What are Olive Oil Benefits & Uses?

Today we will discuss about olive oil. Let’s learn all the health benefits of this tasty oil.

Olive oil is the result of pressing whole olives into oil. Olives are crushed and macerated to release liquid which is then processed in a centrifuge to separate the oil and water.

WHAT ARE ITS HEALTH BENEFITS?

Olive oil is a powerful antioxidant. The same kind of compounds are found in blueberries, teas, etc. It acts as a scavenger for harmful free radicals and has been shown to reduce chronic disease. Olive oil primarily contains monounsaturated fats or oleic acid which makes up 73 percent of the total oil content. Studies suggest oleic acid can reduce inflammation which means it may help to improve the side effects of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Olive oil has been proven to have cardioprotective effects. That means it’s good for the heart and blood pressure. Some research shows that consuming olive oil in conjunction with foods rich in lycopene such as tomatoes and carrots may result in increased cardioprotective effects. It also contains large amounts of vitamins E and K. Both of these can help with keeping your hair shiny and smooth.

FUN FACT #1

It takes 80 to 100 pounds of Olives to make one gallon of olive oil. So, if you ever wondered why olive oil is so expensive, well that’s why.

SHOPPING TIPS

Alert: Not all olive oil is created equal

· Bottle colors should not be clear or transparent. The bottles should be a dark glass bottle this prevents light from reaching the olive oil which will oxidize it and break down the olive oil.

· Never store your olive oil near the stove in the cabinet above the stove or with a cap not tightly screwed on. Allowing the heat and air to reach the olive oil will cause it to oxidize making it rancid and unusable

· Think a cool dry dark spot for your precious oil

·  EVOO is cold-pressed olive oil. This means the olives are pressed and extracted at a temperature lower than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They aren’t heated at all during the process and they do not need to undergo additional refining. Buying cold-pressed or cold extracted olive oil is the most natural preservation of the oil because heat can damage the antioxidant health benefits

· EVOO is the best quality of olive oil. It’s unrefined and chemical-free. You’ll want to use it for salad dressings or even better for dipping bread into. If your oil is not labeled EVOO, then it has been either chemically or heat pressed. So probably, it is better as a cooking oil instead of a drizzling or dressing oil.

· The fresher the olive oil, the higher the polyphenol content and the more health benefits associated with consumption. Look for bottles with a labeled harvest date and by within 15 months of that day.

FUN FACT #2

Just like there are wine sommeliers, there are olive oil sommeliers-the master tasters of olive oils.

HOW TO COOK WITH OLIVE OIL

Olive Oil loses its flavor when exposed to high heat. You want to keep olive oil below 375 degrees. The higher the temperature you cook it at the more you’ll destroy the oils polyphenols and other healthy compounds. EVOO can be used as a coating for protein or vegetables when baking or simmering at a low temperature. It’s great to toss in pasta, cooked veggies or from other foods at food town. You can actually try baking cakes with olive oil as it may yield a healthier and be moist product. However, be sure to follow a recipe as other ingredients temperatures and cook time will vary. Olive oil cake is a great way to put this healthy fat into your dessert. After all, it’s a better alternative to shortening and butter.

VERDICT

Olive oil is great. It’s most preferred oil because it gives you some amazing health benefits without putting as much of a strain on your liver and kidneys as other saturated fat full oils like coconut oil. Oli

5 EXERCISES TO FIX YOUR POSTURE

You know how important good body posture is but this goes way more or past just looking good. Having great posture can develop strength, flexibility and overall balance on your body whereas the guy that has bad posture just looks weak, timid, shy, clothes look weird on them and more importantly these suffer from severe strain on their necks and lower back. So if you want to be guy A and not dude B and stand about two inches taller than your competition, today we’re gonna give you five free at-home exercises that you can start doing to correct your body posture and stand as erect as possible. Let’s hop into.

Number one is something called isometric row. The main reason why probably 95% of men are always slouching or have bad posture is that you have a very weak posterior chain and very tight muscles up in front. This is why when you stand up and have correct body posture and kind of fix those errors you feel like you’re straining yourself and actually putting a physical effort just to stand up straight. This is because you’re stretching these tight muscles up in front while activating the weak muscles in your back. An easy exercise to be able to strengthen these weak muscles is isometric rows.

Of course, you can do these in the gym with weights and stuff but if you’re doing it at home completely free or you just want to kind of just stretch and get that mobility in you, you can do them without any weights. It’s very easy. You want to start by having your arms at 90 degrees on your side and just like the movement says you’re going to be rowing backward. When you have the back here make sure you’re tightening your back as tight as possible and hold this position for about five seconds. After you do a five-count you can release do this for about 10 times or 10 repetitions and you’re gonna feel it immediately in your back and how much proper you’re gonna be standing.

