Monday, July 6, 2020

13 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

According to research, no one hits the gym hoping for so-so results. You go in wanting to get 100% out of every rep, run and hard-earned bead of sweat. Fortunately for you, scientists and researchers want the same thing. Here, 13 incredibly efficient strategies, courtesy of the latest research, to get the biggest benefit out of every one of your workouts.

1. Lift Weights
“If you just do cardio, you’re sabotaging yourself,” says Jacob Wilson, PhD., certified strength and conditioning specialist and associate editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. “Your metabolism will actually go down, making weight loss more difficult. Resistance training, however, builds muscle to increase your metabolic rate.” That explains why, in one Harvard School of Public Health study of 10,500 adults, those who spent 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal fat over the course of 12 years (compared to those who spent the same amount of time performing cardio).

2. Listen to Music
Everyone knows that your favorite tunes can fire you up for a workout, but in one Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology of 30 men and women, people who listened to music (especially slow music) after their workout recovered faster than did those who went sans tunes. “Music boosts the body’s levels of serotonin and dopamine, hormones that are known to foster recovery,” says Perkins . Try listening to a few of your favorite, most relaxing tracks as soon as you finish your workout. It will help your blood pressure and heart rate get back to normal and recovery happen ASAP.

3. Swap Stretching for a Dynamic Warm-Up
Don’t stretch in vain. In one Austin State University study, people who warmed up with light leg extensions and squats were able to squat with 8.36% more weight during their workout than if they had performed typical “bend and hold” stretches. Their lower bodies were also 22.7% more stable. “Think of a rubber band,” says Wilson. “If you stretch it around a lot and then pull it back to shoot it, it’s not going to go as far. The same thing happens with your muscles and tendons.” However, dynamic body-weight moves—ones that mimic the workout you’re about to perform—increase blood flow and improve your range of motion without compromising your muscles’ and tendons’ elastic properties. So for instance, if you’re about to go for a run, it’s a good idea to move through about five to 10 minutes of lunges, knee raises and leg swings before hitting the treadmill.

4. Preface Your Workout With Carbs
You might think of carb-loading as something you do to run a better marathon. But eating carbs before your workout can also help you during those intervals, according to 2013 research published in Sports Medicine. “Carbs are your body’s primary fuel for any high-intensity workout, and when your body is fueled, your body is going to put forth a better effort and get a better value, both in terms of caloric expenditure and muscle growth, than it would if you were in fasted state,” says Wilson. So even if you like your morning workouts, make sure to eat some toast or oatmeal before you head out of the door.

5. Do Intervals
Minute per minute, high-intensity intervals—periods of all-out effort interspersed with short, low-intensity “breaks”—come with more cardiovascular and fat-loss benefits than any other workout, says Wall. For instance, in one study from Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, people who performed a 20-minute interval workout with exercises including push-ups, burpees, squats and lunges burned an average of 15 calories per minute—nearly twice as many as during long runs. To burn similar calories, follow the workout’s protocol: Perform as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of four minutes. Rest one minute, then repeat for a total of four rounds.

6. Drink Water
Losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids—some gym-goers sweat out 6 to 10%—can make your workout feel harder, reduce your exercise performance and reduce your body’s ability to recover after you leave the gym, according to a review from the University of North Carolina. Unfortunately, “we find that many people are dehydrated when they show up to the gym,” says Amanda Carlson-Phillips, M.S., R.D., vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. She recommends everyone drink ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body-weight per day. To make sure you’re drinking enough water during your workout to replace any fluids you lose, weigh yourself both before and after a sweat session, says Carlson-Phillips. You shouldn’t be losing more than 2% of your body-weight.

7. Use Free Weights
Weight machines are great for helping gym newbies learn correct form, but once you’ve got it down, it’s time to move to free weights. Exercises using free weights like dumbbells, kettle-bells and barbells lead to greater hormonal responses compared to similar exercises performed on exercise machines, according to a 2014 Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research study. That’s largely because free-weight exercises tap a wider range of muscles. “Whenever you have to move a free weight and you don’t have anything guiding or supporting you like a machine, all of your synergistic muscles have to fire to help you,” says Holly Perkins, certified strength and conditioning specialist, author of

8. Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Quality shut-eye is vital to getting the most out of your time spent in the gym. And that goes for every night of the week. According to one 2015 Sports Medicine review, poor sleep hinders not only your exercise performance (and the number of calories you burn), but also your body’s ability to come back stronger after every workout. “Sleep drives the hormonal shifts that promote the body’s recovery to exercise,” says Carlson-Phillips. Without appropriate sleep, symptoms of over-training, including fitness plateaus, set in. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every single night.

