Monday, May 16, 2011
Yeah, I'm talking about the feeling of being stuck, peaked, leveled out or whatever you want to call it...
A lot of people encounter this "peaking out" dilemma, and it is actually perfectly normal. Unfortunately, when some people get stuck in progress while trying to build muscle or achieve certain physical fitness goals, they often lose interest or just throw their hands up and quit working out altogether.
...But before I say anything else about this subject, maybe you need to ask yourself, "what are my goals?" Maybe you're fine with your current level of fitness and would like to spend more time on other things, perhaps even go out and have some fun - ha!
Anyway, many times when a person experiences these "plateau effects" and seem to be stuck in progress, they either need to take some time off, change their routine or completely alter the type of exercises they have been performing. For example, several years ago, I felt that I was tired of lifting the same ol' weights, doing the same boring bench presses and exercises, and was having to drag myself into the workout room because it got to where I dreaded lifting all that heavy weight. So, I decided to buy a Power Tower and started to build muscle without weights (pull-ups, dips, etc.). When I needed extra resistance, I would simply use a weighted vest. Now, after using the Power Tower for a few years, I'm about ready to start lifting heavy weights again and now I wished that I wouldn't have sold my damn weight bench to begin with! Ha-ha! But that's just an example, as changing the routines and exercises often temporarily rescues people from the "muscle building plateau" status.
Taking a break can also be great... Don't worry about losing muscle mass during your transitory hiatus; plus, if you've been working out for a few years, try to remember the points that were being made in the post "the mystery of muscle memory," as this should help you rest assured that your body will have no problem gaining what little muscle you may have lost during your period of inactivity.
When you do feel "leveled out" or whatever, this may also be a good time to become more quick & flexible with the muscle you already have. Being bulky isn't everything; in fact, many folks find that it slows them down and actually hurts their overall level of physical fitness. However, not everybody has the same goals, but I'm just saying that it might be a good idea to get out there and utilize you muscles in more natural movements as opposed to basic lifting, curling, pressing, etc. You know, things like shadow boxing, martial arts, various types of stretches, manual labor that replaces automatic gadgets (like chopping down trees with an axe instead of using a chain saw, using a push mower instead of a riding mower), and so on...
Speaking of boxing and martial arts, you may also be interested in my "picking out the right heavy bag / speed bag stand" entry, in addition to the "body opponent heavy bag" post.
Personally, I think some people may just need a little additional motivation. For example, when I used to feel stuck or in a rut, I'd just look at some motivational posters for my workout room, and alter the way my weight room looked by buying bikini posters, pictures of barely clad women, etc. Yep, throw in some nice visuals along with some motivational music, and you may be well on your way to new physical fitness goals that will free yourself from that "peaked" feeling you're suffering from.
---End of Post "Peaked, stuck, leveled out in progress & muscle gains?"
Older Post: "Why I take Coral Calcium"
Saturday, May 14, 2011
At any rate, this post is not about finding you mental help for your current addictions, psychological assistance to combat personal problems, nor is it recommending "alcoholic anonymous" sessions; it is mainly about finding natural ways to help fight the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol - if you do have this liquefied debacle.
Personally, I'm a big beer drinker and I've been drinking alcohol for at least 15 years with at least 14 of those years being on a daily basis. But during that time, I have had my moments where I would get involved with the "hard stuff" and especially vodka, so I know all about the temporary withdrawal symptoms (when you overdo it for an extended period of time) and how problematic they can be - when it comes to fighting the symptoms, nervousness, jitters, etc. It totally sucks, no doubt about it, but for me, the easiest way to "fight" the withdrawal symptoms was to quit drinking hard liqueur straight out of the damn bottle like some lunatic who is seeking a higher octane fuel supply. Ha-ha!
I'm glad I haven't had this withdrawal problem in a long while, but when thinking about some of the posts I have written over the last several months, many of the supplements I have mentioned, really do help calm the nerves, fight withdrawal symptoms that relate to the central nervous system - along with many other helpful benefits.
This entry is simply going to be a "resource link post" that will provide links to the pages where I have promoted certain natural supplements (no prescription drugs) that will help the individuals who suffer from drug-related withdrawal symptoms (like alcohol), and perhaps will ease people into the quitting stage or if anything, just calm them down a bit and improve their overall sense of well-being...
Natural ways to help fight symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:
* Health Benefits of Taurine
* Korean Ginseng Extract
* Why I use Coral Calcium...
* Magnolia Extract - Fight Stress & Calm Down
* Now, if you're looking for a natural way to help cleanse and/or detoxify your liver from all of the hardcore drinking, visit: http://perpendicularity.org/blog/2010/05/03/liver-detox-milk-thistle/
* If you're feeling in better spirits, have no withdrawal issues whatsoever, actually try to drink alcohol in moderation, and are also curious about some of the positive effects that can be attained from this delightful substance, visit the blog post "Health Benefits of Beer & Alcohol."
Related Post: Grapefruit is not good for Detox or certain Medications
---End of Post "Natural ways to help fight symptoms of alcohol withdrawal..."
Sunday, May 8, 2011
The Latissimus dorsi is the widest muscle of the back. If you'd like to see a quick diagram for a visual refreshment, look below:
If you're able to build your Lats up and proper development takes place, this is the muscle that will give you that V-Shape or V-like taper to your upper torso, and especially when viewing from the back. It sort of gives you that explosive look, and makes you appear broader than what you really are. If you combine expanded Lats with bulky shoulders, even a smaller framed person can start looking wide. Throw in some well-developed trapezius muscles, and you really will be ready to sport that "tank top" this year...
Okay, now back to the main subject: If you are a beginner or have trouble lifting your body weight, pull-ups may not be for you - at least not at the moment. If you'd still like to work your Lats, you can always use the Cable Lat Pulldown machine and the pulleys used for arm rows... that is, if you own an exercise machine or have a gym membership, etc. And if you don't have access to any of this bulky equipment, there is still hope, as you can still use dumbbells for bent-over rows and so on.
