Whether you like it or not, and many people don’t, cardio training is an important part of any workout routine. Cardio can definitely be tough, especially when you’re just getting started, and it lacks the glamour of strength training. That doesn’t mean it isn’t just as important for your health, however. You do need cardio training in your workout routine, but how often should you be doing it, and when is the best time?
First, recognize that cardio isn’t just going outside and running around in circles. You should take the same care in planning your cardio workout as you do in planning your lifting schedule. You wouldn’t go to the gym and slap as much weight on the bench as possible right away, so don’t do the same thing with your cardio workouts. Do your research and figure out a plan to put in place for your cardio workouts, just as you would with any other aspect of your health.
If you’re wondering when the best time of day for cardio is, listen to what your body is telling you. If you can barely open your eyes in the morning, let alone feel up for a run, you might just not be a morning person, and forcing yourself to workout as soon as you get up is probably not going to go well. The time of day really isn’t that important, but if you are going to run in the morning, don’t do it on an empty stomach. Your body hasn’t gotten any fuel for eight hours, so you have nothing to keep you going during your morning workout. You might think this will burn fat, but in reality your body will be looking to get energy from your muscles. So running in the morning is not a great idea if you’re looking to gain muscle mass.
Cardio before your weightlifting is also a big no-no. Running depletes your glycogen, which is your muscles’ source of energy. Without that energy, you just aren’t going to have the strength to push through the last few reps that will help stimulate muscle growth. This leads to a much less effective workout for building muscle mass. To be clear, in this situation the lifting is coming right after the cardio, without time to rest and replenish. Running earlier in the day doesn’t mean you can’t lift that same day, just get rest and proper nutrition before you begin your weightlifting.
So when is the best time for cardio? If you are lifting and running on the same day, your cardio should come after your weightlifting, but even then you should give your body some time to rest. The best thing to do is schedule your cardio and weightlifting on different days. If you lift three days a week, then run on three non-lifting days.
With a full schedule of weightlifting and cardio, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting the proper nutrition for recovery and muscle building. At Promax, we have great tasting and nutrient packed protein bars to satisfy your recovery needs.
Dreary or sunny, rainy or clear, no matter what the weather, we can make up some excuse to skip the workout. But what inevitable follows is regret and self-loathing. This time, skip the guilt, save yourself from searching for a quick fix with bogus fad diets, and keep yourself motivated with our handy tips below.
Fight Aliens or Be a Superhero
No, really. Mobile gaming apps have come a long way. You can use your smartphone for so much more than Facebook and check-ins. When the urge to settle in with your phone or tablet hits, Superhero Workout will have you up and moving, completing twelve workouts, forty-two bodyweight exercises, and twenty epic missions in order to save the world.
Can you save the world, while avoiding the winter blahs, in the process? Run, Zombie is great for new runners. With this app, you prepare for a 5K while staying one step ahead of the zombie horde.
Online Fitness Tracker
Whether you post your fitness updates on Facebook or you use an online fitness tracker, having your goals and successes out there can help keep you pumped and ready for more. MyFitnessPal, DailyMile, FriendFit, and Map My Run let users track their progress. Put your competitive nature to good use. It’s hard to ditch the workout when you can compete with friends.
You’ve heard that you should reward yourself for working out. Well, these fitness apps take it in a different direction. CharityMiles tracks your distance, awarding you with 10 cents a mile for bikers, 25 cents a mile for runners or walkers—and then donates your earnings to the charity of your choice.
Pact offers a reward that will really motivate: you can earn, or lose, money if you don’t keep your fitness contract. It’s flexible, with a choice of three Pacts, so whether you want to eat more veggies, hit the gym, or make better food choices by food logging, Pact lets you earn cash for living healthily (and is paid out by the members who fail to keep their goals). Now your workout is really paying off!
Schedule a Regular Workout Time
Pencil it in. Figure out the best time for a workout—and stick to it! Keep your exercise items, like your shorts, shoes, yoga ball, Promax Protein Bars, and weights in plain sight. It will serve as a constant reminder that you will be using these things that day–and help combat any time crunch. Knowing exactly when you will use them is even better. Plus, by giving yourself easy access to them, it’s a lot harder to come up with reasons not to actually use them.
It won’t always be easy. Sometimes, you might slip up. Push through that workout! Use our tips to stay on top of your fitness goals—and hopefully keep any slip-ups to a minimum.
We all know that one guy in the gym who looks like he hasn’t hit legs in the past year. Broad shouldered and top heavy, this guy lives in fear of the leg machines. It’s a pretty universal gym stereotype at this point. We make fun of the guys who skip leg day because it’s pretty obvious their only concern is those upper body muscles, but deep down, a lot of us would love to take leg day out of the equation. Yes, leg day isn’t much fun, but there are more reasons for keeping your leg workouts going than just looks.
