Training in the outdoors during the hot summer months is more challenging than working out during the cooler spring and fall months. As the heat and humidity increase, your overall performance tends to decrease. This is largely due to the fact that the body, on the physiological level, does not function as well. The body sweats more, which translates to dehydration. In addition, the heart rate is much higher and blood flow is reduced. As a result, less oxygen is getting to the muscles.
Sweating cannot be helped while working out, especially outdoors in summertime. Sweat is the body’s own natural air conditioning system to help cool down the body. The sweat removes excess heat from within the body. As the sweat evaporates, it cools. However, the rate of evaporation is directly related to the humidity levels. Higher humidity means slower evaporation and less cooling.
With sweating also comes dehydration, because the body is losing water, salt, and electrolytes. Further complicating matters is an increase in heart rate. Normally it will increase about four beats per minute when working out at temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature continues to climb, heart rates can increase 10 beats or more per minute, with increases in humidity further contributing to even higher heart rates.
In addition, as sweat is released, the volume of blood flow declines, too. This means there is less blood returning to the heart and lungs to get oxygen and supply that oxygen to your muscles. Since the muscles are getting less oxygen, they cannot produce as much energy, so you will notice a slowdown in your workout routine.
However, exercising outdoors in hot summer days does have its benefits. Mainly, your endurance levels and performance will increase as your body acclimates to working out in this type of environment. Even still, there are several precautions you should take, along with these tips to ensure a safe workout:
- Keep hydrated. Drink a few glasses of water before starting your routine, and take along plenty of water. Remember to drink a little water about every fifteen minutes, as well as few more glasses of water afterwards.
- Avoid the hottest times of the day. It is best to avoid working out from around 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., as this is when it is hottest. Try to fit your routines in either before or after this time.
- Remember to protect your skin. Wear a high SPF rated sunscreen that is waterproof to protect your skin, even on cloudy and overcast days.
- Wear light colored, breathable clothing. Light colors reflect heat, and breathable clothing helps keep you cooler.
- Replenish lost electrolytes and salt after workouts. Eat sports nutrition bars and drink water infused with electrolytes to restore the proper levels.
Stock up on your favorite nutrition, sports, energy, and workout bars by ordering them direct from Promax Nutrition today, or call (888) 728-8962 for further assistance.
From short weekend beach trips to week long family getaways, and other such travel, it can be challenging to maintain you normal exercise, fitness, and dietary routines. Not to mention, you do not always have access to the same conveniences you have at home and at your local fitness center.
Some people will tell you since you are on vacation, you should relax, splurge, and enjoy yourself. However, you might be the type of person who will not be happy with themselves after returning home having packed on five or ten additional pounds.
The following suggestions and tips are ideal for both personal and business travel and will help you stay in shape, while still enjoying your summer adventures.
- Pack Workout Tools – Resistance bands, water weights, and jump ropes do not take up much room in your carry on or checked bags. These tools help you get in a 20 or 30 minute workout before heading out for the day.
- Utilize the Amenities in Your Hotel Room – Pack dry oatmeal, protein bars, and other such nutritious snacks and meals. As long as they are not liquids, you can carry them onto an airplane. If your room has a refrigerator, make a trip to a local grocery store and stock it with fresh fruit and vegetables, yogurt, and other healthy options.
TIP: If your hotel offers a free breakfast, you can pick up fresh fruit, yogurt, and other healthy items for free.
- Visit Your Hotel’s Fitness Center – Try to choose accommodations which feature a fitness center, to have access to exercise equipment and machines to supplement the workout tools you brought along.
- Do Your Workouts in the Morning – Getting up early while on vacation does not sound like fun. However, if you put off working out until later in the day or evening, you probably are going to feel tired and not do it. Plus, working out in the morning gives you more energy throughout the entire day.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Having easy access to water is sometimes challenging while traveling and on vacation. Make it a point to drink water throughout the day to help remain hydrated.TIP: Pack a reusable water bottle or two in your luggage and keep these in your mini fridge.
- Don’t Stress if You Deviate from Your Normal Workout Routine – You are on vacation or traveling with limited access. It is okay if you deviate a little. As long as you are trying to fit in 10 minutes of exercise and sticking to a healthy diet for your snacks and at least two out of three of your daily meals, you should be close to, if not in, the same condition as when you left home.