9. Indulge in a Massage
That post-workout massage does more than just feel good. According to research from McMaster University in Canada, it influences genes in your muscle cells to decrease inflammation and increase their number of mitochondria, which help power exercise and recovery. It’s important to remember that your muscles don’t get fitter during your workout; they do so between your workouts as they recover and adapt to exercise, says exercise physiologist Anthony Wall, M.S., director of professional education for the American Council on Exercise. “Massage helps this process along.”

10. Drink Chocolate Milk
A recent Journal of Exercise Physiology study found that cyclists who drank low-fat chocolate milk after their workouts recovered just as well as those who drank commercial recovery beverages. That’s largely due to its 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. The protein stimulates muscle repair, while carbohydrates replete your energy stores and even help protein get into your muscles, says Carlson-Phillips . After high-intensity or long duration workouts, try drinking a glass as soon after your workout as you can.

11. Switch Things Up
It won’t just keep you from getting bored. In a 2015 East Tennessee State University study, exercisers who performed both deep and full squats reaped greater fitness gains than those who performed only deep squats. The same holds true for any exercise variation. Performing multiple variations of an exercise changes the muscles recruited and the amount of weight you can lift, leading to greater gains than if you did the same exact movement month after month, says Wilson. While you can include multiple variations of the same exercise in a single workout (like planks and planks with one leg raised), changing those variations every month will also keep your body guessing.

12. Get a Cardio Buddy
In one Annals of Behavioral Medicine study, cyclists who exercised with a partner pedaled almost twice as long as those who rode solo. Having someone else around pushes you to perform at your best and even makes workouts feel less difficult, says Perkins . The results: You can exercise longer and harder and get more out of every trip to the gym.

13. Eat Protein Before Bed
Protein helps your muscles build back up after a workout, and for optimal fitness results, that shouldn’t stop when you’re snoozing. Luckily, research from Maastricht University in the Netherlands shows that a nighttime snack rich in casein, a slow-digesting protein, keeps amino acid and muscle protein synthesis rates elevated all throughout the night. To get the casein protein you need, Carlson-Phillips recommends eating Greek yogurt or cottage cheese after your workouts and before you turn in for the night.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Several time-management tips that will help you to use those precious hours wisely

Time management seems to be an issue in almost everyone's lives as there never seems to be enough time in the day for all of the day-to-day tasks. Whether you are a stay-at-home or work-at-home parent, or you work outside of your home, I am sure that you could use a few more hours in your day.

1. Get organized!
I can't stress this enough. This is the first thing that absolutely needs to be done to improve your time management skills. Think about all of the time that is wasted looking for things; looking for papers, phone numbers, supplies.....your desk top.

Use the first 15 minutes of your morning to organize your work area. Go over your "To Do" list and organize the things needed to accomplish them.

2. Identify your MOST productive time
You may be a morning person or an evening person. I do all of my most difficult tasks when I am fresh in the morning.

Use your child's nap time, or one hour of "TV time" for your kids, to do your most difficult tasks.

3. Make your "to-do" list the night before
Know what you will accomplish the next day. That way, you start out with a goal in mind first thing in the morning rather than wandering around aimlessly.

Divide your "To-Do" list into several pages; one list for things to do tomorrow, one for this week, and one for things to do this month. As you accomplish these goals, cross them off. I write my monthly goals on my calendar.

4. Find more time in the day
Need an extra hour in the day? Get up an hour early and have your first cup of coffee or tea sitting at the computer going through your e-mails, answering your e-mails, and posting to forums. I call these my "day wasters".

5. Schedule it and stick with it
Write one thing that you will accomplish on each day of the week on your calendar. For instance, I file every Monday, do my online banking every Wednesday, and update my web site on Friday.

6. Avoid the big "day wasters"
Facebook, TV, surfing the web, and talking on the telephone are all huge "day waters" if not used properly. These are all great things, when used in moderation, but can become very addicting and you can seriously lose hours and hours of your day with all of them.