I'm just not a fan of bent-over rows or the rowing motion in general. I mean really, if you want to perform this particular motion to build up the Latissimus dorsi muscle group (in hopes of widening your back), none of these cable pulleys or dumbbell rows would compare to getting in a small boat with paddles or a canoe weighted down with passengers, and rowing the thing around a lake for hours and hours, several days a month. Ha-ha! But seriously, rows work well for some people, I'd just prefer the paddle boat if I resorted to using the rowing motion in general, that's all. I must say, though, rows seem to be better at thickening the back muscles as opposed to widening them, although they can do both. BUT, the Lat Pulldown exercise and the Pull-ups using a weighted vest, seem to work better at widening this particular area of the back.
As for the Cable Lat Pulldown exercise, since you can manually adjust the weight, it is great for the beginners who can't do enough pull-ups to amount to a workout and also for the advanced bodybuilders who find the pull-ups to be less than challenging. However, I can remedy that minor problem for the advanced folks, by recommending that you execute your pull-ups & chin-ups while training with a weighted vest.
...Unless you have something out in the yard that resembles a pull-up bar or you have built one yourself, you may also be interested in buying a Power Tower, as I mentioned in my post: "Gain Muscle Mass & Power without weights." Of course, there are other cheaper chin-up/pull-up alternatives on the market, but the Power Tower also provides you with the opportunity to do other bodybuilding exercises in addition to pull-ups, such as: dips, leg lifts and push-ups on slightly inclined bars.
Anyway, good luck building this, what I call, "stubborn muscle group," no matter what method you decide to use. And if you are successful at bulking up your Latissimus dorsi area, you'll be proud of that V-shape figure that comes along with it. Now, go build those damn Lats...
---End of Post
Saturday, May 7, 2011
This post is just a quick reminder, as to what to focus on, when it comes to putting the "tank" in the "top" of those, uh, "tank tops." Ha!
When it comes to looking your best in that particular choice of attire, working/pumping/training the deltoids and the trapezius muscles to the fullest, is your best bet. Believe it or not, a lot of people who train hard, workout with weights and/or strive for higher levels of physical fitness, are not even familiar with common anatomic terms. So, with that being said, in case you don't know, the deltoids are the shoulder muscles, and the trapezius muscles are right beside the neck and also extend from the back of the neck and down the middle region of the upper back.
Since the trapezius muscles are spread out, I'll provide an image below to help clarify the actual location of this often neglected muscle group:
By looking at the image above, you may be thinking, "how does working the trapezius muscles help me look good in a 'tank top' or whatever, when they look more like minuscule back muscles?" Well, that particular image shows the trapezius muscle group from the rear, but really, it is all about getting that bulge beside your neck, next to your shoulders, that you will see from the front. If you train hard and build up some big deltoids, what better to compliment them by setting down some good muscle bulk right beside them, next to your neck? Ya know, it sort of gives you that bull-dog, thick neck, upper-stack-heavy type of "chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out" sort of look. Yeah, the nice guy look... Ha-ha!
Anyway, I've already briefly wrote about building up your deltoids on a post I did a few months ago, and you can check that out here, if interested: "Simple ways to Build Powerful Deltoids."
What makes this even more simple, is that one of the main exercises I promoted for building up your deltoids, also works the trapezius muscles out, very well. If you're wondering, this simple exercise that is best performed with individual, heavy dumbbells, is called "arm raises." It is where you slowly raise and lower the weight/dumbbell that you're holding from your sides or in front of you, up to shoulder level, then back down to your side or in front of your hips (starting position). I prefer the lateral raise (from the sides) because to me, the side motion works more of the deltoid and trapezius region than it does from the front. These type of lifts also work the outer portion of your forearms, which is always a plus.
Of course, there are many other muscles that you may want to focus on when it comes to looking good in a "tank top," but the point of this post is to simply state that the true "tank in the top" mostly comes from an impressive set of deltoids and the neck-bulging trapezius muscles. Hell, if all you mainly got is big arms and a muscular chest, a tight tee-shirt may be more complimentary for you as opposed to a tank top. ...But those sexy beach babes who have a fetish for men in tank tops, might make you focus more on other muscular focal points besides arms & chest, such as what I mentioned prior... Okay, I have to stop right here... Ha-ha! That sounds a bit too funny for me, even after writing that little sentence about beach babes. I'm the modest type who would rather stay fully dressed in public and couldn't care less how I look in a tank top because I will be too busy taking her top & bottom off, and would much rather show my "bedroom muscle" to the ladies in private besides my deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectorals, latissimus dorsi and trapezius muscles; but then again, I'm trying to give advice on this health blog while I keep my composure at the same time. Damn, I'm confused now... LOL!
At any rate, enjoy the nice weather while it lasts and have fun with whatever you do!
---End of Post
Monday, May 2, 2011
The need for using weight gainers usually fall into two categories or reasons: 1) The individual who is thin, but works out regularly and still has trouble gaining mass; 2) The hardcore bodybuilder who needs an easy way to add extra calories to help maintain their current muscle bulk or to achieve even more muscle mass.
I don't have much to say about reason #2 because if you're seriously into bodybuilding and you have a lot of muscle mass, you really are going to have to consume a lot more calories to maintain your beast-like structure. Even though, consuming large amounts of calories can easily be achieved by diet alone, the convenience of gulping down massive amounts of calories from these flavored milkshakes, makes it tempting if you have the money and desire to do so.