Remember to order plenty of protein and energy bars for your summer travels and vacations, by contacting Promax Nutrition today at (888) 728-8962.
Do not neglect your knees if you want to achieve better health and fitness. The quadriceps are an important group of muscles around your knee that are vital to movement. Strengthening your quads with a healthy regimen of exercise and nutrition, including getting enough protein from energy bars and snacks, can help you improve athletic performance, and avoid knee injury and pain.
What Are Quads, Anyway?
Your quadriceps, or quads, are a group of muscles located on the front of your thighs. The quads consist of the vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris muscles. Pretty much any motion you do with your legs involves the quads, as they work to bend and straighten the knee. Maintaining strong quads can help prevent knee pain and injury, particularly among women.
Strong quads can help stave off knee osteoarthritis and reduce pain associated with the condition for those that already have it. Women with strong quads are less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis. Men can also benefit from strong quads, but the benefits are more pronounced among women.
Strengthening quads is particularly important to athletes who put a lot of wear and tear on these muscles. By strengthening the quadriceps, athletes not only reduce the risk of injuries to those muscles, they also reduce the risk of injury to other muscles, such as the hamstrings.
Four Quad Strengthening Exercises
For athletes and fitness enthusiasts trying to build bigger quads, the following exercises can put you on the right track:
- Squats – No other exercise is as effective as squats in building up thigh muscles. Although you can’t isolate your quads when doing squats, the exercise does greatly benefit a large area of your legs, including your quads. Squatting on a heel board can increase the workload for your quads somewhat, so it’s worth trying. Be sure not to overdo it, however.
- Dumbbell and Barbell Lunges – Dumbbell and barbell lunges are highly effective exercises for building the quads. These lunges increase strength and muscle size, and can also help improve your balance. For newbies, dumbbell lunges are a good starting point. You can eventually work your way up to the more demanding barbell lunges.
- Leg Presses – This form of exercise is highly effective for building strength. It requires less technical skill than a squat, making it great for people new to exercise. Also, leg press machines help stabilize muscles, allowing you to work with heavier weights.
- Step-ups – Steps ups allow you to build muscle stability and strength. Steps ups are unilateral movements that require you to develop balance. They strengthen each leg individually and are a good departure from the squat. Placing a barbell loaded with weight on your back or holding barbells while doing step-ups will increase their efficacy.
Eating right is also essential to improving your fitness. Many exercise experts recommend eating a protein-stocked meal or snack shortly after exercising to help the body rebuild muscles broken down by exercise.
Promax Nutrition provides all-natural, vegetarian protein bars for fitness and nutrition enthusiasts. Great-tasting and full of healthy protein, Promax bars are an excellent nutritional supplement for people serious about getting into the best shape of their lives.
Much has already been said about protein, and you probably already know the basics: It’s the building block of cells and hence the whole body, and it goes into making muscles, tendons, and organs, including skin. Proteins also contribute to the production of enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters. Proteins are so embedded in our makeup and our nutrition needs that it impacts our lives and health in ways you might not even know.
So, here are five interesting facts about protein that you might not have heard before:
- Insects are good source of protein. They are on par with meat from other animals. Locusts and grasshoppers, for example, can supply the same amount of protein that by weight that beef does. Other edible insects, such as crickets, termites, and mealworms, vary in their protein content, but are on par with beef and seafood. The protein availability of insects depends on what they eat – they have to be fed the right kind of grains in order to be high in protein. So, as the world population continues to swell, you might start seeing insects flying off the shelves of your nearest store.
- Americans don’t eat the most meat. However, they are a close second to the inhabitants of Luxembourg. Each person there consumes a whopping 300 pounds of meat per year. Americans consume about 276 pounds per year. Americans’ taste for meat is declining – we consume about 20 pounds less per year than we did about 10 years ago. Beef used to be our meat of choice until about the early 1990s, when chicken started its ascent into popularity, and it has showed no signs of stopping.
- Protein makes your hair curl. Researchers looked at curly hair and straight hair through an electron microscope. They found that keratin – the protein that’s the primary component of hair – was distributed unevenly in curly hair: It accumulated on the inside edge of the curl, as opposed to being spread evenly over the hair, as in straighter hair.
- Some proteins have weird names. There’s the Sonic Hedgehog protein, which plays a role in the development of the brain and nervous system. There’s also Pikachurin, which is a fast-acting protein that facilitates visual function.
