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Should You Be Using Fish Oil

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Where it comes from: Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and is derived from the tissues of fatty, cold-water ocean fish such as tuna, cod liver and salmon. It was first used during the late 1700s in fishing communities surrounding the Northern Atlantic Ocean to treat infections and sickness. In those times, patients would simply eat cod liver soaked between two pieces of bread. In the 1800s, a steaming process was developed, making the pungent taste (read: disgusting) slightly more bearable.

Today, the oil is manufactured into pill form, offering a much more pleasant way to ingest a dosage. But experts still agree that consuming fish is give you better benefits than simply taking a pill.  “Omega-3 fatty acids are best sourced through food,” says registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson Jim White. “Evidence is stronger for the benefits of eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids compared with using supplements.”

White—and experts across the board—suggests fishy meals of salmon, mackerel, cod, trout and tuna, as they’re high in omega-3s while they also have low levels of mercury content. Other dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed, canola oil, soybeans, pumpkin

The list of benefits is plentiful. In fact, the National Institute of Health lists fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acids as being helpful in treating or preventing 37 conditions. Here, some of the most noteworthy:

1. Promotes heart health

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health calculated that eating about two grams per week of omega-3 fatty acids (equal to one or two servings of fatty fish) reduces the chances of dying from heart disease by more than one-third. Omega-3 fats protect the heart against the development of erratic cardiac rhythm disturbances, help break up blood clots and lower cholesterol, tryglicerides, LDLs and blood pressure. The fats also increase good HDL cholesterol.

2. Protects against cancer

Studies have found that fish oil can help prevent three of the most common forms of cancer: breast, colon, and prostate. The fatty acids stop the alteration of a normal healthy cell to that of a cancerous mass and cause the death of some cancer cells. Researchers are currently digging deeper to see how fish oil can play a larger role in cancer survival and prevention.

3.Improves Mental Health

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have found that fish oil supplements can alleviate the symptoms of depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. On a seemingly related note, a Chinese study of 100 suicide-attempt cases found diets low in fishy meals to be a common factor. Other studies report that depressed patients who take omega-3 fatty acids in addition to prescription antidepressants had a great improvement in symptoms than those who took antidepressants alone.

 

Fitness

Resting The Right Way Can Lead To Big Gains

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Building muscle and getting stronger isn’t just about pumping iron: planned recovery and downtime are just as important.

It’s important to understand that there is no distinction between lifting heavy in the gym and picking up a pillow. Both require conscious awareness of positioning and how best to organize your body. No matter what you are doing throughout the day, you should always be thinking about improving your position and movement mechanics, as well as spending at least 10 to 15 minutes performing basic body main­tenance. Likewise, you don’t want to take a day off from good nutrition or miss a night of sleep. Of course, there will be times when you can’t eat perfectly, exercise, or get eight hours of sleep. But you should cultivate a habit of always being in a good position, regardless of what you’re doing.

The fact is, if you want to play and train at a high level, you cannot slack off for even one day. You have to think about your position constantly, whether you are at work, playing a sport, lifting, or lounging around. This is the basis of the No Days Off rule.

Here’s a simple example to help illustrate my point. A DEA [US Drug Enforcement Agency] agent buddy of mine told me about a friend who used to walk past his boot every time he got out of the car. It didn’t matter whether he was on or off duty, or whether he had parked at a supermarket, at home, or at a restaurant — he would walk all the way around the car and past his trunk every single time. He did it because he kept his rifle in his boot and wanted to ingrain the pattern of approaching his boot into his motor pro­gramme. That way, if he ever found himself in a dodgy firefight, he wouldn’t hesitate or think — he would automatically find himself by his boot, ready to grab his rifle.

