If you stroll into your local Trader Joe's for your usual staples like quinoa, rolled oats, frozen organic riced cauliflower, and Soy Creamy frozen dessert (a staple in my house!), celebrate Fall by grabbing a few of these amazing pumpkin finds! Stock up because they won't be in stores for long.
As a personal trainer, I'm always asked what the best ab routine is and what I personally do to train my core. Like most things fitness, the answer is subjective since there's more than one way to strengthen and define the abdominal muscles. For my own ab workouts, I'm always switching it up. Sometimes I use resistance, sometimes I stick to the exercises I know will strengthen my core and help manage my lower-back pain, and other times I like to turn up the intensity and really challenge myself.
This five-move workout definitely falls under the intense category; it's challenging and will improve your stability and overall core strength. Before you go any further, I do not advise this workout for beginners. Instead, try this beginner routine first, and gradually work your way up to this stability ball workout.
Perform the designated reps for each exercise, taking little to no rest in between exercises. Rest for one to two minutes and repeat the five-exercise circuit for a total of two rounds.
- Stir the pot: 10 reps, clockwise and counterclockwise
- Ball mountain climbers: 12 reps
- Ball knee tucks: 12 reps
- Ball pikes: 10 reps
- Ball pass: 10 reps
If we're trying out a new workout, we always have the same questions. Am I going to be able to move the next day, can we get food afterwards, and what do I wear? Well, worry no more. We've put together a list of everything you need for the eight most common types of workouts, because your yoga outfit can't always take you to bootcamp, and your spin shoes have no place in boxing class.
For even easier shopping, click below for your needs.
The mountain climber is a classic ab exercise, and I love it because not only does it work your core, it also has a cardiovascular component to it. While I enjoy traditional mountain climbers, at some point they will begin to feel easy. If that's the case, and you're looking for ways to turn a stagnant ab routine into an intense workout, you've got to try this mountain climber progression.
I find that doing mountain climbers on a stability ball, or another unstable object like a BOSU, makes the movement twice as hard and even more effective. Before you start performing the actual exercise, you're already engaging your core muscles to prevent yourself from falling off the ball, and you have to maintain that core engagement throughout the entire set. If this sounds enticing and you're up for the challenge, grab a medium-size stability ball and continue reading.
Stability Ball Mountain Climbers
- Begin in a high plank with your hands resting on the top of a ball.
- With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest, with the toes just off the ground. Return to your high plank. Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward. This completes one rep.
- Complete 12 reps, alternating legs.
If you love that exercise here are few more ab-specific exercises you can do with a stability ball.
Calories are one of the most important factors in fat loss. In order to reduce your body fat percentage and get leaner, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means taking in fewer calories than you're using so your body can tap into the fat stores it already has.
How do you know if you're in a calorie deficit? In a recent post, ACE-certified personal trainer Susan Niebergall (@susanniebergallfitness on Instagram) shared, "I wish I could say, 'Here's THE formula for a guaranteed calorie deficit' but it doesn't work that way. There is no magical formula that is one size fits all. It's trial and error." Here are the four things you need to do when using calorie deficit for fat loss.
When yoga was developed as a spiritual discipline in ancient India, it’s unlikely that its originators ever imagined how their practice would look thousands of years into the future. Intensely spiritual in its inception and throughout much of its history, yoga has evolved into something with a global scope and endless iterations – from the strictly traditional to modern inventions like beer and goat yoga.
But it’s perhaps yoga’s latest significant development–from a spiritually-centered pursuit to an increasingly regular feature of the scrupulously evidence-based, secular and scientific world of modern medicine–that is most striking. Evidence is growing to suggest that yoga has real value in a formal healthcare setting, and that this complementary therapy could become a part of both prevention and treatment of a variety of illnesses.
A (Very) Short History of Yoga
Historians theorize that yoga could be between 5,000 and 10,000 years old, but the first written mentions of the word “yoga” appeared in sacred texts known as the Vedas during India’s Vedic period, which began in 1500 BCE. Perhaps the most famous of the yoga scriptures is the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, thought to date back to 500 BCE. In the 2nd century, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra collated various past scripts to create an 8-limb path to enlightenment, beginning the “classical” era where the roots of yoga became structured, and easier to teach and practice.
After this came the development of Tantra and Hatha yoga (which are recognisable to us today), and until the early 1900s yoga was practiced nearly exclusively in the East. The worldwide growth of yoga began with Swami Vivekananda delivering a presentation about yoga in Chicago in 1893, with the first yoga centre opening in Hollywood around 50 years later.
