Category: Healthy Eating

Everything You Need to Know About Squats

High protein nutrition bars

Check any fitness blog and between articles on the best high protein nutrition bars and secrets for the perfect workout, and you’ll probably see dozens of entries about squats. In the past few years, squats have become an incredibly popular exercise in the fitness world, thanks to their ability to engage multiple parts of the body and give them a strenuous and effective workout.

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Eight Quick & Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Quick & Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so skimping on it simply isn’t an option. To stay in good health and to get into optimal shape, eating a good breakfast each day is a must.

This can be difficult if you have to hit the ground running each day – getting kids to school or clocking in early at work. Luckily, there are many great options for a quick and healthy breakfast, including nutritional bars and shakes and more traditional fare.

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Four Must-Do Warm-Ups Before Training

Do Warm-Ups

Planning on jumping right into the most strenuous part of your workout routine the minute you hit the gym floor? Think again. Failing to properly warm up before exercising can make injury more likely and can also reduce the effectiveness of your workout.

Warming-up before exercise is just as important as every other aspect of your exercise plan, such as doing the right exercises and using nutritional bars and protein supplements to enhance muscle-building. Exercise experts suggest the following workouts to ensure a safe and effective workout:

Increase Your Heart Rate

Pumping up your heart rate helps prepare your muscles for exercises and activates your nervous system. Before your workout, briefly jog, or run on the treadmill or bike. Jumping jacks or skipping rope can also help get your blood pumping at a faster rate.

Stretches Matter

Dynamic stretching can help prepare you for a workout. Make continuous motions to stretch your muscles and prepare them for a workout. Some suggested exercises include: moving your arms in circles, toe touches, and kicking your legs forward. You should avoid static stretches, as these stretches are detrimental to exercise performance.

Warm-Ups Before Training

Try a Few Lunges

Rotating lunges are great warm-up activities because they help to build balance and stability. To perform a rotating lunge, stand with your feet spread hip-width apart. Hold an object at chest level, and then take a big step forward with your left leg.

Bend your left knee and move downward until your thigh is more or less parallel to the floor. Next, hold and turn your torso to the right for a few seconds while keeping the object you’re holding in front of your chest. Then rotate back to the center and stand up again. Next, repeat this exercise with your right foot.

For Squat Enthusiasts

Pre-squat warm-up – Squats have become incredibly popular in recent years as they are great for building muscle and burning fat. However, there is a risk of injury involved that a proper warm-up can mitigate. If you’re planning to do squats, perform a kneeling glute mobilization warm-up. This movement helps to increase mobility in your hips.

To perform the kneeling glute mobilization:

  • Get on your hands and knees, and keep your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Cross one ankle behind the opposite knee, pushing the knee of the crossed ankle/leg into the ground.
  • Gradually ease your rear back to your heels. While doing this, keep your arms straight and your abs tight.
  • Sit back until you feel that the glute on your crossed ankle side has been stretched. Once it has, return to the starting position.

By getting a good warm-up in before you exercise, you maximize your potential gains from your workout and reduce your chance of injury. It’s well worth the investment of 5-15 minutes.

Promax Nutrition provides exercise enthusiasts with health fuel to build bigger, stronger muscles. Promax Nutrition’s wide range of protein bars and snacks provide targeted nutritional support to men and women building better bodies.

Tips for Staying Physically Fit and Motivated During the Summer Months

Staying Physically Fit

Working out during the hotter summer months can make you want to retreat to the indoors and avoid going outside until fall. However, with some minor adjustments, you can maintain your routines and stay fit. If you are going to train outdoors, you will want to avoid the hottest parts of the day, which are from around 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

It is recommended to work out early in the morning before heading off to work. Not only is it much cooler outside, your body will have increased energy and higher cognitive functioning throughout the day. If you are unable to get to your routines at this time, consider doing them in the evening after the sun has started to set.

If you are a night owl, you could even get in your workout routines in the evening, when it is much cooler. Just remember to wear reflective, brightly colored, or white clothing, and carry a flashlight to make it easier for motorists to see you.