- Protein deficiency can have serious consequences. For example, if you’re lacking in the protein albumin – the most common protein found in your blood – you could suffer a variety of symptoms, including swelling all over the body. So, it’s important to eat a varied diet. Other signs of protein deficiency could be lethargy, muscle or joint pain, trouble sleeping … even hair loss and dried, cracked skin on the corners of your mouth.
Our protein bars and energy bars are great for giving you the necessary proteins you need if you’re always busy and need to snack between meals or ensure you get the right nutrients before or after your workout. Check out our selection of protein bars and other high-quality products, and get started on the path to better nutrition today.
The amount of time you should rest in between weightlifting sets is different for everyone. The time you should wait is based upon your goals and objectives. It is important to identify what your goal is and use that goal to determine appropriate resting periods. Some of the more common goals people have include:
Strength Training – This type of weightlifting is to help you get stronger faster. The ideal rest period for strength training is between three and five minutes. This is due to the body’s ability to produce phosphagen, which it only has a small amount of and quickly burns through. Phosphagen makes it possible to lift heavy weights and perform one to six reps in quick succession without the use of oxygen.
Muscle Building (Hypertrophy) Training – This training helps increase muscle mass, so you can get bigger quicker. With muscle building training you should be using moderate to heavy weights, and be able to perform between six and twelve reps at a time. Muscle growth is stimulated by the release of anabolic hormones by the body. Resting one to two minutes between sets causes the body to release a greater amount of this hormone and results in bigger muscles.
Endurance Training – This weightlifting training helps to increase muscular endurance rapidly. The objective is to help the muscles become more resistant to fatigue. One of the more common causes of muscle fatigue is the build-up of lactic acid in the muscle tissues. In order to remove the lactic acid, and at the same time increase endurance, you want to use light to moderate weights and complete between fifteen and twenty reps in about a minute or less. Rest periods should be approximately 45 seconds to 2 minutes, in between sets.
With each type of weight training, as you can see, there are different rest periods in between sets. Therefore, you should focus on only one of the above goals/objectives for your entire weightlifting session. It is perfectly acceptable to mix it up and concentrate on muscle building during one session, endurance in another, and so on.
Weightlifting and Weight Loss
In addition, there are people who use weightlifting as a means to burn calories and lose fat. In this situation it is best to use a combination of strength, muscle building, and endurance training, along with cardio training. Just remember to concentrate on only one type of training at each workout session.
It is equally important to remember that muscle tissue weighs more than fat. As you work out and your endurance, muscle mass, and strength increase, so can your weight. By no means does this mean you are overweight. Rather, your body is becoming a lean, calorie-burning machine. As a result your dietary needs will also change, and your caloric intake could be more than before.
It is easy to supplement your meals and ensure your body is getting the right balance of nutrition with energy and protein bars from Promax Nutrition. For more information about our products or assistance with ordering, contact us today at (888) 728-8962.
I’m 6’1″ and 4 years ago I weighed 310 pounds. I realized that something needed to change, and so I began to take better care of myself. I watched what I ate, started exercising, and over that period of time I’ve lost 80 pounds. While parts of it were extremely successful for me, the hardest part was giving up my sweet tooth. I searched all over for a replacement to candy that would satisfy that craving, and I found it with Promax bars. Not only are they an excellent meal replacement, they curb that craving I have to run out and get a candy bar. It’s really jump started my progress, and I’m excited to lose those last stubborn pounds and continue living a healthy lifestyle.
Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
The original Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. It combines the best parts of eating a cookie with the best parts of eating a candy bar.
Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
The men in my family have a long history of heart disease, directly and indirectly related to weight issues. I want to not only live a healthier lifestyle, but I want to be here, happy and healthy, for my own family for many years to come. Proper nutrition and fitness are key in making that a reality.
What is one unique thing about you?
I’m very active with my free time, the biggest things being a podcast I do with a couple of my friends called 1600 Dust, which is about Hearthstone, a competitive card game and I’m the bass player in a local rock band called Metaphorical Lions.
CHECK OUT CHRIS ON TWITTER!
Lifting weights is a great way to build muscles fast while also slimming down and getting the physique you’ve always wanted. But if you make mistakes while weight training, especially when it comes to your form, you could end up injuring yourself and doing more harm than good.