When it comes to reason #1, I have to disagree with the use of weight gainers. People who are naturally thin, slim, whatever, don't have the same metabolism nor do their organs function the same as the ones who can easily gain weight just by overeating. These are the type of people who can eat all day long and never seem to gain weight or very little. For the most part, you'll just be straining your digestive organs trying to process and rid the body of extra calories that it doesn't want, evidently. However, if you have this particular body type, there is still hope and you can "bulk up" over time (be patient) without the use of steroids or growth hormones. You have to make your body produce muscle by working hard and getting enough protein to ensure proper muscle repair & development, which has nothing to do with consuming mass quantities of food or weight gainers, for that matter. People with high metabolisms or the ones who stay slim no matter what they eat, often have a totally different rate of digestion, levels of enzymes, and a less efficient nutrient absorption rate - when compared to people who seem to get more out of their food, gain weight easily, and so on. Most people want to blame it on individual metabolism alone, but there is really a lot more to it than that.
Anyway, people who have trouble gaining weight would be better off adding a little more meat and/or protein to their diet and adjust their weight lifting to "less reps and more weight," not "more reps and less weight." Aerobic exercise is definitely not your answer, but it is excellent for your cardiovascular health. Anyway, you need to train your stubborn little body and make it understand that you need more mass to withstand all this heavy weight you lift on a regular basis. But, if you're still seeking weight gainers, feel free; knock yourself out. I'm just saying that if you must purchase and/or choose between weight gainers or protein shakes, you'd be better off with the protein drinks because in my opinion, you'll waste your money on the weight gainers.
Once again, for the serious bodybuilders that have no trouble gaining weight or that have a lot of muscle mass to maintain - and you have the extra money to spend, weight gainers may be just for you. Maybe I'm old fashion, but a balanced, healthy diet with a few extra servings of meat & potatoes is my idea of "weight gainers." Although, maybe I'm biased when it comes to my views on protein shakes (whatever happened to eggs?) and weight gainers... Especially since I've always been fairly lean with an athletic build, so the need for weight gainers would clash with my sexy, pimp-style body... Ha!
---At any rate, if you're interested in browsing through a big selection of Protein Shakes, click the image below:
---If you're interested in browsing through a fine selection of Weight Gainers, click the image below:
Random Blog Link: "How to Estimate your Max Bench Press Lift"
---End of Post
Sunday, May 1, 2011
---The Health Benefits of Taurine:
Taurine is a "free" type of amino acid, as it is not a structural protein and it roams freely throughout the blood and tissues. In the human body, the highest concentrations of this amino acid is found in the eyes and heart.
Taurine plays an important role in brain, eye, and heart health, among many other facets of human health and increased well-being.
Taurine is thought to strengthen your heart muscle and to lower blood pressure, in addition to having many other cardiovascular benefits.
Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid and it increases and/or helps with liver function, increases bile production which aids in fat digestion and the removal of toxins, and lowers cholesterol via the bile release. Taurine is also known to help detoxify the body, which this would also parallel with the enhanced liver function, obviously.
Taurine has antioxidant properties and can have anti-inflammatory effects. It has been used to help treat alcoholism, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and several other psychological ailments.
Taurine has shown to have benefits for people who have Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
I have read that Taurine helps reduce the amount of lactic acid in the body and, if true, this would be great for the ones who have a lot of physical exertion, workout regularly, etc.
---What are some natural sources of Taurine?
Taurine is found in abundance within certain exotic types of seafood. It is also found in a variety of meats, fish and other common seafood, eggs, and milk. Basically, if you're a strict vegetarian who refuses to eat meat and you would still like to take advantage of the health benefits of taurine, you will have to revert to pill supplements. The body does make a fair amount of taurine, but the major source of this particular amino acid still comes from your diet.
So, whether you eat a lot of meat or not, you may still want to purchase this beneficial amino acid in supplement form...
Click the Image Below, to Browse through a large selection of Taurine:
Related Blog Post Links: Health Benefits of Vinegar and the Health Benefits of Lycopene.
---End of Post
Friday, April 29, 2011
Most hand grippers on the market are, for the most part, only good for stress relief and at best, you may encounter a slight increase in grip strength if used excessively. If you're serious about gaining grip power and building powerful-looking forearms, I recommend "Captains of Crush." If you'd like to read more about those particular grippers and are also possibly interested in ordering these high-quality hand grips, visit the blog page "Build Forearm & Hand Strength - Captains of Crush."
Anyway, the 3 basic ways to use hand grippers are:
1) the standard grip motion that involves squeezing the gripper until it totally closes, then quickly release the hand grip, and then squeeze again; repeat process until the desired amount of reps are met.
2) involves the upside down grip; you'll perform the same action as described in method #1, but it will work the forearm somewhat differently since the points of pressure will be different. Fluctuating between the standard grip and the upside grip will give you a more complete lower arm workout.
3) is what I call the "squeeze & hold method" and it is an excellent way to finish off a hand & forearm workout. You simply squeeze the gripper shut with a firm grip, then hold the gripper closed for as long as you can. You can also use the very similar "hold & release method" if you desire, which is basically the same concept except you will hold the gripper closed for a preselected amount of time before releasing it, then continue to repeat the process until the desired amount of reps.
Although I have already gave a link to what I consider to be the best hand grippers on the market (Captains of Crush), if you'd like to browse through a large selection of hand strengthening devices and grippers, click the image below:
---End of Post "3 basic ways to use Hand Grippers"
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I have several peeves when it comes to other people and their mowing philosophy, but two of them really stand out. Number one, is the lawn mowing lunatics who mow their yard every two days (thanks to the good ole riding mower) - due to an obvious obsessive compulsive disorder, among other things. You can read all about what I think of those certain individuals, on another blogspot blog of mine, here: http://anti-dolt.blogspot.com/2010/05/lawn-mowing-lunatics-obsessive.html
My second peeve about other people when it comes to mowing, is the ones who have tiny yards or even normal-sized yards, but refuse to use a push mower because they are too lazy. I'm not talking about the individuals who are disabled, old, or have huge yards.