One viable alternative for summertime workouts is to spend more time swimming and in the pool. There are plenty of water-type physical fitness exercises you can perform to help maintain and improve your abilities.

Regardless of the outdoor routines you prefer, remember to slather on the sunscreen and reapply frequently to protect your skin. You should also wear a baseball cap to shade your eyes, and UV protectant sunglasses. Take time to rehydrate yourself while working out by drinking plenty of water. Most people suggest drinking a small amount every fifteen minutes.

If you simply cannot handle the heat of the outdoors, look for a gym or fitness center in your area that offers short-term summer memberships. These facilities offer the comforts of air conditioning and access to a wide array of equipment you can use to ensure your entire body gets the attention it needs.

Workout Bars

If you are finding it hard to stay motivated, even with these various options, try implementing these tips:

  • Start listening to music to liven up your mood and motivate you to exercise.
  • Take time out to reward yourself for reaching fitness goals. Schedule a massage, go shopping, have a “cheat” day, or anything else you like.
  • Set easy-to-obtain goals. During the summer months, you will want to adjust your short-term and long-term goals. It can be harder to set higher demands on your body and, if you fall short, you can be discouraged and lose your motivation. For instance, if a short-term goal is to shed 10 pounds in a month, you might want to adjust this to losing a minimum of a pound a week for 10 weeks.
  • Don’t punish yourself if you skip working out for a day or two. If it is simply too hot outside, and you need to stay indoors, avoid feeling guilty about it. Instead, do some pushups, sit ups, or house cleaning to get in some physical activity.

After intensive workouts during the summer and throughout the rest of the year, remember to refuel your body with workout and sports nutrition bars from Promax Nutrition. Order yours today online, or call us at (888) 728-8962 for further help in selecting the right bars to fit your needs.

Diets For Different Training Regimens

Veggies

Everyone knows that guys who lift a lot of weights are always talking about protein. It helps build muscle and quickens recovery time, so there actually is a reason these guys make protein sound as essential as water to their everyday lifestyle. But not everyone is throwing around serious weights every day, and not everyone wants to get huge muscles. There are plenty of different workout routines out there, and as you might have already guessed, they all require a modified diet to be effective. Check out some of the more popular workout regimens and their respective diets.

Endurance Sports

Training for endurance events like a marathon, ironman, or a long bicycle race means you are going to need a lot of energy. As with any diet, you should be getting your calories from a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, but you’ll be focusing more on carbohydrates. That’s because carbs are the perfect fuel for endurance trainers. They’re easily digestible and your body can use them quickly, staving off early fatigue and providing energy. Make sure that you get your carbs from healthy sources like whole wheat bread, legumes, nuts, or vegetables, and avoid white bread, sugary cereals, cakes, or refined potato products. And keep in mind that you’ll still need a healthy amount of fat and protein in your diet.

Weightlifting

As we mentioned before, protein is king if you’re looking to pack on muscle. That means you’re going to want to up your intake of lean protein, while still avoiding bad carbs and sugary snacks or drinks. That means lean beef, skinless chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, and yes, your whey protein supplement. But there’s no need to go overboard, because while protein is extremely important for muscle growth, your body can only utilize so much of it for protein synthesis. So a protein supplement after your workout is great, but there’s no need to be adding that 40-50g protein shake to a diet that’s already full of protein.

Sprinters

Sprinters have to walk a fine line, keeping their bodies in peak physical shape without adding on the muscle mass that weightlifters are looking for. Still, they do need to prioritize protein in their diet. That’s because unlike long distance runners, sprinters don’t need large quantities of carbohydrates in their diet. It’s also recommended that you get these carbs from clean sources like vegetables, sweet potatoes, or whole grain bread and oatmeal. And remember that the carbs will give you an energy boost, so look to time the majority of your carb intake around training or events.

Remember that no matter what you’re training for, a healthy diet will always have some balance to it. Your body needs calories from a variety of different sources, and you won’t see the results you want if you’re cutting carbs or fat out of your diet altogether. That being said, the best way to help your body recover after a tough day of training is with a supplement like our protein bars. They’ve got all the protein and nutrition your body is looking for!