From this point yoga has become fully integrated into the Western world, and the idea that yoga therapy can have a positive effect on the outcomes of a variety of health problems has been growing for decades. In the 1920s, Swami Kuvalayananda first introduced the idea that it would be possible to measure the physical and physiological changes that occurred through yoga practice, and since then a wealth of scientific research has been conducted on yoga’s impact on everything from heart disease to psychosis.
Yoga in Healthcare
The long fight against illness has bought us to a point that’s completely unique in human history. With the odd exception, we no longer need to worry about the ravages of infectious disease; knowing that widespread inoculation programs, good public hygiene and treatment options including antibiotics and antivirals tend to keep a lid on anything really nasty getting out of hand.
This is an extraordinary phenomenon, and one that has been hundreds of years in the making, formed from the hard work of many generations of scientists and doctors making slow steps forward to a better future. But despite the fact we can celebrate that we are no longer dogged by plague, cholera, smallpox or any number of life-threatening illnesses, a new health crisis has arisen. A result both of our longer lifespans and widespread lifestyle change, chronic and non-communicable disease is set to be the biggest health challenge of the coming century.
A diet of processed, sugar-laden food, a working environment that allows little time for relaxation or creative expression, lack of exercise, loneliness, intense financial pressure – these are all features of many people’s lives in the modern world, and they are having a profound impact on their health. Whether it’s the rise in depression and anxiety, or the fact that in 2015 84.1 million Americans aged 18 and older had prediabetes, it’s becoming clear that traditional medicine is struggling to tackle this modern health crisis.
This is where yoga can (and does) have a positive impact. Looking after people’s health is a very expensive endeavour, with significant amounts of a country’s GDP often dedicated to this one goal. Yoga is an inexpensive way to help people both manage symptoms of illness and to also stop illness from developing in the first place, and it can be practiced at any age, and at all stages of health.
Yoga is accessible, improves wellbeing, and those who practice yoga regularly are less likely to exhibit chronic mental and physical health problems. It is also associated with other positive lifestyle habits, suggesting that when people are encouraged to look after their health using yoga, they start to make healthier choices in other areas of life. Stubborn issues such as low back pain and insomnia can be alleviated with the implementation of a yoga therapy regime, and as general wellbeing improves, so does people’s experience of life.
Health is often determined by a complex range of social, economic and environmental factors, and the grinding nature of long-term illness, as well the relentlessness of modern pressures, can make people feel utterly overwhelmed. Yoga can empower the individual and help them make the best choices for themselves, as well as being something that can be practiced in a supportive community setting.
We are living longer lives than ever before, but this progress is threatened by preventable (if complex) issues such as obesity, and the quality of our lives is being undermined by poor mental health and unhappiness. The ongoing integration of yoga into traditional healthcare ultimately represents a shift in thinking. Instead of facing a disease by treating symptoms when they arise, healthcare is increasingly embracing the idea of considering the root cause of illness, and working to prevent it from appearing in the first place.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Heather Mason, a yoga teacher and founder of The Minded Institute, a center of yoga therapy in London exploring the intersection between yoga and healthcare around the world. Heather became interested in the use of mind-body therapies after her own experience of depression and anxiety, training over many years and across the globe in yoga and yoga therapy. Follow Heather on Twitter and Facebook.
This post written by Dr. Daniel Rieders was originally published on YourTango.
Here's what to do and ask before, during and after your visit.
Many men and women believe they own their bodies and their personal wellness, yet feel that their health care providers fall short when it comes to meeting their needs. This leaves them unsatisfied with the quality of medical attention they receive during doctor visits, yet essentially clueless as to what they can do to rectify that problem.
If your physician doesn't seem to listen to you or makes you feel uncomfortable, as though you're just being processed through the doctor's office as part of a machine, rather than being treated as an individual who is trying to improve their health, then you are being cheated out of the your best life, vitality and health care possible.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your doctor listen?
- Is your doctor distracted?
- Is your doctor annoying?
- In the room with your doctor, do you relax?
- Does your doctor not display mastery of their trade?
- Do you lose your voice, become passive, or feel uncomfortable?
- Does your doctor try to be your friend and chat you up?
- Does your doctor push pills, procedures or products on you, a sales job?
- Do you feel pressured by limited time?
- Do you feel like you are in a processing plant?
- Does your doctor use jargon and not explain?
- Have you received understandable information, so you can follow through with your physician's recommendations?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you deserve better.
And you're not alone.
Anytime you accept less than what you need or deserve or don't get what you came for during a doctor's visit, you're not doing what's best for you. And while you aren't to blame, you're also allowing an unhealthy system to fail at meeting your standards, and likely many other people's as well.