Number two is something called the chin tuck. This again happens because men have weak necks. A lot of times when you spend your time on your phone or on a computer screen what happens is that you have this forward neck posture. The intention of this movement is to correct that error. The beauty of these exercises that you can do it whenever for free while you’re sitting down or standing up. You want to start with having your shoulders rolled back and down you also lookup. Make sure it’s eye level. You’re gonna grab two fingers and place them on your chin. Most of us are gonna have this forward head position that you’re gonna need to correct. So what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna slightly tuck in your chin by moving your head back as so and while you do that you want to hold it for about three to five seconds. Then you release and repeat about ten times and again you’re gonna feel the stretch and the pull in the neck muscles and how they’re gonna be building and working up and the idea is to strengthen those up.

Number three is something called the Wall Angel.

Again this is to correct body posture and to give you a really good example of how your body should be at all times. You’re gonna find a flat wall and you’re gonna make sure that your head your shoulder blades and your hips are all touching the wall. These are the three points that you’re gonna want to have lined up. This is the correct curvature for your spine and how you should be standing at all times. While you’re standing in this correct position you’re gonna want to grab your arms form a 90-degree angle, almost like you’re forming a W and you’re gonna feel that stretch in your muscles, especially in your posterior chain. You’re gonna want to hold that for about three seconds. Then you’re gonna want to stretch out your elbows to form a Y above yourself and hold that position for three seconds. You’re gonna want to do this or repeat this cycle for about ten times. If you do it daily, you’re gonna feel yourself working and stretching muscles that you’ve probably never worked to correct some of that bad body posture.

Number 4. You can practice in your chair. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this but there’s research that’s suggesting that sitting is the new smoking. It increases your risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The sad part is that most of us probably either have jobs or going to school where we spend countless hours sitting down with improper posture. So you’re gonna need to start practicing how you sit and it’s easy. Next time you’re in a chair what you’re gonna want to do is scoot all the way forward till you’re at the end. Then you’re gonna sit like you normally would which means you’re gonna probably roll your shoulders forward and slouch your head forward towards the computer screen like your normal state where you feel most comfortable. Then you’re gonna want to slowly pull back your shoulders and your head back into this tall position. Then to accentuate your bottom curve of your spine, push your lower back forward. At first, this exercise is gonna feel uncomfortable and forced because you’re stretching and moving body parts that you probably normally never do since you’re spending hours slouched. Once you keep that tension for about three seconds, just release it ever so slightly. This is your proper seating position and how you need to be every single time you sit down for long periods of time. 

Number five. This one requires a little bit more room and probably you’re gonna do it from the comfort of your own bedroom and it’s called the Child’s Pose. This position helps stretching out your core, your shoulders, and your lower back. You want to start on your knees and you want to widen them a little bit further out than shoulders width apart. Then you’re gonna want to crawl your hands forward and extend your arms as straight as possible and as far as possible while keeping your head touching the floor. You want to take about five to ten deep breaths and disposition and then relax and repeat as often as you’d like to do. This is great for lengthening and stretching your spine which is just used to being slouched all day because of your bad posture. 

These are five free exercises anybody can do at home to correct your bad body posture, make you look taller, make you look more confident, have clothes fit better on you, have better health. You got a myriad of benefits when you stand tall and erect and these exercises will help you do just that.

How To Eat For Optimal Energy

If you feel like your energy isn’t quite what it should be, we’ve got you. Here are some tips for eating for more energy levels.

ENERGY BOOSTING FOODS

  • Eggs

They’re packed with protein which provides a steady source of energy because it does not cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Eggs also contain B vitamins which help enzymes perform their role in the process of breaking down food for energy. Eggs are a complete protein, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids and are capable of restoring energy in the muscles. Therefore, eggs are an excellent food to consume after a busy day to replenish your energy or when you’re feeling a little sluggish. Bonus, the leucine in amino acid in eggs can stimulate energy production and can even increase the breakdown of fat to produce energy.

EGGS
  1. Spinach

Who needs meat to get iron? Spinach is a top source of iron. Iron is needed to produce hemoglobin which is basically responsible for transporting oxygen to different parts of the body to keep your organs alive. Iron is also an essential nutrient for the maintenance of red blood cells. When iron is available to replenish red blood cells, you will feel more alert and energized. Hot tip, cook your spinach and it will increase the amount of bioavailable iron for absorption.