This post isn't a rant, but it is aggravating to watch people who are overweight, out of shape, lazy or whatever, refuse to exert any physical effort whatsoever, but then talk about how they wished they were in better condition or health. WTF?
This is a very simple question, and if answered right, many individuals might actually get a little exercise this year. Can you use a push mower instead of a riding mower? Can you? Do you enjoy being lazy? Have you gave up on life and just feel like being lethargic is the best path to take in life? Think about it... I really think some people should sell their damn riding mower, go buy a push mower, get a little exercise this year and quit whining about cutting the grass or how they sweat too much in the hot sun. For some folks, mowing the yard is about the only time they will do anything outdoors each year, which is not a very healthy lifestyle - to stay indoors 24/7.
I'm not your mother nor am I your physical trainer, but have any of you "less-than-motivated" people ever thought about getting a little more active? I know, technology, computers and other convenient technological advances out there can make a lot of us lazy or less active at times, but some people would be surprised at how much better they would feel if they moved around more and/or did more stuff outdoors.
Other benefits to push mowing a yard besides using a riding mower, is the fact that it saves gas. The smaller motor on a push mower doesn't have to work as hard, especially because it is lighter and it doesn't have to carry your dependent ass around the yard, and just takes way less gasoline per job as opposed to the big, expensive riding yard machine that many of you have become fond of. In my opinion, push mowing a yard also allows a person to think about a lot of things and sort of temporarily clears the mind, almost medicinal at times, as you constantly go through the rhythmic patterns of mowing back & forth, left & right...
Anyway, I know that most people in general are going to do whatever they want, no matter what they are aware of, told about, or whatever. But if one person could read this post and say, "you know, I really do need more exercise and I really don't need a riding mower for my yard," and actually sell it and start using a push mower this year, it will be worth the ramble. At any rate, just dropping a link down to my "lawn mowing lunatics" post, still made this entry worth writing. Ha-ha!
Okay folks, now try getting off your backside a little more this year and, if you get really motivated and have the land space, you may even want to put out a garden and grow your own food, as well. Enjoy the nice weather, while it's here......
---End of Post "Can you use a push mower instead of a riding mower?"
It seems like some of the most common ear ailments that I've read about, are the following: ringing of the ears (tinnitus) and frequent problems with ear wax, which can lead to a lot of other symptoms or stem from ear infections and so on.
The problem that I notice a lot with tinnitus, besides the ones suffering with lifelong ear ringing and the misery it must cause in severe cases, is all the scams out there that claim to be a miracle cure for this seemingly common ailment. Man, this junk is almost as bad as the "Male Enhancement" promotions. If you're suffering from tinnitus that is due to ear damage (especially from the excessive exposure to loud noise), there hasn't been a medical cure for it that I'm aware of, yet there are these "cure tinnitus" pills all over the place claiming to do that very same thing (cure tinnitus). I think a lot of people who are actually thinking of buying some of these baloney products with fictitious claims, might need to read a quick blog post that warns about the possible scams out there. You can find it here: "Tinnitus Scams - Be leery..."
Next in line, is for all the ones who have problems with plugged ear wax. Although the body produces it for a reason, some folks have this gooey junk so bad, that they literally end up with temporary hearing loss. This stuff isn't funny, either. You should try walking around with one functioning ear while the other feels like it has water in it. I will say, it has happened to me before, and it just ruined everything because no matter what I was doing, I just didn't feel like myself. In that sense, I would at least classify it as "temporary suffering," to say the least. The following link will provide you with some information that will hopefully help the ones who end up with mild to moderate cases of plugged ear wax and need to find a way to loosen it. This is what worked for me, but I'm not a doctor so if in doubt, use your own discretion and/or go see a professional who specializes in this field. Anyway, you can find the link here: "How to help loosen & remove plugged ear wax."
While doing a quick image search, I found this ear picture. I must say, some people have other alternative outlooks when it comes to common ear problems. By looking at the image below, it appears that having a "naked ear" would be a problem... Now that's what I call a styling set of ornamental ears! I take that back... Perhaps they are suffering from something else? Ha-ha! Cheers!
[ Image Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Modified_Ear.jpg ]
---End of Post "Suffering from Common Ear Problems?"
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
"Hibiscus tea is the infusion made from the calyces (sepals) of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, an herbal tea drink consumed both hot and cold by people around the world. It is also referred to as roselle (another common name for the hibiscus flower), flor de Jamaica in Latin America, karkadé in Egypt and Sudan, bissap or wonjo in West Africa, sorrel in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, red sorrel in the wider Caribbean, and other names in other regions." [per Wikipedia]
Outside of green, black, hibiscus, and chamomile teas, there are other healthy herbal teas out there on the market. The brand "Celestial Seasonings" has a wide variety of such things. For example, their herbal "Tension Tamer" tea contains a big variety: Eleuthero, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Ginger, Chamomile, West Indian Lemongrass, Licorice, Catnip, and Tilia Flowers.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
I've owned one for a while, although I don't wear it as much as I should - but they are really beneficial to use. I find that a weighted vest is especially helpful for the ones that don't rely on lifting heavy weights, and also for the ones who exercise via a variety of training methods.
For example, I bought this type of vest to mainly use while I'm working out on my Power Tower. I only purchased a 10lb weight vest, but it was still enough to make my pull-ups and dips more challenging. This type of physical fitness gear is really great for the ones who workout without weights and depend on their body weight for the sole resistance of the performed movements at hand. ...See, with the addition of a weighted vest, you no longer have to worry about leveling out or "peaking" in strength, since you can always buy a heavier vest if the exercise becomes too easy. Speaking of that, when you get to the point where pull-ups using additional weight becomes too easy, you have room to brag. Ha!
