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Healthy Gifts For Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Gifts

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.

Fitbit Flex

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.

Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones

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.

Oster Blend-N-Go

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.

Posted in Fitness, Nutrition | February 11, 2016

How Super are Superfoods?

Berries

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.

Promax bars are also a great part of a balanced diet – and we think they’re just as super as any superfood! For more information about Promax Nutrition, check out our product page or our blog.

Posted in Nutrition, Protein | February 10, 2016

Valentine’s Day Workouts For Couples

Couples Workout

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!

Posted in Fitness, Protein | February 9, 2016

Joe Wilson

Featured Fan - Joe WilsonWhat makes you the Featured Fan?
I love PROMAX bars. My masters swim coach recommended them to me. A PROMAX bar is perfect after a hard swimming practice. Also, when I’m on the road, an apple and a PROMAX bar make for a complete lunch. When I compete in a swim meet, I always bring one or two bars to eat between races and maybe give one to another swimmer. Plus they taste great.Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
PROMAX Original Double Fudge Brownie.

Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
As I age, Fitness and Nutrition become more and more crucial. Personally, I have a tendency to put on weight so it’s mandatory. And, if I don’t exercise and eat right, my energy levels are much lower. As an athlete who is keenly aware of health issues, I need to maintain this lifestyle for every imaginable reason including keeping up with my two high-energy dogs who need a lot of exercise. Also, I run in 5K races and compete in masters swimming competitions so it’s all part of the entire package.

What is one unique thing about you?
I’d like to say it’s that I swam from Petit Bateau Island to Jamesby Island and back in the Tobago Cays in the Grenadines, but someone else might have done that also, which would no longer make it unique. I’m in my early 60s and did amazing things in my 50s. At age 54, I did two 7-mile swims on consecutive Sundays while recovering from a quadriceps tendon rupture. One unique thing is my “pyramid philosophy” for athletic training. It’s too detailed to write here but I intend to publish it somewhere soon.

Posted in Featured Fan | February 8, 2016

Protein: Your Body’s Fuel for Life

Protein

Protein plays a critical role in building and maintaining a healthy body, providing critical components for forming muscles and bones, and even hair and fingernails. For fitness enthusiasts, increasing protein intake is important for burning calories and building muscle, and vegetarian protein bars are a great way to get the nutrients you need without absorbing harmful substances contained in meat-based sources of protein.

Protein performs a number of critical services for the body, including:

  • Building body parts – Protein can be found in just about every cell in the human body. Specialized proteins known as structural proteins help provide structure and support for the body, and collagens are another form of protein present in bones, ligaments, skin, and tendons. Collagen helps support connective tissues.
  • Building immunity – Protein is a critical component of the body’s immune system, and a key component of antibodies, which help track down and destroy harmful bacteria or viruses. People who don’t get enough protein are at greater risk of falling ill and will have a tougher time recovering than those who have an adequate amount of protein in their diets.
  • Transporting nutrients – Proteins help move potassium, sodium, and other critical vitamins and nutrients throughout the body. It also plays a critical role in bringing oxygen from the lungs and into the body via hemoglobin.
  • Weight loss – Consuming protein can aid in weight loss. Protein has a high thermic effect, meaning that it burns faster than other nutrients like fat or carbohydrates. It is also more satiating than other nutrients. This means that consuming protein will leave you feeling full longer than you would if you ate other foods. By prolonging the feeling of fullness, you’ll reduce any unnecessary food intake.
  • Forming enzymes – Protein helps form enzymes such as pepsin and lactase, which are critical for digestion and the efficient absorption of nutrients from food.

As you can see, protein plays a critical role in health and fitness.  Unfortunately, many people seeking to become fit don’t consume enough protein when they diet. How much protein you should consume will depend upon a number of variables, including your gender, weight, age, and other factors. In general, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends:

  • Three servings, for a total of seven ounces per day, for teenage boys and active men.
  • Two servings, for a total of five ounces per day, for children ages 2 to 6, the majority of women, and most older adults.
  • Two servings, for a total of six ounces per day, for older boys and girls, teenage girls, active women, and most men.

A nutritionist or trainer can help fitness enthusiasts determine how much protein is right for them, and whether sources like vegetarian energy bars are the right choice.

Promax Nutrition provides a convenient solution for people seeking the protein, vitamins, and minerals they need to build better bodies. Delicious, vegetarian, and gluten-free, Promax bars are a tasty alternative for fitness enthusiasts seeking quality nutrition.

Posted in Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Protein | February 3, 2016

Getting That Booty Right: Four Tips for Better Glutes

Bigger Glutes

The bottom is the bottom line for many fitness enthusiasts who are hitting the gym to build a firmer, toner tush. Building a better butt can be one of the biggest challenges in fitness, as finding the right combination of exercise and healthy eating can be tough. However, with the right workout, you can quickly see results in the rear view.

When working on firming up your back side, the set of muscles you’ll be working on are the glutes, or gluteal muscles as they’re more formally called. The glutes are a set of three muscles in the buttocks, including the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Believe it or not, these muscles do quite a bit of work helping to facilitate movement of the hip joint and supporting the extended knee.

If you’re looking to build up your glutes, consider these exercises:

  • Squats – Obviously, the squat is going to be one of the most helpful exercises for toning up your back side. To properly perform a squat, stand with your feet slightly further apart than your hips. Point your toes outward by just a little bit. Next, extend your arms forward, and then push your backside backward. Be sure to start by moving your hips back before bending your knees to perform a proper squat. Try to squat down until your hips are level or lower than your knees.