SPINACH
  1. Bananas

It may be the best for energy and super easy to much on before your next workout. Because they are a great source of high-quality carbs, potassium, and B6 (all-natural energy boosters). Bananas contain natural sugar, no added sugar, and all-natural fiber. So don’t fear the banana! They’re an optimal, easy, cheap, and convenient choice for gaining a quick burst of energy while reducing the likeliness of a sugar crash. When compared to foods containing a ton of added and refined sugars, Bananas are the world’s most appealing snack.

BANANAS
  1. Fatty fish

Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are great sources of protein, fatty acids and B vitamins. The omega 3s in fish have been shown to squash inflammation and reduce fatigue. And remember that B vitamins in fatty fish like Vitamin B12 and folic acid are your energy boosting besties.

FATTY FISH
  1. Brown rice

Brown rice has high fiber content and low glycemic index and will help to regulate blood sugar levels keeping your energy levels consistent throughout the day. Other complex carbs that are energy-boosting and help energy become available in the body are quinoa, beans, farro, and oats. 

BROWN RICE
  1. Greek yogurt

It is rich in protein. It has three times the amount of protein than regular yogurt which will keep you fuller longer than traditional yogurt. And Greek yogurt is high in B vitamins! Time to join the beehive, B vitamins that is.

GREEK YOGURT

HOW TO EAT TO STAY ENERGIZED

  • Eat foods that have a low glycemic index. Low glycemic foods equals no super quick rise in blood sugar which equals no crash. Therefore, consistent energy levels. Look for foods with low glycemic high fiber such as whole grains, high fiber veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, plus nuts and heart-healthy oils.
CARROTS
  • Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day. Our bodies are 70% water. If we are dehydrated or low on the water intake, you will feel sluggish and parched. It has been proven that water consumption is essential to keep the human body running. And lack of adequate water can leave you feeling fatigued and hungry. So, next time you’re feeling like you need a nap try drinking a glass of water first.
  • Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast will wake up your metabolism. Breakfast high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat will make you feel fuller longer, stay energized throughout the day, and prevent you from craving sugary foods.
  • Eat small frequent meals as often as you are hungry. Studies have shown that eating larger meals, especially at lunch, can lead to an afternoon slump.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down brain activity that can cause drowsiness the day after happy hour hits. 
  • Drink caffeine as needed but sparingly. Look, we’re not saying to put the coffee down entirely. But if you consume too much caffeine, you can become immune to its stimulating effects. In addition, try swapping your morning coffee for a cup of green tea or super trendy matcha. Ever so often as green tea releases caffeine more steadily throughout the day leaving you less jittery and preventing a coffee deprivation crash.

 You now have all the tools you need to keep that pep in your step. Now go and get all the things done that you gotta get done, you busy bee. Now that you have all of that energy, why don’t you put it to good use and follow WIT&FIT.

WHAT IS PALEO DIET? PROS & CONS

Today we’re traveling back in time to cave dudes and dudettes. the hunters and gatherers, to take a deep dive into the paleo diet. You must have heard of this trendy diet. But today we’re explaining what it is, what it entails, and the pros and cons to consider before starting.

What is Paleo?

Although this way of eating dates back decades, the paleo diet was popularized by Doctor Stanley Boyd Eaton, in 1985. It was designed to resemble what our hunter, gatherer, ancestors ate thousands of years ago. During the paleolithic era, under the argument that our bodies were not built to consume foods produced by modern farming practices. So, paleo’s all about eating strictly whole foods and avoiding processed foods. That means you’ll be cutting out sugar, dairy, ice cream, grains, alcohol, and legumes.

Here’s what we do know about the benefits of the diet.

PROS

1.  One thing we can get behind is cutting back on processed foods. We know that packaged foods usually sneak in sugars and additives that are not so great for our bodies. In fact, in a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, about three-quarters of the average American sodium intake comes from commercially prepared foods. Eliminating processed foods and eating more whole foods will help to manage blood pressure, potentially stave off disease, and avoid empty calories and added sugars.

2. What’s the buzziest buzzword in food and health right about now? Inflammation. Well, because you’re cutting out foods that have sugar, alcohol, and gluten, paleo can potentially help reduce inflammation in the body, which can help mitigate the symptoms of chronic illness.

3.  In general, if you follow a diet rich in lean protein and plant-based foods you will feel fuller longer, which will help to control blood sugar. Reducing those spikes in blood sugar is great for keeping our energy levels and stress hormones in check.