Pull-ups, push-ups, and dips on a Power Tower is not all a weighted vest is good for. There are so many uses for these. Some people use them while running, walking or performing daily tasks. They would also be very effective to use during martial arts training or when you are punching on your heavy bag. All of those prior activities while wearing these vests, will help strengthen your torso, abs, back, legs, etc. - due to the added weight.
Below, I'll provide an image of a typical weighted vest. Most of these they make now, have the option to add or remove the individual weight bars as you see fit. They come in a variety of sizes & weights. I've seen them weigh 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, and even up to 80lbs. Dang, I couldn't imagine running around, training or working out with an extra 80lbs. on my back! But, it depends on your physical fitness needs and what type of exercises you'll be using it for - when it comes to picking out the right one. For starters, I'd recommend buying a 10 to 20lb. weight vest.
If you're interested in browsing through a fine selection of weighted vests, either click the image below or follow the link under it:
--------------------> 'Click Here' for additional Weighted Vest selections! <--------------------
Side Note: Upon browsing through the various selections, you may also be interested in ankle weights, wrist weights, weighted gloves, and so on.
---End of Post "Use a Weighted Vest for Training"
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Since this is a health blog, I'll try to mainly concentrate on the potential health benefits of vinegar. If you're interested in the other aspects of this acidic delight, just do a web search about "the uses of vinegar," "cleaning with vinegar," or "cooking with vinegar." Anyway...
I suppose one of the most commonly used vinegar tonics, prepared as a simple-to-drink concoction, is the 2 tablespoons of vinegar in one cup of water solution. ...When drank like that, some people add honey or sodium bicarbonate to the mix, to make it more palatable. Personally, I can easily gulp down a cup with 4 tablespoons of vinegar with not much problem albeit I usually go for more water after I'm done; ha-ha!
Many people, especially health fanatics, try to ingest vinegar on a daily basis. I usually only use it purposely, as a concoction, when I feel that my blood pressure has been up for a while or when I feel like my body is suffering from inflammation due to physical or mental stress.
With that being said, one the best health benefits (at least to me) is that vinegar can lower blood pressure and acts as a mild anti-inflammatory.
Some people use vinegar for insect bites, stings, etc.
I'm sure many of you have heard about how vinegar is great for the skin when consumed regularly, helps with acne, and so on.
Now, I can't prove this nor have I did an extensive study on it, but it is believed by many that vinegar can help detoxify the body by flushing out toxins from the liver and other internal organs, the blood, etc. I'd say that it could help a person detox, but I'm not going to say that it is the best method for a detoxification process. If you'd like to read more about this subject, visit my blog post "Natural Ways to Detoxify your Liver."
Some people use vinegar while on strict diets that aim to lose weight, as an aid to curb your appetite. Hmm, maybe that's why I've read before that eating pickles suppresses hunger. Interesting...
The ingestion of vinegar helps with digestion and intestinal functions, and is often believed to have the ability to help lower cholesterol - which is very possible.
Some people have found that using vinegar can help with headaches, hiccups, arthritis, and other uncomfortable ailments. I've also read where people have found vinegar to be an effective treatment for their warts. Vinegar is naturally an anti-microbial agent that helps kill bacteria, viruses, etc.
As you can see, there are many health benefits of vinegar and it has way more uses than what many folks realize. I have loads of this stuff around the house, mainly because I use it to pickle peppers from my garden each year.
However, I will say, it seems like the most beneficial form of vinegar is apple cider. I just have the standard 5% white vinegar for now, since that is what I use for pickling, but I'll probably buy some of the apple cider vinegar in the future, to use for some of the natural remedies - like I mentioned prior. Hey, anything you can use that is natural to replace the use of man-made drugs or chemicals, is always a big plus.
Well, that about wraps it up. I'm sure there are many other uses and benefits for this substance, but I just went over some of the most common ones I have heard of. Cheers!
Related Blog Post: Health Benefits of Lycopene
---End of Post "Health Benefits of Vinegar"
Monday, March 14, 2011
Anyway, on this post, I'm just going to make a few comments, drop down a couple links that relate to Black Cherry, and stumble right along...... Oh, if you're interested in reading more about anti-inflammatory properties, check out the post I wrote here:
"Heart Healthy - Anti-Inflammatory Sources"
Before we go any further, you may want to read about the Black Cherry tree. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:
"The fruit is suitable for making jam, cherry pies and has some use in flavoring liqueurs; they are also a popular flavoring for sodas and used in many ice creams. The black cherry is commonly used instead of sweet cherries in order to achieve a sharper taste. It is also used in cakes which involve dark chocolate such as a Black Forest gateau and as garnishes to drinks like cocktails. [As you can see, the black cherries from this splendid tree have many uses outside of its recently discovered anti-inflammatory properties albeit in my opinion, the health benefits from taking the extracts in pill form outweigh any of these prior uses of black cherry.]
The timber is also very valuable, perhaps the premier cabinetry timber of the U.S., traded as "cherry." It is known for its strong red color and high price. Its weight per cubic meter when dried is around 580 kg. The wood is also used for cooking and smoking foods, where it imparts a unique flavor."
You can read more about the tree itself, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_cherry
Anyway, back to the extract that helps fight arthritis and inflammation: I've tried this before, and it really seems to work. You don't have to be arthritic or anything to need or use this supplement. It acts as an antioxidant, thins the blood to reduce inflammation, and regardless of any medical data, it is black cherry concentrate. Many of you know that berries have an amazing amount of health benefits, so really, if you have a few extra bucks, it wouldn't hurt to buy this supplement from a reliable manufacturer. I've only tried the Natural Brand from GNC, 250mg. per capsule. However, I only take it on occasions, when I feel the need.