Bigger Glutes

  • Glute bridge – To perform this exercise, sit on the floor and press your upper back against a bench. Bend your knees and keep your feet level on the ground in front of you as you squeeze your gluteal muscles to raise your pelvis off the ground. Keep raising your pelvis until you form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees and hips. The key to making this exercise work is to exclusively use your gluteal muscles.
  • Step-up – One of the easiest and most effective exercises to build up your butt, the step up is a staple of many exercise routines. To do step-ups, put one foot on a step or crate and place your weight on the center of your foot. Then step straight up, while squeezing the glute of the leg on the step or crate when you reach the top of the movement.
  • Barbell hip thrust – For a deep gluteal burn, try the barbell hip thrust. Put your upper back against a box or bench and keep your knees bent with your feet flat on the ground. Next, place a padded, loaded barbell on your lap. Then, lift your hips using your glutes until they’re in line with your body, which will now lay flat across the bench or box.

With these exercises, a healthy diet, and the advice of your trainer, you’ll soon be on your way to a better-looking backside.

Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian protein bars.

Posted in Fitness, Gym | January 24, 2016

Five Strategies for Building Muscle

Muscle Building Strategies

Strength is the cornerstone of fitness. Building muscle allows you to hit harder and move faster, and it also enhances your ability to effectively lose weight and withstand injury. By increasing your strength, you’re also improving your health.

There are a variety of exercise routines fitness enthusiasts can use to build muscle. Foods like high protein, low carb bars can also help in building muscle without contributing to unnecessary weight gain.

Some of the most effective strategies for building strength and muscle mass include:

  • Get back to basics –The bench press, shoulder press, deadlift, and squat are time-honored exercises for a good reason – they work. Incorporate these basic exercises into your routine, and you’ll soon begin seeing results. Also add classics like the chin-up and the row to your workout.
  • Gradually increase weight – A key reason why many exercise enthusiasts hit a wall in building muscle is that they try to ramp up weight too quickly. Don’t turn your workout into a competition with others. Do your lifts using a little less than your max weight for lifting in the rep range of your exercise. Slowly increase weight over time, and don’t add large amounts at one time. This slow burn will allow greater success in building strength.
  • Maintain balance to avoid injury – An injury will quickly put your bid to increase your muscle mass to a screeching halt. There are several ways to avoid injury, and one of the most effective is balancing your training. Make sure you do both pushing and pulling exercises to ensure your muscle development is even. Exercises don’t have to be balanced in one session, but it is wise to balance your exercises within the same week. Also, don’t forget leg day.
  • Work out standing up – When you work out while you’re standing, you’ll use more muscles and burn more calories. There are a number of great dumbbell exercises you can use in a standing position to increase your strength. The great thing about these exercises is that they work your core and your mid-section, too.
  • Consume plenty of protein – Protein is essential to building and maintaining muscle. Men and women trying to build muscle mass should consume one gram of protein for every pound of body weight each day. Spread the protein out over several small meals each day for maximum effectiveness. There are a variety of sources where exercise enthusiasts can obtain protein, but one of the best involves eating high protein bars. These bars are healthy, have high protein content, and many derive protein from sources other than animal protein. Animal protein can contribute to kidney stones, so obtaining protein from non-animal sources is a good idea if you’re stepping up your consumption of this nutrient.

With the right diet and exercise regimen, you can increase your strength and muscle mass, resulting in a healthier, more impressive body.

Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian snack bars.

Posted in Arm Workout, Gym, Protein, Strength Training | January 21, 2016

Megan

FFpage_012016_FF_215x215What makes you the Featured Fan?
I love mixing PROMAX bars into dessert-type snacks for a sweet, protein punch!Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
PROMAX LS Lower Sugar Peanut Butter Cookie Dough!

Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
It makes me feel good and strong and helps me to be confident, release stress.

What is one unique thing about you?
I’m in recovery from anorexia/orthorexia and a spinal cord injury but I won’t let anything hold me back! I’m determined to continue battling my obstacles and getting stronger, mentally and physically.

Check out Megan on Instagram!
@healthy_happy_and_free

Posted in Featured Fan | January 20, 2016

Stuffed Peanut Butter Muffins

Stuffed Peanut Butter Muffins

Ingredients:
1 scoop Peanut Butter Fluff whey
½ Promax Lower Sugar Peanut Butter Cookie Dough bar

4 Tbsp coconut flour (32g)
3 Tbsp egg substitute (46g)

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce (56g)

Roughly ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (120ml)

½ tsp vanilla

½ tsp baking powder

Sweetener, if desired (2 packets)

Directions:
Mix together everything but the milk and Promax Lower Sugar protein bar. Add milk slowly until you get desired muffin batter consistency. Divide ½ of the protein bar into 5 pieces. Fill cups halfway, drop in protein bar piece, cover with batter. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Makes: 5 muffins
434 calories | 13F | 45C | 40P

Source: DOer, Kim Hoeltje @kimhoeltje

Posted in MAXMunchies, Nutrition, Protein |

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Sundae

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Sundae

¼ cup Coconut Granola
1/3 cup Greek Yogurt
Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips
½ Promax Pro Series Peanut Butter Crisp Bar

Directions:

  1. Layer the granola and Greek yogurt
  2. Chop up the half bar of Pro Series bar
  3. Top the sundae with the Stevia chocolate chips and the pieces of Pro Series bars
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Brand Ambassador, Holly Perkins!

Posted in MAXMunchies, Nutrition, Protein | January 19, 2016

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