CONS

1.      The major red flag is that this diet could poke some nutritional holes in your diet if you don’t do it right. Limited or no grain intake can diminish levels of B vitamins like niacin, folate, as well as magnesium and fiber. All of the nutrients your body wants and needs to run properly. Cutting out major food groups such as dairy can lead to a lack of nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Diets that eliminate a whole food group raise some serious concerns because really there’s no substantial evidence that supports the exclusion of dairy, legumes, and grains from an average consumer’s diet.

2.      The diet also focuses on a higher quantity of saturated fats coming from meat, which has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. It is always recommended reducing foods high in saturated fat.

3.      Aside from the nutritional question marks, we always look at the practicality of a diet, as would any diets with big restrictions and too many nos. It can be difficult to incorporate into your daily life. Especially when it comes to eating on the go. Do yourself a favor and don’t jump into a diet without planning ahead and doing your research.

MAKING PALEO WORK FOR YOU

Now for some tips on how to make paleo work for you.

Focus on green leafy vegetables for calcium, like bok choy, Swiss chard, and spinach. Incorporate plant-based protein sources such as hazelnuts and hemp seeds, to reduce the focus on meat. There are so many cooking oils out there it can get confusing. Use olive oil when possible and avoid using a ton of coconut oil, which contains extra saturated fat. Don’t treat fruit like it is going to send you off track. While fruit isn’t the center focus of the paleo diet, you should still include one to two servings of fruit per day into your diet for an extra punch of nutrients and antioxidants.

Although paleo is restrictive, it is pretty easy to keep track of since you’ll just be looking for whole plain foods. But that could be tricky when it comes to eating on the go. While my first go-to is just to grab a plain old apple, you can also look for pre-packaged paleo snacks when you’re in a pinch. But, a friendly reminder, just because it’s paleo doesn’t mean you should polish off a bar of yummy chocolate every night. It can be daunting to eliminate dairy and grains. However, get creative with veggies and experiment with nut cheeses to fill that void.

Get to know your mylks. No, not milk with an I, milk with a Y. That’s right. Dairy-free alternatives are going to be your BFF on the paleo diet. Whether it’s almond mylk, banana mylk, or coconut mylk.

Be realistic about the sourcing of our food. While some super-strict paleoites are particular with the quality of meats. Don’t put too much pressure on eating organic and grass-fed all the time for your wallet’s sake. As always, pay attention to your body. If you start to feel funky, consider making some adjustments. On the flip side, track improvements in your stress and energy levels, as well as sleep quality, rather than focusing on weight loss. Lastly, there are a few health conditions that may be compromised by this diet. Continuously check your blood levels with a doctor, especially if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, or osteoporosis.

THE VERDICT

While there are aspects of the paleo diet I can definitely get behind, like cutting down on sugar and processed foods, there is not enough substantial evidence that eliminating grains and dairy from your diet will have a positive long-term affect. This diet was designed to emulate our ancestors, but the thing is we’ve come a long way since the cave days and we can’t turn a blind eye to the health benefits of a diverse diet that touches on every food group. 

What is Functional Training & Muscle Imbalances

The concept of functional fitness has been massacred within YouTube Fitness. This term functional training is such an umbrella term. So many different training applications can fall under this term functional training. If you hear people say this is functional training and this is not functional, that is just in many cases disingenuous. These people generally don’t understand the breadth of what functional training can mean. Within mainstream fitness, functional training would actually be categorized as movement training. These training methods are using alternative pieces of equipment, which are heavily movement-based, which have direct applications to sport athletic performance or daily activity.


 Most certainly that is one part of functional training. However, there are many other parts. For example, the barbell has many functional applications. Just because your wrists are in a locked fixed position on a barbell, does not mean that it’s not a functional piece of equipment. The function of these compound barbell movements are significant. They do translate to sports performance, your daily life and activate muscle groups. They do work through ranges of motion. When people really disregard the barbell as a piece of functional equipment, that’s just not correct. One very functional training application is correcting muscle imbalances and that’s the focus of this blog post. One of them the most common imbalances is to do with the rotator cuff muscles

 Let’s be honest pressing movements are fun and we love to do them. We get excited by them. External rotation is not that exciting and it can be neglected within macrocycles. One of the most common muscle imbalances is to do with the muscles surrounding the glenohumeral joint, the shoulder joint i.e. ball and socket joint. This is because we tend to see that people are very press-dominant within their training. 