Speaking of inflammation, it doesn't have to be joint pain. In fact, inflammation can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, etc., in the long run. Many things in life can cause stress hormones to release certain chemicals in the body that often causes inflammation. Hell, a poor diet, having too much acid in the body (lowered PH), mental stress, sleep deprivation, and so on, can all raise the risk of internal or external inflammation. Black Cherry extract is not the only natural solution, either. If you follow the link I gave a few moments ago (Heart Healthy - Anti-Inflammatory Sources), you'll find a few other alternatives.
Well, enough talk for now. If you're interested in possibly buying some Black Cherry supplements, I browsed through Amazon.com and dug up a search page....
Random Blog Link: "Is a Multivitamin for you?"
Sunday, March 13, 2011
A few moments ago, I was doing a quick web search about red meat - just to see if all the debate has calmed down over the years. Nope! It was in full swing! Some of these people were referring to red meat like it was a poison and pretty much had a formula "Red Meat = Death." WTF? At the same time, for the ones who weren't vegetarian, they was acting like eating chicken is superior to beef, and so on. Okay, lets get this straight: For one, I enjoy eating all different types of meat. But, unless you're raising your own livestock or fish, do you really know what they eat and/or what they're injected with? To down the cow and praise a chicken that is being raised in mass production, is a little absurd, if ya ask me. As much as I love to devour a plate full of hot wings, baked chicken legs, and use chicken eggs for a good protein source, I do realize that a chicken is a very nasty animal that will eat about anything it can get down its throat; much like a pig (and we all know how swine gets a bad name). A cow, on the other hand, basically eats grain, fresh grass, hay, etc.
I have no problem with vegetarians or people who don't believe in eating meat, but lets don't start blaming meat for the reason some people are in bad health......
Here's what the main problem is (in my opinion) and the reason why a lot of research points to certain types of meat as being the reason for health problems:
What's in it? This is what many people forget. How many hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs has the animal been subjected to in order to speed up growth and production? Yeah, it seems to me that the chemicals and drugs and all that other crazy crap that is hard to pronounce when reading the ingredients on the food labels, is what may be killing people the most.
Processed meats? Okay, a lot of processed meats contain red meat along with white meat, but processed foods such as bologna, hot dogs, beef jerky, and so on, contain sodium nitrites and other unhealthy, risky additives. Speaking of bologna, hot dogs, vienna sausages, potted meat, etc.: I'm still not sure exactly what all in the hell is in there. I mean really, some of this junk tastes good, but anytime I read the words "Mechanically Separated Chicken, Beef, Pork," I'm like, "uh, oh shit!" Your guess is good as mine. Hell, who knows, you may have ate some very exotic meat in those hot dogs for all you know. Ha-ha! Just kidding, well, I hope I was...
Do you trim the fat off your steak? This may very well be a good reason why meat gets a bad rep. Are you one of those who orders or cooks a big rib-eye steak and upon finishing your meal, all you see is a little juice on the plate and nothing else? Damn! It might be a good idea to trim the pure fat chunks and strips off the steak, wouldn't ya say? To me, eating freshly cut steak as opposed to hamburger steak that has already been pattied up, not only gives you a more primal feel when eating the blissful flesh that is full of body building protein and nutrients, it also allows you to have more control over how much of the fat you want to ingest - unlike the hamburger patties or steaks that already have the fat that you'd normally trim, all mixed up with the lean meat.
Eat a lot of sausage and burgers? This is one thing I can't take up for, when it comes to the defense of red meat, pork or beef. If you eat a lot of sausage (the good ol' tasty swine) or a lot of hamburgers (the good ol' American meal), you are getting a mix of all that tasty, unhealthy fat that has literally been run through the mill or grinder to blend the lean cuts with the lard. I've made 'em both, back when I was a butcher. I also enjoy consuming both of these, but at least I know that it is not the most healthy thing I can ingest. You should see somebody make sausage, for example. I still remember adding what appeared to be nearly half lard into the meat tray with lean cuts of pork, running it through the grinder a couple times and presto, all that lard is now blended in with the sausage. Although hamburger meat is leaner than pork sausage, a similar ratio is applied - often 73 lean/27 fat or 80/20 is usually the leanest for the typical burger, which is still a lot of fat per ounce.
Do you burn your meats? This is not good at all for your intestinal and/or colon health. When you burn and overcook your meat, it alters the molecular structures in the meat and can release harmful free radicals, blah-blah, and whatever, that can have a negative impact on your digestive tract. Also, even though I know it's fun and tasty, grilling your food on a charcoal grill is also suppose to be bad on your colon, and whatnot. Hey, if you want to grill, I say grill. Quit worrying about everything and live a little, but I'm just saying it might not be a good idea to grill out with charcoal ALL THE TIME or burn your meats on a regular basis.
Do you just mostly eat meat? If so, this is definitely not a wise choice unless you're living off seafood or something - and even if so, you still need other types of food. I think meat also gets blamed a lot for the ones who come down with ailments due to their body being too acidic. If all you eat is chicken, beef, and pork and consume very little fruits, grains, and vegetables, of course you are not doing your body a favor. With that type of eating habits, no wonder these people are always blaming the meat!
Bottom line: When it comes to meat, the best bet is farm-raised, organic, lean cuts and reasonable-sized servings with somewhat of a balanced diet. Some people don't consider fish a meat (why they don't, I'm yet to figure out), but it is an extremely healthy choice that is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. Oh, and to finish my defense for beef consumption: it is loaded with balanced Amino Acids which is great for the protein seekers who need it to recover and build muscle from their workouts. Also, beef has B vitamins (especially B-12), a great source of iron, and contains a lot of selenium - which has been found to have anti-cancer properties in some studies. Red meat has also been thought to raise testosterone levels, which is a good thing for males or anyone trying to build muscle. However, I can't say for sure that the last tidbit has been proven without a doubt, but, due to the nutritional value of the common slab of lean beef, I'd say it is very possible. In addition to all of this, Taurine comes from a large variety of meats and seafood. If you're not aware about this particular amino acid, you may want to read the "Health Benefits of Taurine" blog post.