Limit your "day wasters" to the morning hour of your day. This is a huge time management tip!

7. Household chores and house cleaning
Clean one thing every day. Clean the kitchen one day, vacuum one day, clean the bathrooms one day... Wash one load of clothes every day.

Load the washer the night before. Start the load of clothes washing as you head to the coffee pot first thing in the morning. Dry the load while you are doing your other household chores, then hang and put it away. One load is so much more manageable than three!
Make your bed and do the dishes before you "go to work". Tidy the night before so that you wake up to a neat house and are ready to start working.

8. Do double duty
Do you sit in the carpool line for half an hour? Read your longer e-mails or newsletters that you have printed out from your computer. Read your mail that you saved for this time. Do your callbacks while you are sitting outside with your kids or sitting in your car in the carpool line. Double duty!

Do you have a small child? Try to schedule time for work and time for play. I work most of the morning, fix lunch and then we head outside. We play for a while and then I sit outside while our daughter swings or rides her bike and use this time to read, study, or draft ideas for my newsletter, jewelry or website.

Have your smaller children do their daily reading while you are cooking. I have my first-grade daughter sit on the kitchen counter and read to me while I am cooking. I can hear her read and can help her with any words that she is having problems with.
Have your child do their homework while you are cleaning up the dinner dishes. This way you are already in the kitchen and can help if your child needs it.

9. Learn to "Just Say No!"
I have run into the problem of people (hubby is my biggest diversion!) assuming that since I am a stay at home mom, I don't do anything all day but read or sit on the couch with my bag of potato chips and watch TV. I am often asked to run errands, watch someone's kids, or volunteer. If I have a full week I simply tell them that my week is overbooked as it is and I can not do it.

10. Avoid interruptions
Let your calls go to voicemail. Turn e-mail off. Only check your e-mail in the morning, at lunch and at the end of your day. E-mail is a major interruption.

If you are trying to work at home, explain to family and friends that you have work to do and will not be available between the hours of 8-4 but would love to hear from them after that. You choose your hours.

By following a few of these simple time management suggestions, you should have another hour or two of time in your day to run your business or to just spend it enjoying your family.

Lisa Jay is a freelance writer and the jewelry designer behind Lantana Design wear.
You can visit her website at

Friday, June 26, 2020

Get in shape this Summer with home-made Natural drinks
(10 recipes)

1. Cucumber and Ginger Drink
This refreshing drink will help burn fat while you sleep.  

• 1 cucumber
• small bunch of parsley or cilantro
• 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp grated ginger
• 1 tbsp aloe Vera juice
• ½ glass water

Put the ingredients in your juicer, and drink before going to sleep. You can continue this drink every night for a month, then take a break for 7 days. If you need to, you can continue for another month.

2. Cucumber and Lime Drink
Super refreshing, this drink would be lovely on a hot summer night.

 • 1 lime
• 2 cucumbers
• 1 large orange
• honey (adjust to taste)
• mint (adjust to taste)
• 1 liter sparkling water

Put one cucumber in a blender, and slice the other one into circles. Squeeze out the juice of the orange and lime. Combine the cucumbers, citrus juice and honey into a large jug and mix together. Add the sparkling water and garnish with fresh mint leaves, if using.

3. Pear and Sage Drink
 This may seem like a strange combination, but pear and sage work very well together.

 • 10 fresh sage leaves
• 1 lime
• 250 ml of pear juice
• 250 ml sparkling water
• 1 pear
• ice

Slice the lime, and cut the pear into cubes. Put them in a pitcher, and add the sage after mashing it up with a fork or pestle and mortar to release the fragrance. Crush the ice using a food processor or mallet, and add it, along with the pear juice and sparkling water to the lime, sage and pears. Mix, serve and enjoy.

4. Grapefruit and Cinnamon Drink
Tart grapefruit and warming cinnamon are mixed with anise and mint for this evening drink. 
(This drink requires a little extra time to make a cinnamon syrup on the stove top, so it isn’t one for those days when you’re tired and just want to get to bed, although you could make the syrup in advance and add to the other ingredients at bedtime!)