So what should you do in order to get the best results from your doctor's office visit? And how can this help you take better charge of your own health care?
Here are 3 ways to be sure you receive the best health care possible during a doctor's visit, and how to speak up if you don't get the medical attention you need.
1. Be prepared prior to your visit.
In some cases, you might actually know more about a movie, a restaurant, or an Airbnb rental than you do about the doctor you're going to visit, so first be clear on what type of medical care you seek.
Are you looking for a pill to relieve your symptoms, like pain or a cold? Do you want a diagnosis or to learn the root cause of a diagnosis? Do you seek avoidance of premature death or aging? Do you seek the energy to pursue your heart's desire? Or something else?
If you are looking for a pill, perhaps cheap and short wait times meet your bill. If you are looking for a diagnosis, you may want to check out reviews on social media, word of mouth, and the doctor's certifications.
You may feel as though you have limited options based upon your health insurance and cash. Nowadays, there are a multitude of insurance and cash options to fit your needs. Spend some time choosing the right doctor within the confines of your plan.
Whatever your reason for visiting a medical clinic, it's important to research what you need beforehand and work out the logistics.
Once you find a practitioner that meets your needs, researching them is an important next step.
For example, if they're a surgeon, obtain their statistics. Look into how many of these procedures your doctor has performed, what his or her success rate is (be sure to find out they define a "successful" procedure), and what are the complication rates?
Say you're getting a heart valve repaired and one surgeon's success rate is 80 percent and another's is 95 percent. The data is reliable, so go with the surgeon whose success rate is higher.
This also counts for doctor-to-doctor referrals. Just because one doctor recommends another one, you still need to go through a process. Check out social media and other published reviews, too.
If you do not trust the physician, find another. Your life depends on it.
Prior to your appointment, prepare written summaries of your healthcare history, a list of your questions and concerns, and pack a bag of your medications and supplements, so you can explain how and when you take every substance.
Make notes of your sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress, and relationships, too - so you can give your physician a more wholistic view of your health - and don't forget your insurance information and identification.
Be on time. Turn off your phone when you're in the exam room. Clear your mind. Relax. Breathe. Relax more.
2. During the exam, be assertive about what you need.
Be honest. Look your doctor eye-to-eye. Notice if your practitioner is distracted by a phone call, not sitting down eye-to-eye, or just not paying attention.
If this is a problem, it's OK to ask for their undivided attention for your exam - your life depends on it. Be tactful, kind, assertive, and calm. Set the tone. Breathe.
If you doctor is not present, masterful, or doesn't seem to have your best interests in mind, ask them to adjust.
Also consider how you feel about your doctor and the exam. If your doctor does not respond appropriately, you have the right to leave the visit at any time and seek health care elsewhere. It's voting with your healthcare dollar. You can also write a review on social media.
When it comes to getting the best health care possible, everything you choose makes a difference. It all matters.
The way you choose is guided by the way you feel. So if you feel marginalized, nervous, agitated, or like you are being processed as if you were a piece of meat on a conveyor belt, you have the freedom to step off the belt and seek better care.
If you feel uncomfortable, voice it. Your doctor may adjust. Give them feedback. However, there is no excuse of being disrespected or marginalized.
It's easier to adjust when you're relaxed, so breathe and to eliminate your agitated arousal. It can also help your doctor to relax, since our biologies are hardwired to regulate each other.
Hopefully you will experience a skillful practitioner, get clear information and feel cared for, loved and truly heard. Otherwise, spend your health care voting dollars elsewhere.
The need to feel heard - by your physician or service provider - is innate human nature. In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that waitresses who clearly repeated customers' orders back to them got higher tips, indicating they feel they got more quality service.
In the study, two groups of waitresses served 30 people. One group of waitresses was friendly and chatty, but did not repeat the customers' orders back to them - even though they clearly indicated they understood by saying things like "OK" or "coming up!"
The second group of waitresses repeated every part of each customer's order back to them. The tips, a measure of customer satisfaction, were higher for the waitresses in the second group, who accurately read back the orders, rather than the friendly ones from the first group, who did not.
That's why, when looking for a doctor, finding one that's "on point" with the task at hand has a higher value - and is ultimately a stronger connector - than platitudes. Just like reading back orders validated that the patron was heard, the same applies to your physician
A lot can be accomplished in a little time when you and your doctor are sitting down, eye-to-eye, phone off, door closed, without distractions.
3. Follow your doctor's advice after your visit.
Did you follow your doctor's advice? If not, why? Do you feel relaxed with the encounter and the advice you received afterward?