Internally rotated positions have the potential for a great amount of force. So you can go to the gym and increase your strength. It’s all exciting and good stuff. Generally, these external rotation exercises help to balance out the pressing motions. But generally, not as exciting and also you have to perhaps use a lighter weight due to the mechanical position of externally rotating and the amount of force that you can generate. All the muscles within the rotator cuff have a specific function in relation to the attachment of the humerus into the glenohumeral joint. So, if we overdevelop our deltoids in our chest, we actually knock that humerus out of correct balance and the problem with this is that it can lead to impingement. Specifically, the impingement of the tendons in relation to the acromion. If we have a development of the deltoids pushing the humerus upwards then it is the development of the rotator cuff muscles which can counteract this and keep it within a functional position. We need to use preventative training or if you do have these muscle imbalances you need to correct it. If you’re not familiar with the rotator cuff muscles here’s a quick rundown.

INFRASPINATUS
TERES MINOR
SUPRASPINATUS
SUBSCAPULARIS

We have the supraspinatus. Supra meaning above the spine of the scapula. You can think of the supraspinatus as initiating the abduction of the glenohumeral joint aka lifting up your arm. Then we have the infraspinatus. Infra means below the spine of the scapula. This is an important muscle for external rotation. Then comes the teres minor which is a small muscle. But this also aids and supports in this external rotation. We also have the subscapularis subunits lying underneath the scapula. This muscle within the rotator cuff actually is involved in internal rotation due to its attachment point on the humerus. If you know the movement of the anatomy you know how to strengthen it. if we know that external rotation is the function of these muscles how do we strengthen it for external rotation exercise.

Now you can use the cable machine which is particularly flexible and useful and trace a good amount of tension through the strength curve. But here’s the main problem. People either go too light or too heavy. Now you need to train these muscle imbalances as you would any other muscle group. You need to use the principles of overload and progression. So, if you go to light, this is not an effective way to build strength within those small muscle groups. By contrast, if you are going too heavy the real issue with this is form. Form is so vital for corrective exercises because you purely want to isolate those rotator cuff muscles. You do not want to involve the deltoids. You must make sure you have a straight form. For example, with external rotation of the cable machine, keeping the elbows tucked. You just want to make sure that you are feeling that contraction of the muscle you are targeting.


Why You Should Not Do Endurance Training LISS (Low Intensity Steady State Cardio)

Today we are going to talk about why you shouldn’t do low intensity steady-state cardio or endurance training. Let’s get into this one.

So LISS otherwise known as low intensity steady-state cardio or endurance training should not be utilized whenever you’re looking to increase power output, increase strength, increase cognition or increase longevity and health. Long distance running and chronic excessive endurance training has a major impact on our endocrinology. It’s been shown in many studies that people who train for endurance events have higher levels of stress hormones especially cortisol adrenaline and nor-adrenaline and they remain high for chronic amounts of time even after the exercise is over.

So, endurance training is a sure-fire way to down regulate your metabolism. This is why so many runners are actually skinny fat. They actually don’t have that much muscle but then also they’re not really that lean in a lot of cases. They got that little belly pooch and they’re kind of saggy in a lot of cases too. So, by utilizing chronic endurance training, you encourage these elevated stress levels. When this continues for a long amount of time you then begin to encourage the extremely elevated stress hormones leading to an extremely catabolic state which begins to down regulate the thyroid. It begins to lower the metabolism encouraging muscle wasting which further decreases the metabolism. This chronic elevation in a catabolic state because of the elevation and stress hormones leads to the breaking down of muscle tissue which leads to the release of highly inflammatory amino acids like tryptophan and cysteine that go on to harm on thyroid. They actually suppress the thyroid and cause less available t4 to be converted into t3 for the body to use. So, people who do chronic endurance training are also shown to have lower amounts of protective hormones especially testosterone. This can lead to hypogonadism in men which is basically just low testosterone possibly leading to infertility. Even at rest testosterone levels were shown to consistently be lower than if men were not to partake in endurance training alone in many different studies. What’s also interesting though is that if the intensity of the exercise is ramped up and the timeframe is decreased, the opposite actually happens. So, in the grand scheme of things, it is not going to be devastating for your hormonal profile to go on a jog or a run every once in a while. Two three times a week is maximum. Instead you can do HIIT training or high-intensity interval training.

So, this has been shown to increase protective hormone levels like growth hormone, testosterone, progesterone. So, things such as sprints bounding or jumps sledgehammer swings and other short bouts of exercise at high efforts are the most effective at stimulating a positive adaptation response hormonally without being detrimental to the system as long as they aren’t taken to an extent that over stimulates the sympathetic nervous system that fight-or-flight nervous system. Whenever you go over a certain threshold it actually pushes you into that stress state that catabolic state that we’re talking about. So, you want to make sure not to go over that threshold. But HIIT training is also extremely beneficial for optimizing insulin sensitivity of the muscle. So because this is very explosive it actually activates the type 2 muscle fibres and allows for a better reception of blood glucose into the muscle.

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