The Importance of Snacking Throughout the Day

Healthy snacking tips

When you were a kid, did your mom ever scold you for eating between meals? Her heart may have been in the right place, but it turns out she was wrong: Not only will snacking not spoil your meal, it’s also an important part of staying healthy and losing weight.

Snacking Keeps Blood Sugar Balanced

Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level is an incredibly important part of staying healthy. Three to five hours after eating, blood sugar levels take a dive, slowing down our metabolism. When our blood sugar undergoes constant dips and spikes, it increases our chances of developing serious health problems like insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.

One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar steady? Snacking, especially if you eat a consistent amount of carbs.

Snacking Prevents Overeating

We all sometimes get hungry between meals. When we don’t slake our hunger with a little snack before mealtime, those hunger pangs are more likely to make us overeat. If you’re feeling bad about grabbing a snack a couple of hours before lunch or dinner, don’t – instead, grab something rich in carbs like fruit or whole grains, and combine it with nuts, dairy, or other protein-rich foods. Not only do these food contain important nutrients, they’re also the most filling.

Snacking Helps Us Lose Weight

It may sound counterintuitive, but snacking is one of the best ways to start losing weight. Specifically, moving from a schedule of a couple of big meals to one with smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day helps us keep our intake and output consistent, and makes it less likely that we’ll overeat. The trick is to keep your meals small, and space them out consistently throughout the day.

Snacking Improves Mood and Helps Us Focus

Remember what we said earlier about blood sugar drops and slowed down metabolisms? After your body burns through the food you’ve ingested, the body reacts by slowing down, which leads to crankiness, tiredness, and an inability to concentrate. Grabbing a snack between meals will keep your energy levels up and prevent the onset of foul moods that affect productivity and make the day seem longer.

Good snack foods

A Few Tips for Snacking

Snacking may be good for us, but that doesn’t mean that every type of snack is healthy. Candy bars and other sugary snacks should be avoided as much as possible; not only do they pack on the pounds, they also burn up quickly, leaving you more hungry and cranky than you were before you grabbed a snack.

The best in-between meal snacks are ones that are rich in protein and amino acids (cheese, meat, tofu), carbohydrates (fruit, honey, whole grains, vegetables), and/or omega-3 fatty acids (fish, yogurt).

If you’re looking for the perfect, healthy snack to keep your energy up and help you lose weight, Promax Nutrition bars are the perfect choice available in many different flavors and varieties, including lower sugar. Learn more by looking through our website today.

Healthy And Patriotic Snacks To Celebrate All Through July

Healthy Snacks

The Fourth of July is not known as being one of our healthiest holidays. Whether there really are any “healthy” holidays is up for debate, but we can all agree that hot dogs, beer, and bomb pops aren’t a recipe for clean and healthy living. Still, you want to have fun, but without totally killing your diet and setting you back two weeks. It may seem tough, but it’s actually pretty easy to make yourself some healthy—and patriotic—snacks that you can enjoy all month long.

Red White and Blue Smoothie

Technically, it won’t come out looking red, white, and blue, but it will look amazing in the blender before you fire it up. Strawberries, banana slices, and blueberries layered in a blender just scream independence from your waistline. Use soy milk and coconut water to keep it from getting too thick, and feel free to top it with any other fruit you want.

Red, Mint, and Blue Fruit Salad

What this dish lacks in complexity, it makes up for in deliciousness. Add watermelon slices, blueberries, and finely chopped mint in a bowl. Add lime juice and an optional tablespoon of honey, and you’re good to go.

Ants on a Log

Cut up some celery sticks, and spread them with low-fat cream cheese. Then top them with blueberries and raspberries for this patriotic take on an old favorite.

Patriotic Potato

Need something with a little more substance? Make a baked potato, but top it with low-fat Swiss cheese and salsa. If you’re looking for that blue to make it a little more flag-like, then snag some purple potatoes while you’re at the store.

Potato Salad

And if you did pick up some purple potatoes, you probably noticed that there are a ton of different varieties and colors to choose from. Pick out the closest varieties you can to red, white, and blue, and chop them up for a potato salad. A simple oil and vinegar dressing will get you plenty of flavor without loading up on extra calories.