This particular blog entry reminds me of a blog post I did on another site of mine, a while back. It was called "The Optimal Caveman Diet - Foraging Hunter and Gatherer."
---End of Post "Quit blaming the meat!"
Monday, February 28, 2011
Anyway, there is a lot of information and studies about the beneficial effects on the body when it comes to bringing positive Chi (also known as Ch'i or Qi or "energy flow") into your living environment. After a long days work that is often filled with negative energy, it is good to come home to a place or a room that you feel at peace with and/or comfortable. There are so many people who practically come home from work or wherever, and walk into an even bigger mess. It is hard to "feel at home" if your house is in disarray, wouldn't you say? There is enough stress in daily life, so why not try to at least decorate a room or the entire house in a way that sort of represents your way of thinking or level of creativity. Hey, if bare walls and plain colors soothe you, then that is fine too. If you live in a house with a lot of people, you may be better off concentrating on your bedroom or recreation room (if you have one), etc.
Regardless of this subject matter, I'm not going to be getting into all that Feng shui talk or other Chinese philosophy about positive and negative Chi, mainly because this is a fairly simple concept. I don't see anything miraculous or complicated about why it is healthy to surround yourself with things you like. I think all that chatter about "energy flow" and "positive Chi" and "the force of Qi," is what turns this into a bunch of woo-woo babble and ultimately distracts people from the main point. Ha-ha!
Okay, now back to main reason for this post... Below, I'm going to provide 4 links to other blog posts I wrote elsewhere, that may or may not help give you some ideas for adding some positive energy into your home:
Metaphysical Crystals & Healing Stones - on that post, I briefly go over some of the concepts found within the study of metaphysical tools, charmstones, etc. However, even if all that "crystal healing" crap is just a bunch of marketing baloney, that makes no difference. You can find some spectacular crystals and stones from websites that sell this type of stuff. Personally, I don't use it for any magical practices. I simply use it to decorate the house and provide a positive, natural-looking atmosphere. Some of my favorites are the Amethyst crystal clusters, Rose Quartz, and Malachite.
Looking for Infinity Mirrors? - on that post, I provide a few images of these crazy mirrors along with a shopping link. If you decide to visit the Infinity Mirror post, you'll see how they could easily add some creativity and uniqueness to a person's home or room. Side note: These things are rather expensive, so don't expect to buy infinity mirrors for just a few dollars.
Himalayan Salt Products, Lamps, Tea Light Candle Holders - is a post about the health benefits of heated Himalayan salt - due to the release of negative ions into your home. Within that blog entry, I provided shopping links and images of some of the products that are currently available. I have several of these in my house, and they help provide a very natural look to your living space; very much worth the money!
Freshwater Aquariums - A scenic, decorative hobby... - is a blog post about starting a freshwater aquarium. I just sort of threw that link on here, in case it might interest anyone. Once you get used to managing your tank, you may end up buying more. They are truly beautiful to have, and they can bring positive energy into your home by adding a touch of nature to your room, etc. At one time, I had 4 tanks in the house and 3 was in my bedroom. My girlfriend at the time, said my room looked like "aqua world" or something. Ha-ha! However, fish tanks are not for everyone. In fact, for some folks, they will do anything but provide positive Chi and will be a big headache for the ones who are not responsible enough for this particular hobby. Basically, you need to make sure you really want to get into this hobby before diving in and wasting your money. I've seen some people who ended up with a lot of money spent for nothing because they let their tank become a sewer with dead fish - due to neglect and stupidity. Anyway...
Well, that's all the links for this post. I've used all those things mentioned above to decorate my home, along with other items such as ancient Egyptian stuff, martial art weaponry, dragons, etc. The bottom line: if possible, try to surround yourself with positive energy, Chi, Ch'i, Qi, or however you want to label it (ha-ha!), if at all possible - and especially in your home. Cheers!
---End of Post
Anyway, today I'm speaking about finding motivational posters for your workout room, that is, if you're lucky enough to have a separate room that is solely used for physical fitness training. This doesn't apply to the ones who use a gym, or have their training equipment spread out throughout the house, etc. But, if you do have a workout room, it might not be a bad idea to buy a few posters that really get your macho, ego-filled, testosterone engine revved up.
You know, all this poster talk reminds me of when I was a teenager. I had all these hot babes plastered on the wall in the room I would lift weights and, on occasions, it would backfire on me. Instead of looking at them as I was doing the repetitions and sets of exercises, while imagining being built and attractive enough for them to want me, I would sometimes just start fantasizing a little too much and would end up leaving the room before even starting and working something else out, then saying "the hell with it" and cancel the weight lifting session for the day. Ha-ha!
However, for the most part, it is generally a good idea to have some motivational posters in the area that you do your exercises.
Okay, now to the heart of the post. I was browsing through Amazon for some posters. ...Now they'll list 5 or 6 million posters in their search results, but you can always narrow it down by using more specifics in the search bar. I'll leave that up to you, but I will provide a few images of some of the more attractive posters I found on the first 3 or 4 pages of search results, and after that, I'll provide a link that you can use to start your search from here. By the way, if you do go to buy some posters, don't worry about spending much money. I seen several really good ones for only 2 or 3 dollars, etc.
Click on any image below, to enlarge for a better view:
[I'm sorry, but I had to remove all of the motivational images I originally had on this post, due to the potential violation of Google AdSense TOS agreement. However, if you follow the Amazon link below, you can find all of 'em again and many more!]
------------------------>'Click Here' to Shop for Posters via Amazon!<------------------------
---End of Blog Post "Buy Motivational Posters for your Workout Room"
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Since this is a health-related post, I'll "try" to keep other non-related issues, politics, and certain circumstances out of it, even though many things in life relate to this subject: "Motivation is the key to any successful regimen!"