- For starters, you’re not just hurting your legs when you don’t work them like the rest of your body. Squats and deadlifts have been shown to increase the production of natural muscle building hormones more than any other exercise. What you also might be forgetting is that squats and deadlifts work more than just your legs. Your arms, abs, chest, and back are all getting worked to some degree when you perform these exercises. Working small muscle groups in your upper body is fine, but squats and deadlifts improve strength in exercises directly related to these muscles.
- You also need to understand that the larger the muscle being worked out, the more fat loss will occur. The largest muscles in the body are the quads and glutes, and working them out on leg day burns more fat in the upper body than just crunches and treadmills. While burning fat, leg workouts improve core strength, which means better overall posture, flexibility, and athletic performance. Some people skip leg day because it’s more difficult, or doesn’t look as impressive as throwing up weight on the bench. Regardless, if you want to increase strength and look your best, routinely working out your lower body is essential.
- Speaking of athletic performance, nearly every sport you enjoyed growing up involved running. Having a strong lower body is critical to performing well in athletics, whether it’s a game of pickup basketball with your friends, or just kicking the soccer ball around with your kid. A well-rounded workout will provide you with better endurance, power, and balance. If you want to perform better in just about any athletic endeavor, skipping leg day isn’t doing you any favors.
- Oh, and leg day isn’t just about squats and deadlifts. Leg day can also include sprint training. Sprint training is great, because it serves as an excellent way to increase cardiovascular fitness without sacrificing hard-earned muscle gains. You might say that you only doing strength training, but ignoring your cardiovascular health is pretty much the same as skipping leg day. In both cases you’re missing out on a much-needed portion of your workout.
We know it isn’t the most fun or impressive workout, but skipping leg day hurts your overall health, and keeps you from reaching your potential. And if you need some recovery for after your next leg day, head on over to Promax and check out our full line of protein bars!
When you’ve tried every diet under the sun, it’s easy to feel like nothing will ever work for you. Perhaps the diets you’ve tried are too conventional. It’s important to remind yourself that what works for others won’t necessarily work for you. Check out this list of unique diets that may be the right fit for you.
The Scent of Food
Several studies have found that smelling foods before eating helps to curb overall hungriness. Since our tastebuds rely so much on our sense of smell, it’s no wonder that the smell of a delicious meal feels so satisfying in and of itself. You can even try it with your Promax bar – they smell as delicious as they taste!
Another sense to rely on for weight loss is sight. Scientists found that when people visualize their last meal, or look at a picture of a meal they’ve eaten in the past, their appetite for a snack lessens. Time to find that awesome Instagram picture you took of brunch this weekend!
Not willing to lessen your food intake? Not a problem. This diet encourages you to keep eating. Specifically, you would have to eat foods that are rich in probiotics (such as yogurt) to induce bacterial growth in your digestive system. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi do wonders for your metabolism as well. Those who stick with this diet can lose 21 pounds in 6 months on average. Bacteria never sounded so appetizing!
Cabbage Soup Diet
This is the mother of all veggie soups. Carrots, celery, green onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cabbage mixed together in a soup help you stay full while supplying some great nutrients. However, too much of anything is never a good idea. That’s why the concept of only drinking cabbage soup for a whole week doesn’t jump out as the best of ideas. While those who have attempted it claimed to have lost 10 pounds in that time frame, they are forgetting that there are essential nutrients to consume that aren’t available in soup or veggie form. Go to your nearest store, or order your Promax bars online to make up for some of those nutrients before going all in.
Eggs and Dessert
You’ve heard of eggs and bacon, and green eggs and ham, but what about eggs and dessert? A study from Tel Aviv University found that people who consumed a high-carb, sweet, and protein rich breakfast within their 1,600 calorie daily intake lost as much weight as those on a low-carb diet. Apparently, it’s the combination of the dessert aspect that controls your sweet tooth later in the day, and the protein that curbs your appetite, that helps with the overall weight loss.
So if you’re looking for just the right diet to help you reach your fitness goals, why not try one of these? Others have found success with them, and you might just, too.
Still not sure which diet is right for you? Check out our ambassadors and see what they do for their bodies. And for more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.
Most people get up every day and make themselves a cup of coffee to feel energized, and then they might have subsequent cups to keep them going throughout the day. However, coffee isn’t the only means by which you can give your body a caffeine boost. There are also many caffeinated teas, as well as soft drinks and energy drinks available for the same purpose.