Banana Pop

Missing those bomb pops from your childhood, but looking for a healthy adult version? Peel a banana, cover it in yogurt and roll it through crushed cereal, sliced strawberries, and blueberries. Stick it in the freezer the night before, and you can enjoy the adult version of your childhood frozen treat.

Patriotic Pita

Get yourself some whole grain pita pockets, and stuff them with ricotta cheese and raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries, and you’ve quickly got yourself a great red white and blue treat for the Fourth.

In July we celebrate our independence, so don’t get trapped by empty calories and fried food. Try some of these healthy alternatives, and you’ll still find yourself feeling fit and looking good for your next trip to the beach.

How Do Olympians Train for the Games?

How do Olympians train

Olympians are the best athletes in the world. If you’re looking for amazing displays of just what the human body is capable of doing, there’s no better place to look. Of course, getting to the level of an Olympian isn’t easy; it takes a combination of natural talent and years of dedicated training it be able to do what those athletes do.

Not everyone has the natural talent, but anyone can take an example from the training that Olympians use to get in peak physical shape, and apply it to their own workout routines.

Proper Diet

What, did you think training to be an Olympian was all springs and weight lifting? Any Olympic athlete or trainer can tell you that just important to getting into shape is proper diet and hydration.

Specifically, Olympians eat a breakfast rich in carbohydrates and lean protein, and keep eating every 3-4 hours (and within 90 minutes of every workout). Also, they drink lots of fluids. LOTS of fluids. On a typical day, an Olympian drinks half their own body weight in water, plus sports drinks rich in electrolytes after workouts.

Warm-Up and Recovery

Also important to developing the perfect Olympic training regimen is understanding the role warm-ups and recovery exercises play. A typical Olympic warm-up includes 10 minutes of jogging or jumping rope, followed by 10-15 minutes of dynamic warm-ups (skipping, reverse lunges, or other exercises that improve flexibility and coordination, and prevent injuries).

Once the workout is finished, Olympians always make sure to follow up with recovery techniques to reduce soreness and keep the body limber – foam rolling, massage, and stretches are a must.

Planning and Mental Training

It’s always a good idea to have a specific fitness goal in mind, so that you have something to work toward and a way to measure your progress. Like with everything else, Olympians take this to the next level.

Most Olympic athletes plan their training schedules years in advance (four years in advance, to be precise), and then stick with that schedule from the time one year’s Games end and another begins.

While most people may not have the time or discipline to stick to a four-year plan like that, they can still follow Olympians’ example by setting a specific goal for themselves, and a timeframe in which they want to meet it. Training like an Olympian requires exercising your brain and willpower, as much as your muscles.

Train like an Olympic athlete

Diversify Your Routine

Most athletes may focus on one particular event, but that doesn’t mean that they keep their training confined to just one of exercise. Runners don’t just run – they do sit ups, pull ups, ball exercises, and sometimes even take ballet. To be the best physically, you need to build all your muscles and train your entire body.

Training like an Olympian starts with the perfect diet. Promax Nutrition sports nutrition bars are designed to provide athletes with the perfect mix of proteins and nutrients, and come in a variety of flavors and formulas to meet your needs. Want to learn more? Contact us today.

What’s Your Promax Bar Personality?

Promax Personality

While we all want to be fit and healthy, not everyone lives the same lifestyle or has the same nutritional needs. A serious weightlifter may need a protein heavy diet to see gains, but a mother of two small children probably needs a considerably more balanced diet to stay healthy and active. We understand that, and that’s why we have so many different Promax protein bars for you to choose from. The differences aren’t just in flavor—they’re also in the amount of protein, sugar, carbs, and fiber that go into each bar. So take a look and see which bar might be right for your fitness personality.

Workout Warrior

Sunday night means meal prep and setting aside your supplements for the weak. You’ve got goals, and you’re well on the way to accomplishing them. You’re definitely getting the most out of your gym membership. Meaning you’ve got a they-ask-how-your-parents-are-doing kind of relationship. You want the Pro Series. Available in Triple Chocolate Crisp or Peanut Butter Crisp, the Pro Series has 25 grams of protein – with whey protein as the primary source – and is designed with a precise blend of macronutrients to help fuel intense training—perfect for pre-workout fuel and post-workout recovery.