What are the biggest weightlifting mistakes that you should avoid? Keep reading to learn how to have a safe and effective workout every time you hit the gym.
Using Weights That Are Too Heavy
Even though you may think that the heavier the weights you lift, the bigger and better your gains will be, the truth is that form and technique should come before poundage. A lot of bodybuilders end up using weights that they simply can’t manage properly and safely.
Stick with a manageable amount of weight until you can execute the technique perfectly, whether you’re working your back, legs, chest, or arms.
A good way to figure out where your poundage should be is by cutting back on all of the weights you’re currently using by 10%. Then make sure you have perfect form and technique before adding in some more weight gradually over the course of a month or more. This should result in new muscle growth.
Adding Too Many Pounds At Once
Another common mistake is adding too much poundage too quickly. You could hurt yourself and sacrifice your form if you’re adding 5-10 or more pounds to your routine.
Instead, add a pound at a time over the course of a week or more. Remember, after you’ve gotten over the beginner stage, you’ll be building strength more slowly, so you need to be patient and add poundage in a way that will allow your body to respond positively.
Not Giving Your Body Enough Recovery Time
Overworking your muscles every week, without giving them enough time to recover and repair, could tax the nervous system, reduce your performance, and cause sleep disturbances, depression, and other symptoms of overtraining. Over time, you could actually lose strength.
In addition to getting enough sleep and eating right by supplementing with healthy protein like that found in high quality protein bars, you should give your muscles 48 to 96 hours to recover from an intense weight lifting session.
The older you are, the more time you’ll need to recover. Also, larger muscles require longer recovery periods than smaller muscles.
A good place to start is to train three days per week. By splitting your overall workout program into three sections, you can hit each muscle group every week.
So, for example, on day 1, you might do your back and chest. On day 2, you can work on your lower body. On day 3, you can focus on the core and arms. Regularly change the routine to keep your body guessing.
By avoiding weightlifting mistakes, you can enjoy the gains that you’ve been waiting to show off. Remember that taking care of your body today will result in a healthier, stronger, and slimmer body tomorrow.
Eating healthy is challenging enough, thanks to all of the processed, frozen, canned, and packaged foods that are easy and available to eat on the go when you’re pressed for time. But sticking to a truly healthy diet is further complicated when you consider the fact that many “health foods” aren’t really all that healthy after all.
Below is a list of the top five unhealthy foods that are masquerading as health foods.
Fruit juices are touted as healthy. However, many of the juices that you’ll find on supermarket shelves aren’t made from actual fruit. Check ingredient labels and you may find high amounts of sugar and artificial flavors that are added. Keep in mind that there are many names for sugar, so labels can also be misleading.
Even if you purchase 100% juice, you should do so in moderation. Fruit juice, like fruit itself, has a high sugar content. Again, check labels and you may find that your favorite fruit juice contains roughly the same amount of sugar as any other unhealthy sugary drink.
Agave syrup is touted as a healthy alternative to high fructose corn syrup. Depending on how it’s processed, it can contain between 55-90% fructose. Compare this to high fructose corn syrup, which has roughly 55% fructose, and you’ll see why this food isn’t very healthy after all.
Yogurt can be really good for your body, as it contains protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. However, you should read ingredients labels because many brands use high amounts of sugar, along with artificial sweeteners, flavors, additives, and colors, officially rendering their foods unhealthy.
So many breakfast cereals market themselves as being a healthy way to start your day, full of vitamins and minerals, grains and fruits – but be sure to double and triple check what’s actually in them to verify whether they’re something you want to put in your body. Most cereals are highly processed, full of sugar and chemicals.
In spite of all the health claims margarine manufacturers plaster on their packaging. This is one “health food” that you’ll definitely want to steer clear of. Most brands have removed the trans fats that used to be part of using margarine. However, this butter substitute is still basically just a bunch of chemicals – not something you want to be eating on a regular basis. Even though butter contains fat, it’s much healthier than margarine.
When shopping for healthy foods, it’s important to look past health claims on product labels. Instead, analyze the ingredients and nutrition facts. This will help you avoid falling victim to unhealthy foods pretending to be nutritious.
Luckily, Promax makes your choice easy, when it comes to protein bars. Promax products contain high quality ingredients that are actually good for you. For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.