But is getting so much caffeine every day really a healthy habit? Is caffeine a perfectly fine pick-me-up, as well as a great form of workout fuel, or could it be doing harm?
The Positive and Negative Effects of Caffeine on Your Health
According to the Mayo Clinic, the safe limit for daily caffeine intake is 400 mg. This translates to about four cups of coffee, two energy drink shots, or 10 cans of soda.
If you start ingesting a lot more caffeine (over 500-600 mg daily), you could end up with some unpleasant side effects like nervousness, irritability, muscle tremors, a fast heart rate, restlessness, insomnia, and an upset stomach.
Despite the side effects of high caffeine intake, when you consume moderate amounts of around 300mg per day, your body might be able to reap a few benefits.
In addition to improving your focus and relieving fatigue, some studies have found that drinking coffee, in particular, might reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as liver, throat, and mouth cancers.
Caffeine might also improve your long-term memory, as well as potentially protect your body against Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The key is to consume caffeine in moderation, and try to get it from sources like coffee or tea, which contain other natural compounds that help maintain your health.
The Effects of Caffeine on Your Workout
Because caffeine improves circulation, even right down to the smaller blood vessels in your fingers, it can help deliver more oxygen to your muscles during your workouts, and this could help keep you going strong to complete more reps.
Caffeine consumption of around two or three cups of coffee about an hour before a high-intensity workout may even help reduce the amount of muscle pain you perceive. Combine this with improved oxygen flow and the protein packed into a Promax protein bar, and you’ll be able to accomplish more than ever during any strength training routine.
Even having a bit of caffeine after your workout could be beneficial. Rather than consuming carbohydrates on their own, opt for a combination of carbs and caffeine, as this could increase muscle glycogen after an intense workout. The more glycogen you have stored, the more endurance and power you’ll have the next time you exercise.
Do What Works for You
When it comes to caffeine, it’s all about moderation and listening to your body. While 300mg might not affect someone else, it may actually be too much for your body to handle. Find the happy medium so you can get the energy and power you need.
If you’re new to the fitness lifestyle, you may wonder why protein is talked about so often. You see protein products just about everywhere, including protein bars, protein shakes, and even cookie dough with high protein content.
If you’re curious about why protein is so important to physical fitness and how much of it you need, these questions and answers should help you understand more about this critical nutritional component:
What is protein? Protein is an important nutrient found in many foods. Protein is key to building muscle mass, and that’s why so many fitness-related snacks and drinks have high protein content.
What else does protein do? In addition to being a critical building block for muscle, protein also performs a number of other vital functions. It helps to produce healthy bones and cartilage, and it also helps keep blood healthy. Protein is also essential to having healthy hair, skin, and nails.
On top of all that, protein is essential to the body’s healing process and also can help with libido problems among men and hormone regulation among women.
Why does my trainer want me to consume protein after a workout? Protein helps with the body’s healing process. Working out involves tearing muscles down to build them back stronger. Protein helps this process by giving the body what it needs to rebuild muscles and help the body recover after a workout. Exercise experts recommend eating protein bars or other sources of protein within an hour after your workout.
What are some common protein sources? Meats like turkey, chicken, and beef are sources of protein, but vegetarians and vegans also have a variety of great sources of protein to choose. Peas and soy contain significant amounts of protein, and there are a growing number of healthy energy bars on the market acceptable to vegetarians and vegans.
How much protein should I eat? Experts suggest that you get 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories from protein. In general, a safe level of protein ranges from .08 grams of protein for about every two pounds of body weight. Active athletes may need up to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. It’s a good idea to get between 20 and 30 grams of protein per meal. If you’re increasing your protein intake, you’ll need to watch calories and carbohydrates to ensure that you’re not consuming too many, as they can lead to excessive weight gain.
Is there a such thing as too much protein? Yes. If you eat too many calorie-containing foods, even if they’re also high in protein, you’re going to gain weight. Also, excess protein intake can cause a number of problems, include gastric distress and kidney issues. Before embarking on a high protein diet, consult with your doctor and/or a nutrition and fitness expert.
Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian protein bars. Promax has a wide range of delicious products, with one sure to please any palate.
Check out our favorite ski destinations this winter
Some of us love the warm sun, and sitting on the beach relaxing with a drink, but for those of us that embrace the colder weather and love to defy the elements, a ski trip may be preferable to that warm beach. You can’t always predict where the best snow is going to be each year, but luckily there are some slopes that will always have what you’re looking for. Taking into account the crowds, the terrain, the nightlife—and most importantly—the slopes, we’ve picked out our seven favorite ski destinations for your trip this winter.