Often, we need a night or two to sleep on an encounter in order to see the bigger picture. You may want to think of it like a meal. There is the anticipation before. Then the experience. How do you feel an hour after eating a meal, or in this case, going to the doctor? What about the next day?
Trust your feelings. There is no better gauge for measuring your care.
Ask yourself these questions:
- No matter how I entered into the room, at some point did I relax, and become less anxious and aroused?
- By the end, did I witness a skilled practitioner who cares about nothing other than my health and wellness?"
- Did I receive enough information that I feel confident following my physician's recommendations?
- Do I feel cared for and loved?
- Did I follow through with my doctor's advice?
Training yourself and your physician to better tune into your health care needs may require some trial and error, but the key to getting the best health care possible is to start with yourself.
Dr. Daniel Rieders is a cardiologist certified in functional medicine, who believes in helping sick people get the care they need to live their lives to the fullest. He also works in shamanism and energy medicine to help heal people holistically. Visit his website to find out more.
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It seems like the nightmarish 2017-2018 flu season just ended, and yet here we are again. If you're wondering when you can expect the fevers and aches to return, the answer is sooner than later. "The flu virus is actually present year round, but really picks up in Fall," Dr. Jena Sussex-Pizula, MD, doctor at University of Southern California Internal Medicine, told POPSUGAR. "It starts increasing in October, usually peaks around December through February, and can last all the way through May."
In other words, take steps now to protect yourself and your family. "Last year was one of the most severe flu seasons on record, excluding pandemics," she continued. "Unfortunately, as of August 2018, we know that 180 children died last season as a result of influenza infection." Here's what to know heading into this year's season.
Will It Be as Bad as Last Year?
Short answer: doctors can't be sure. That said, while cases of flu typically slow by March, the season has been peaking later than usual these past few years, noted Dr. Stephanie Long, MD, of One Medical in San Francisco, "increasing the number of people who get the flu and can then transmit the flu each year." Yikes.
Experts seem to agree that you should prepare for a flu season as dreadful as the ones in recent years. "Last year's flu severely affected all age groups, even young and healthy people," Dr. Long said. "The flu shot reduces doctor's office visits by 30 to 60 percent and hospitalizations by 40 percent - that alone is a great reason for all adults to get the flu shot, as well as children."
What Are the Symptoms?
"Influenza can be variable in terms of symptoms, but there is a classic presentation that you should look out for," said Dr. Sussex-Pizula. "Typical influenza manifests with abrupt onset of fever, headache, muscle aches, nonproductive cough, and sore throat. Sometimes the onset is so abrupt, people can tell me the hour they got sick!"
You may have additional symptoms, according to Dr. Honore Lansen, MD, of One Medical in New York. "But the telltale signs this year will be the same as always, usually starting with a cough or body aches," she said.
Don't forget: regardless of what this year brings, flu can be deadly. "Patients can sometimes forget, but influenza kills thousands of people each year in the United States (and even those numbers are likely underestimated)," said Dr. Sussex-Pizula. "While most complications occur in high risk groups - children, pregnant women, the elderly, or people with underlying medical conditions such as asthma - influenza can put even healthy individuals in the ICU."
You know what to do now - go get that shot. And godspeed.
If you've ever felt like dance cardio routines are impossible to master and no fun, you've got to start doing The Fitness Marshall's choreography. TFM has a way of making intense moves seem easy, and he'll have you feeling like one of Beyoncé's backup dancers in no time. He's taking it way back with his latest dance video to Anne-Marie's "2002," and, warning, his choreography is guaranteed to get your heart rate up and have your thighs burning.
"Take a trip back to the glorious time of the 2000s where your biggest problems were who to put in your Top 8 and finding a high-quality version of your favorite song on LimeWire," TFM told POPSUGAR. "Dance your heart out and laugh a little in this easy-to-follow dance workout to Anne-Marie's "2002."
Watch TFM break down the choreography in the video above!
Regina King won her third Emmy on Monday evening for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie for her role in the Netflix crime drama Seven Seconds. Everything from Regina's Christian Siriano dress to her acceptance speech was great, and we couldn't overlook this one detail: how amazing her arms are.
In an interview with Everyday Health, Regina shared that being healthy and exercising are priorities of hers since she has a family history of heart disease. "Once I was diagnosed with hypertension, I stepped up my workouts," she told Everyday Health. She shared that she goes to the gym as often as her schedule allows, typically three to four times a week, and her preferred workouts are lifting weights or kickboxing.
If Regina's arms have you feeling motivated to hit the gym, we've got 12 exercises to strengthen and sculpt sexy arms like hers ahead.