off.
Edison explains that weight loss comes from an attitude change towards one’s lifestyle, and not just exercise.
Yoga bears a spiritual connection with both the body and the mind. It prepares you for change, a change in the way you think about food and how to get over destructive eating disorders. Yoga lets you spiritually connect to your body thereby helping it adapt to changes.
In addition to this, studies also reveal that Yoga helps in lowering the stress hormones in the body and increases insulin sensitivity, which directs the body to burn fats rather than storing them, leading to effective weight loss.
All this will depend on the way one practices Yoga. So, here’s for you some of the most effective Yoga poses that help in weight loss.
A note before you start practicing these poses, always begin yoga after a warm-up of 5 minutes. Hold each pose for at least for five slow and even breathes, counting up to 5 for every inhale and 5 for every exhale.
On the physiological level, the chair pose helps in firming the butts and the thighs. It also helps in improving the body balance, coordination and stamina. To practice this, stand with your feet together, with the toes forward and arms at the side.
Then inhale and raise the arms over the head, place your palms forward.
Now, exhale and sit back (pose like you’re sitting back) at about 45 degree.
Contract your abs and hold the back straight. Take about 5 to 10 breathes and slowly step back.
In case you’d like to make it easier for the first few days, the best way is to not bend the hands and the thighs beyond 30 degree when you sit in the chair posture.
To make it more difficult, lift your heels off the floor, and try to balance on the tips of the feet.
The crescent pose is helpful for firming up the abs, hips and thighs. Easier than chair pose, it reaps almost similar benefits i.e. Increases stamina and improves the body posture.
For getting into the pose, you need to stand with both your feet together, and arms by your side. Then to begin, inhale and raise your arms over the head, reaching your fingertips towards the ceiling.
Hold the position for a few breaths, say about 5 breaths. Exhale, and bend forward by shifting the body weight on the hips.
Bring your hands to the floor. If you’re not comfortable putting all the weight on the hips, shift it back to the knees. Inhale and then as you exhale, step your right leg back, with the knee bent at an angle of 90 degrees. Inhale again and raise the arms overhead.
Hold in this position for a while and return to the standing position. Repeat it over with by stepping the left and the right feet back, alternately.
Rocking boat is a perfect exercise for firming up the abs and the back. Somewhat tricky, the yoga pose is going to help in making the belly flat and strengthen the abs muscles.
For the pose, begin by sitting on the floor, with your knees bent and hands on the thighs.
Sit upright with the head in line with the body. Lean back at an angle of 45 degrees, raise the feet so that the calves are parallel to the floor, and the toes are pointed. Inhale and extend the arms and the legs, and keep the legs together.
Exhale and inhale again in the same pose. When you inhale, lower the torso and legs to bring the body into a wider V shape. Exhale and raise the torso, repeat this exercise several times, to begin with say about 4 to 5 times.
The exercise can be made easier and more difficult; depending on how much comfortable you are with the pose. To make it easier hold the back of the thighs with your hands and keep the leg bent. To make it a bit harder, once you reach the V shape, extend the arms over the head, which will greater pressure over the abs.
The bridge Pose is a unique yoga postures that works in a dual manner. On the one hand it effectively helps weight management, and on the other hand, it effectively relieves body tension and enhances body flexibility. Its gentle inversion works with gravity to flex the entire chest and shoulder area.
For achieving the pose, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and hip distance apart on the floor. Keep arms flat on the side by the body, with the palms open upwards. Once in the position, press tour weight on the feet and lift the body, with your hips rising to the ceiling. Then try bringing your arms underneath and try to clasp the hands together. This step is the trickiest and may not be achieved in the first try.
Finally roll the shoulder blades towards each other hold the position for about half a minute or a minute, depending on what is comfortable. Release and roll back slowly. Repeat this about two three times.
Have you tried Bikram Yoga?
It’s a favorite of actress Rebecca Romijn, who says she can’t recommend it enough.
“At first, the idea of doing a 90-minute workout in a 105-degree room sounded like torture,” Romijn says. “But the sweating is exactly what I became addicted to. My body changed dramatically almost immediately. Within three classes, I noticed less belly fat.”
She adds that her knees and legs are stronger than ever now, and that her arms have definition for the first time in her life.
“And my posture is much, much better. I also feel completely energized from all of the deep breathing,” Romijn adds. “I leave class relieved of any anxiety I went in with, and the sweating and detoxifying make my skin feel great.”