Some people have an enormous amount of focus and drive that helps them to reach their workout goals. And once they’ve reached those goals, they want to set new ones. This is a pretty natural reaction. You’ve accomplished your fitness mission, but now you need something new to keep you on track and lifting, running, swimming, or whatever your workout consists of. But this drive can actually become detrimental if you don’t give yourself enough time to rest and recover. In fact, you may reach a state that experts refer to as overtraining.
Overtraining usually starts as an overreach in your fitness schedule. You feel fatigued or worn down, but instead of listening to your body, you push yourself to stay on track and continue training without sufficient rest. This can lead to overtraining, and it’s not a small thing for an athlete to deal with.
The symptoms of overtraining include a drop in performance, a decrease in training capacity and ability to recover, fatigue, frequent sickness, sleep disturbances, and weight loss.
Overtraining ends up suppressing the immune system because the athlete isn’t getting enough recovery time, and this can lead to colds and illnesses. It also affects them psychologically, leading to a lack of sleep, irritability, and even depression. And lastly, overtraining leads to a vicious cycle in performance. Athletes want to perform better, but they can’t. So they try harder to improve their performance, which only exacerbates the problem.
So how does an athlete get himself or herself out of this vicious circle? The simple answer is rest. Significantly reducing training, or stopping it altogether is the only way to really see an improvement. Within two weeks you should start to see some improvement, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately jump back into training as soon as two weeks are up. During your extended rest you should eat healthy, nutritious foods, get as much sleep as you can, and try to relax and stay positive about your workout routine.
Anyone with a typical “type A” personality is probably more at risk for overtraining. Being driven, high achieving, and successful are all good qualities, but they can easily lead to an overreach in running, lifting, or any other type of training.
Only with proper rest and nutrition will you be able to recover and get back to training. If you’re in an overtraining state, you’re already setting yourself back, so stopping as soon as possible is the best way to get yourself back on track.
So if you’re feeling worn down or see your performance slipping, take a step back and evaluate your workout regimen. There’s no sense in pushing yourself so far that you no longer see returns on your workout. And if you do need some help recovering, pick yourself up a Promax protein bar. Packed with protein and the nutrition your body needs, they’ve got everything you need to recover and get back to training.
Getting in a workout can be a struggle for anyone, even when they have plenty of time on their hands. But for a mom, free time is practically nonexistent. Plenty of parents leave their fitness goals behind when they’re raising young children, simply because they don’t feel like they have the time or energy. The thing is, making time to work out will actually give you more energy throughout the day. The tricky part is finding time to do it, and it may mean changing up your old workout regimens.
Less Is More
Before you had kids, you may have had a workout routine that had you at the gym a few times a week for an hour or more. Raising children means that might not really be an option anymore. Instead, break your workouts up into smaller portions that you can do throughout the week. Ten minutes of high intensity exercise done several times a week can be just as beneficial as your longer workouts. In fact, a recent study found that just one minute of high intensity training, with warm ups and cool downs, was as effective in improving fitness as a forty-five minute workout.
Workout As A Family
This one also works with the idea that you might have to change what you consider a workout. Your kids can’t do an hour on the treadmill with you, but they can go on pre- or post-dinner walks around the neighborhood. And there are plenty of other ways you can involve your children in your fitness routine.
If you’re watching their favorite show together, make commercial breaks a time for exercise. A quick game of tag or bodyweight exercises will be beneficial to everyone. If you take them to the park, you can use that time to get a workout in on the jungle gym. Look for opportunities in your day that you might be missing out on.
Block Out “Your Time”
Maybe you don’t necessarily need to change your workout routine altogether, but instead you just need to make the time to keep doing it. So mark certain times on your weekly calendar like you would for a doctor’s appointment. That time is blocked out specifically for you to do your workout—whatever that may be. Schedule it with your significant other, and make it non-negotiable.
Find Some Partners
Every mother with young children is going through the same thing—tons of commitments and not a lot of free time. Find a friend who is willing to work out with you, and help support each other and keep up with your fitness goals. And if you don’t have someone locally to work out with, you can go online to find support and tips on Facebook groups or blogs.
It’s tough to find time to work out when you have young children, and so is finding the time to prepare a protein packed meal after your workout. At Promax, we have a number of delicious protein bars that are packed with the nutrition you need to get you through your workout, kids and all. Try one 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.