Jackson Hole in Wyoming averages an incredible 459 inches of snow a year, so it’s tough to have a bad year there. Nearly half of the 116 trails are for experts, but Jackson Hole is also opening up a new lift this year in an effort to expand blue terrain on the slopes. The town of Jackson is also expanding, offering better eating and a burgeoning brewing scene.
Telluride, Colorado, doesn’t get quite as much snow as some of the others on this list, but it’s helped out by the multitude of north-facing slopes. With 125 trails and three terrain parks, Telluride offers a great experience for experts, as well as more casual skiers. Much of the newer lodging is located at Mountain Village, a separate town on a plateau at mid-mountain.
Plain and simple, Alta averages a ton of snow each winter. 510 inches to be exact. Alta also puts off a much different vibe than a lot of the other resorts. It’s more communal than vacation, and finding the right slope can be tricky. Tricky, but incredibly rewarding. If you haven’t been to Alta, then you should at least be in the process of planning a trip.
With over 5,000 acres and 193 trails, Vail continues to be one of the biggest names in skiing. The skiing is amazing, but the experience of the town may be the best there is. Plenty of great restaurants gathered together in a cozy environment make Vail a must for most skiers and snowboarders.
Grand Targhee doesn’t have a lot of the amenities that a bigger, more established town like Vail or Aspen has, but it makes up for that in snowfall and much less competition for powder. Located on the other side of the mountains from Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee has less name recognition, but fantastic views and a much less crowded atmosphere.
Getting outside and staying active in the winter is difficult for many, but if you’re the type that loves to get out and face the elements, than these ski resorts are the perfect place for you to plan your next winter trip. Warm weather or cold, you’re always going to need to adequately prepare yourself before a workout, and replenish after you get done. So check out Promax’s full line of nutritious and protein-packed energy bars today.
Here are some healthy alternatives to the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts
Valentine’s Day—depending on your current relationship status, you may be anticipating, or dreading, this holiday. For most couples, Valentine’s’ Day means at the very least a romantic date, along with some romantic gifts. But we’ve noticed a troubling trend. Boxes of chocolate, candy, and other sweets tend to dominate this time of year. If you’re in the toughest leg of a New Year’s resolution, or just trying to stay fit, Valentine’s Day can be a misstep that you may want to avoid.
But you still have to get your significant other something, right? Well, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a list of some health and fitness related gifts that you can get your partner. Just be sure you’ve both agreed to a healthy Valentine’s Day. You don’t want to, um, send the wrong message with a new pair of running shoes.
This is the perfect gift for anyone looking to get a little more control over their daily routine. With the Flex, you can track your steps, calories burned, and active minutes, and you can monitor your daily progress with its LED lighting. The Flex is water-resistant, has a 5 day battery life, and its slim profile doesn’t get in the way of your movement. And if you’re really a couple that cares about fitness, get two and turn it into a competition. You’ll both be taking the stairs in no time.
If you and your significant other love working out, then chances are you’ve tried a number of different headphones with the hope of finding a pair that actually stay in your ear, while providing some great sound. Look no further than these Bose SoundSport headphones. These in-ear headphones are comfortable, sweat- and weather-resistant, and provide beautiful, clear sound. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely, especially for runners who have had a hard time finding an ear bud that will stay in during a long run. Trust us, you won’t want to workout with any other headphone after you’ve tried these.
Starting off your day with a smoothie is a delicious and healthy way to get going in the morning, and we’re willing to bet that you don’t like spending a ton of money at your local smoothie shack. With the Oster Blend-N-Go, you can fill a personal-sized bottle with your own smoothie ingredients, blend them, and then pop the jar off and take it with you. Think about it—you know exactly how much smoothie you’re making, you only have to clean up one container, and you can clean and reuse the jar as a water bottle later in the day. Your significant other will love the convenience, and hey, maybe you can throw some chocolate covered strawberries in there on Valentine’s Day.
Hopefully we’ve given you an idea or two about what to get your partner this Valentine’s Day that will also help you both stay fit. To learn more, visit our blog, and while you’re at it, check out our full line of protein bars for workout recovery.
You’ve likely heard a lot about superfoods: specific foods, such as certain fruits or vegetables, that have superior properties and can help boost your health.
But how super are superfoods really? Are they actually as effective as the media would like you to believe, or are they just a gimmick?
Are These Foods Really “Super?”
There are many claims that superfoods are good for you, but they don’t necessarily have the power that you might think they have.
Like a lot of people, you might think that you can eat just a little bit of a superfood and it will help eliminate a certain health problem that you are dealing with. But you have to keep in mind that, when studies are conducted, they often involve testing high concentrations of extracts from the foods. When you eat superfoods in their natural state, you aren’t getting the same high concentrations of those compounds or nutrients, so the health claims can be a bit misleading.