On. The. Go.

There simply isn’t enough time in the day. You’ve got spreadsheets to make, dinner to cook, and a soccer game to cheer at. And if you’re lucky, you can fit in a walk during lunch. You don’t have time for a sit down breakfast or lunch, so you need something that can fill you up without slowing you down. The original Promax bar is available in six different flavors, from Cookies ‘n Cream to Lemon Bar. It’ll provide you with enough energy to go from work, to the gym, to that soccer game, and finally back home. Make your busy day doable with a Promax Original protein bar.

Carb Conscious

You’re looking for that six-pack, and you know that some diet supplements are full of carbs that will slow you down and keep you from your goals. If you want that beach body, then try our Carb Sense line of protein bars. You still get 18 grams of protein, but you don’t have to compromise your diet while you do it, since each one only has 5-6g net carbs. Try our Chocolate Mint, Honey Peanut, or Salted Caramel, and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t join Promax nation sooner.

The Serial Snacker

You’re all about eating small meals throughout the day, but sometimes those little snacks aren’t the healthiest. You know you already get plenty of added sugar in most processed foods, so you’re looking for something that will get you all the nutrition you need—without all that sugar. So try a Lower Sugar protein bar. Available in Chocolate Fudge, Peanut Butter Chocolate, or Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, you’ll feel like you’re getting a treat, but without any artificial sweeteners or gelatin.

There really is a Promax bar for everyone, but if you need a little more convincing, try out our Pick Your Protein option to find exactly what you’re looking for.

The Benefits of Burpees

Protein Bar

Before explaining the benefits of burpees, it is important to share what exactly a burpee is, for those who have never heard of this exercise. A burpee is a six-count intense exercise movement, which combines squats and push-ups into an intensive singular movement, where you go from a standing position, to a squat, to a plank position, then perform a push-up and finally, reversing the order until you are standing.

Performing burpees as part of your normal workout routine does have several benefits. However, before attempting this intensive exercise, it is highly recommended you have someone there to supervise, as well as get permission from your healthcare provider, if you are not in peak physical condition. Some of the benefits you can gain by doing burpees, and repeating them in quick succession, as many times as possible before tiring include:

  • Increases Endurance – Since burpees are performed quickly, and rely upon the entire movement of the body and all of your body weight, they are considered a “high-load” exercise. In addition, most people can perform as many as 15 complete burpees in just a 30 second period. Due to the high repetitions in a short period of time and high weight load, they are an effective exercise to use to increase endurance.
  • Promotes Weight Loss – Burpees can help you lose weight (fat) because you are moving the muscles throughout the entire body and burning a large number of calories. When you burn more calories than you consume, it results in a reduction in body fat.
  • Increases Strength – Since burpees push you through a wide range of strength building exercises, namely push-ups and squats, they help increase muscle mass and muscle strength. Not only does muscular strength in the legs and arms increase, but also the back, hips, stomach, and more.
  • Improves Anaerobic Capacity – Burpees raise your heart rate in a short period of time, thereby contributing to anaerobic exercise training. During anaerobic training the body tends to produce energy with limited or without oxygen assistance. Doing burpees frequently can help increase your anaerobic capacity, and lead to improved heart and lung health.

For beginners, it is highly recommended to move through the burpee motions slowly at a regular pace, and gradually increase the speed in which you complete them as you become more comfortable. The last thing you want to do is cause an injury to your body because you tried to quickly move through unfamiliar motions.

If you are having problems performing burpees with your hands firmly on the floor, some beginners rely upon a step, bench, or box for support. As you become more proficient, then you should gradually lower the height of the support until you are doing burpees directly on the floor.

Protein Bars

As your body starts to peak with regular burpees, you should consider one of several different burpee variations to make your reps more challenging, to continue to gain further benefits. After any intense workout, including burpees, remember to refuel your body with energy bars and protein bars ordered from Promax Nutrition by calling (888) 728-8962 now.