Okay, so what's your problem: Are you tired of the same old workout? Do you lack vigor? Are you having trouble staying with anything that might involve a routine or a systematic approach? Do you find it difficult or a task just to get out of bed every day? Are you currently suffering from depression? Do you need to take a pill for every ailment that comes your way? Are you a procrastinator that almost has to be forced against your will just to do anything? Well, if you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you may be suffering from something called "lack of motivation."
Damn, I'm really getting off base here, even though I "tried" to keep it health & fitness related. Anyway, the point is: Finding motivation isn't much different than just waking the fuck up and smacking your own ass. Simply put: There is no need to search for what motivates you, it is just a matter of going after what you've been too lazy to get. If you need mediums of motivation outside of your own brain, then certain types of music or motivational movies may also help, but regardless, it really is about getting off your ass, just like the picture below demonstrates:
Well, this post may have lost its original motivation to convey the message that motivation is the key to any successful regimen, but it doesn't mean that it has lost its sense of humor......
Below, I'll post a few random images that I gathered from the web, to depict some of the concepts found from the term motivation. Click on any of the images below, to enlarge for a better view. Enjoy......
Monday, February 14, 2011
Side note: I recently did a blog post over Ginkgo Biloba - which in my opinion, is just a bunch of herbal, marketing baloney with false claims of being able to enhance your brain power. Trust me, exercising your mind via thoughts and mental activity is way better than hoping for some miracle pill to do the work for ya... However, there is some evidence that adding more Omega-3 into your diet, may improve your thought processes; the same applies for ginseng supplements, as well.
...Speaking of that, my mind has been active a lot lately, but not in a good way. Relationship issues, anger, stress, etc., is not necessarily the healthiest forms of mental exercises, to say the least - but it is "mental activity," nonetheless. That reminds me, I really need to beat the hell out of one of those Body Opponent Heavy Bags to alleviate some pent-up frustrations!
Anyway, the point is, as the old adage states: "Use it or lose it." Yeah, that saying is often used for people who suffer from erectile dysfunction, but it also applies to the mind and body.
Well, enough chatter for now; I think you get the point. I recently did a quick web search and found a few sites that contain brain teasers, mind games, etc. You can do your own search if you wish because there are loads of related websites out there, but before I end this post, I'll provide a couple links below:
http://www.brainist.com/ - contains several mind games, brain tests, memory games, speed reading tests, a short version of an IQ test, trivia, and so on. On that particular site, you'll often have to scroll down to the last half of each page to find the games/tests, since the top half is usually full of adverts.
http://www.wordgames.com/ - has word games, puzzles, typing games, crosswords, etc.
For daily tidbits and other word games, go here: www.perpendicularity.org/daily-tidbits-word-games.html
---End of Post "Mental Exercises - Keep the Mind Active as you Age"
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Have you ever heard of a dummy known as "BOB," the "Body Opponent heavy Bag?" Just going by looks, these are some nifty little/big bastards, and are great for a more realistic, life-like target to punch, strike and kick into. Speaking of that, this may be the perfect bag for you, when you feel stressed with pent-up frustrations and decide to release the fury on occasions! Besides, it just sounds kind of cool when somebody tells you what all they do for a workout and you simply reply with, "well, personally, I just go out to my garage and beat the hell out of BOB." Ha!
Below, I'll provide an image of a typical Body Opponent Punching Bag:
I've recently browsed through a small selection of these types of exercise bags (human torso targets) at Amazon.com, and the product description for the one above, was as follows:
"Work the entire upper body with this realistic heavy bag! Body Opponent Heavy Bags are excellent, realistic and life-like punching bags. Excellent for home, apartment, school, and aerobic boxing. Perfect every punch and kick in your arsenal. Punch to the face, chin, body ... anywhere you'd hit your opponent. Now even more realistic for a variety of techniques. Base fills with approx. 270 lbs. of sand or water for solid and sturdy use. Made of high strength plastisol filled with urethane foam for durability. Adjustable height to accommodate multiple users. Base is rounded for easy roll location."
Personally, I've never tried one of these, but I really enjoyed the water-filled heavy bag I once owned. The pros for these human-shaped dummy Body Opponent Heavy (BOB) Bags seem to be it's compact size, life-like appearance, adjustable height, and sturdy base. Now, what I would like to know, is just how much of a beating can this human-like dummy really take? They are fairly pricey, but if they are as good as they say they are, it would be well worth the money. In case you're interested, I'll provide a shopping link below:
Update: July 4th, 2013 - Well, I waited nearly 2.5 years before I purchased one of these BOB thingies, but I must say it was well worth it! I currently have it out in the garage, but if we have a bad winter I may bring it in, since I filled it with water instead of sand. I wouldn't want it to totally freeze and bust, although 270 lbs. of water will take prolonged temperatures way below freezing, but we'll see. I also bought some 14 oz. boxing gloves to go with my Century BOB XL with Stand, so I'm finally set! This thing is really fun to use and is a great workout for not only the upper body, but also for a good cardio workout, as well; cheers!
Side Note: Some people have mentioned that this particular human-shaped dummy / punching bag moves a bit while they use it (going by some of the reviews I have read). Well, after using it myself, I can attest to this. I have did two things to combat such movements, although I will say, like other people have mentioned, the fact that BOB does move around upon heavier impact, adds to the training experience. Anyway, I have my body opponent heavy bag cornered in, literally. I have mine in a concrete building/garage/carport, in the far corner. That way, it can only move so much to the left and right, and can't go backwards at all. The second thing I did, since I had an extra one, is put a weighted vest on it, to add some more weight to it, which helps some.
---End of Post "Body Opponent Punching Bag - BOB - Dummy"