For example, when garlic was shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, people weren’t told that they would have to eat about 28 cloves every day in order to match doses that were studied in the lab.
Some Examples of Superfoods
Over the last few years, a lot of foods have been touted as superfoods. Some of them are promoted with exaggerated claims, but a few are highly recommended.
Berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, are good for you because they have high amounts of flavonoids. You can potentially decrease your risk for a heart attack if you consume nine servings of berries, other fruits, and vegetables daily.
Seeds, legumes, and nuts are a great source of healthy fats, as well as protein, and it’s recommended that you consume about four servings per week, according to the American Heart Association.
Kale is considered a superfood because it has a host of nutrients, including potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and phytochemicals. Incorporate it into your diet with other fruits and vegetables.
You Should Eat Superfoods as Part of a Healthy Diet
If you’re consuming a generally poor diet on a day-to-day basis, you won’t reap many benefits from the superfoods you choose to include every now and then. Sure, you can have some dark chocolate because it has bioactive compounds that may provide health benefits, but check the ingredients list for things like fat and sugar, which you don’t want to increase, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
The key to your health would instead lie in consuming a healthy diet that contains a variety of whole foods that are packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamin D, calcium, and potassium, to name a few. This means you should eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains, as these all contain phytochemicals that are found in plants and may be able to protect against disease.
It isn’t realistic to think that you can just add certain superfoods to your diet to greatly enhance your health. Instead, experts recommend eating a balanced diet that gives your body the nutrients it needs. This is a better way to go about attaining and maintaining health than by focusing all of your attention on just a few superfoods.
Check out some great exercises you can do as a team
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and for most people that means a romantic dinner and gifts of chocolate, candy, or other sugar-filled sweets. But you aren’t most people, and doubling your daily intake of sugar isn’t your idea of a good time. Still, you want to keep this Valentine’s Day romantic, right? You just want to do it on your terms.
At Promax, we get where you’re coming from. No need to sacrifice a nice intimate evening just because you don’t fall into the “chocolate roses” target demographic. So we’ve put together a list of some of the best exercises you can do together on Valentine’s Day, in place of all those empty calories.
- We’ll start off slow with the dynamic lunge. Stand facing your partner, about an arm’s length apart, and hold each other’s hands. Romantic, right? Lunge forward with your right leg as your partner lunges backward with their left leg. Reverse the motion, lunging backward with your right leg as your partner lunges forward with their left. Not incredibly challenging, but lunges are one of those exercises every beginner thinks they’ve got down, until they actually try them.
- Next we have the wheelbarrow pushup, which allows one of you to work on your upper body, while the other works leg muscles, and you both work your core. Start at the top of a pushup, and have your partner hold your feet in their hands. Brace your core, and do as many pushups as you can while maintaining your form. As you lower yourself down, your partner should simultaneously lower into a squat, keeping his or her arms straight. And once you’re done? Switch it up and hold onto your partner’s legs while they do pushups.
- You can also try the pull and release seated row. For this one, you’ll need the complicated piece of workout equipment known as a beach towel. Sit facing your partner with the bottom of your feet touching, knees slightly bent. Each of you will grasp one end of the towel, and perform a back and forth tug of war, keeping your back straight and maintaining good posture. Pull the towel into your midsection, and then squeeze your lats hard as your partner begins to pull in the opposite direction. Use a three-count to coordinate your pull and release.
- Time to congratulate yourselves for not giving in to the societal pressures to buy chocolate and other sweets on Valentine’s Day. Face your partner, arm’s length apart, and get in pushup position. Do a pushup, push back to starting position, and reach out and give your partner a high five. You deserve it.
So you’ve made it through Valentine’s Day your way. They told you that you had to buy chocolate and sit on the couch sipping wine, but you’ve beat them at their own game. After you’ve worked up a sweat with your partner, you’ll need something to refuel your bodies and keep you going. So check out Promax’s full line of protein bars today!
Information posted on this website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Promax Nutrition Corp. (“Promax”) has compiled and prepared this information to help educate viewers about the importance of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors in maintaining good health. Promax intends to provide current and accurate information, but does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or usefulness of any information or resources listed on this Site. Promax assumes no responsibility or liability for any use of, or reliance on this information. This information does not constitute and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your physician with any questions about your health, and before beginning any exercise or dietary program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on this website. This Site has not been reviewed or endorsed by any governmental agency or certifying organization. Publication of links to third party websites and other information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of any Promax product.