Remember, your body is an adaptation machine. If you spend a few minutes a day working on improving your position, you will improve your position. But if you take a few days off, you will get stiff, and your movement and position will reflect that adaptation. Even if you’re taking a day off from the gym, you should never take a day off from mobilizing. In fact, a lot of muscle soreness and tissue stiffness aggregate the day after training, and those are the days when you really need to work on restoring normalcy to those tissues. For this reason, it’s best to break up mobility into short doses. Doing so gives you plenty of time to effect change within the con­text of movement, and, more important, it is manageable over the long haul.

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Fasting Is A Quick Way To Get Lean

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Intermittent fasting has shown the most promise for boosting metabolism and burning fat, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Research. Researchers put mice on a 16-week intermittent fasting program. The mice ate normally for two days, and then went one whole day without food. Meanwhile, a control group of mice ate the same amount of calories overall, just spread evenly across three days.

After four months, the fasted mice tended to have lower bodyweights than the control-group mice. They also had less white fat and more brown fat, which is used for energy and body heat, and their insulin and glucose levels were more constant.

And that’s not all, says Courtney Peterson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Studies suggest you keep more muscle and lose more fat than on other diets, even if you lose the same number of pounds.” That’s because after about 12 hours of fasting, you run out of stored energy from carbs and start burning stored fat.

There are several different intermittent fasting methods. Three popular ones are:

  1. The 16/8 Method: Skip breakfast every day and eat during an 8-hour feeding window, such as from 12 noon to 8 pm.
  2. Eat-Stop-Eat: Do one or two 24-hour fasts each week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
  3. The 5:2 Diet: Only eat 500-600 calories on two days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.

The new fasting is not about deprivation, but about divvying up your calories differently than the three-square-meals-plus-snacks pattern—which some scientists say is a mismatch with the way we evolved to eat, when food was sporadic

VIA: Men’s Fitness

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3 Easy Ways To Boost Your Endurance

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Endurance is sometimes the last thing that people think of when it comes to fitness. Why do I need to build my endurance if not a training for running or cycling? Building your endurance and stamina can lead to bigger muscle gains as well as torch calories.

World-class trainer Will Torres and spoke to him about endurance.

“When people think of endurance and stamina, all they tend to focus on are cardio activities like running or cycling,” says Torres, a New York-based personal trainer and founder of the personal training studio, Willspace. “But that’s only a small part of the equation—you also need to improve your strength.”

For example, Torres explains that by building your leg muscles, you’ll be able to propel yourself further in every step you take while running. “The added muscle also helps absorb the impact that would otherwise put stress on your joints,” he says. So here, Torres gives you seven sneak tactics (ones you’re probably not trying) to boost your endurance and stamina.

Find Your Motivation

Fitness is as much of mental game as it is physical. Having your motivation in mind is a good way to push yourself when you are ready to break. Kevin Hart uses his family as motivation when he is doing his 5k runs.

“My biggest motivation is my kids — they make me want to be great. I want to feel good and be active with them when they’re in their twenties. I want to be able to do things with my grandkids when they come. I don’t want to be the guy who has a bad back, who’s in the chair and has to watch everything from the porch.”

Combine strength days with cardio days.

It’s a simple equation: the more muscle you can get working, the more it will challenge your heart and your cardiovascular system. Instead of building cardio-only workouts (the pitfall that’ll prevent you from building endurance) make sure to weave strength days into your training. “Most people reserve one day for strength and another day for cardio. Try combining the two instead,” says Torres. “Use a bench press, immediately followed by pull-ups, then run a mile as fast as you can… and repeat.” Another good example: Jump rope for a minute, followed by squats, an overhead press, and finally sit-ups. Repeat.

Reduce your amount of rest.

Men typically give themselves between 30 and 90 seconds of recovery time in between sets, but if your goal is greater endurance, be prepared to sacrifice break time. “By the end of your sets, your muscles should be burning—you should be breathing heavily and sweating,” says Torres. “Only take a break if you physically cannot continue.” Torres suggests selecting a series of movements like 10 pull-ups, 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups. Do three rounds of the series back to back, taking as minimal a break as possible.

 

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