 • 500 ml grapefruit juice
• 500 ml sparkling water
• 1 glass water
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 anise seed
• mint leaves
• ice
• sugar to taste

Combine the sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a pan, and heat gently to make a syrup. Simmer for five to ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted and become syrupy. Let the syrup cool down, then mix together the juice, syrup and sparkling water in a pitcher. Add ice and garnish with mint and anise.

5. Lemon and Mint Drink
 This tasty citrus and mint drink is quick to make and will help cleanse your system while you sleep.

 • 5 lemons
• 1 liter sparkling water
• mint
• ice

Squeeze the juice of 4 of the lemons, and slice the last one into rounds. Mix the lemon juice and sparkling water in a pitcher, and garnish with the lemon slices and mint leaves.

6. Spicy Indian Lime and Ginger Drink
This ginger, lime and sparkling water drink will give you a little taste of India before bed.

 • 4 limes
• grated ginger to taste
• mint
• 1 liter sparkling water
• ½ glass tap water
• ice
• sugar to taste

Juice the limes. Mix the sugar and tap water in a pan and heat gently until the sugar melts. Add the grated ginger to the syrup, and simmer gently for a couple of minutes. Take off the stove and allow the syrup to cool before adding the lime juice, sparkling water and ice. Garnish with mint leaves and slices of lime.

7. Non-Alcoholic Apple Cider
 This quick and easy drink combines sweet apples with lemon juice and ice.

 • 1 liter of apple juice
• mint leaves
• 100 ml lemon juice
• 1 lemon
• ice

Slice the lemon. Mix the lemon juice and apple juice in a pitcher, and add the lemon slices, mint and ice.

8. Cucumber, Lemon and Bell Pepper Drink
Bell pepper may sound like an odd addition to a drink, but it really works with the other ingredients for this fat-burning bedtime drink. 
(Ingredients need to sit for an hour before mixing, so you may wish to make this drink in advance)

 • 1 liter sparkling water
• sugar according to taste
• 3 cucumbers
• 1 large bell pepper – any color
• 1 lime
• 3 lemons
• mint or estragon leaves
• ice

Slice the bell pepper and two of the cucumbers. Sprinkle sugar on them and leave for an hour. Slice the remaining cucumber and one lemon. Zest the lime, and squeeze out the juice. Take the remaining lemons and juice them. Put the mint or estragon in a pitcher. Add the lime zest and slices of lemon, cucumbers and bell peppers. Pour in the lime and lemon juices and add the sparkling water. Crush the ice, put it in the pitcher, and serve.

9. Pineapple and Lemon Drink
This refreshing drink has chunks of pineapple in it for a bedtime snack. 
(This recipe requires a stove-top syrup to be made, so it’s best made in advance and kept refrigerated)

 • 1 liter sparkling water
• 1 lemon
• 1 can of pineapple in juice
• mint

Bring the sparkling water to the boil in a pan, and add the sugar. Simmer until the sugar has melted.  Zest the lemon and squeeze the juice, and add the zest to the syrup in the pan. Remove from the heat. Pour the syrup into a pitcher through a sieve. Cut the pineapple chunks and add to the drink. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

10. Strawberry and Herbs Drink
 This summery drink combines strawberries with mint, estragon and lemon.

 • ½ lemon
• ½ lime
• mint and estragon
• some strawberries
• 1 liter sparkling water
• 100 ml water
• ice

Juice the lemon and lime. Put the citrus peels and juice into a pitcher. Cut the strawberries into halves, and add them and the herbs to the pitcher. Heat the 100 ml water until it’s hot but not boiling. Add the hot water to the pitcher, and let the ingredients steep for a while to bring out the flavors. Remove the citrus peels after the drink has cooled. Add the sparkling water and ice. Serve.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

10 Hacks That Make You Feel More Awake in The Morning

Sleeping is a time for rest and recovery from the long day before. But with sleeping, comes waking up which many can agree, is no enjoyable process. Are you the type of person who struggles to wake up the morning? Maybe you press snooze at least five times before dragging yourself out of bed. Perhaps you need a large cup of coffee in order to feel less tired and function before 10 AM. If this describes you, keep reading, because we are here to help.

Waking up is not an exciting task for most people, but finding ways to feel more lively in the mornings can be the first step in the right direction and could (finally) help you make it to work on time. There are a variety of simple ways to boost your energy levels in the morning that don't involve ordering that double shot of espresso. You might even find that being more energized in the mornings will make them a more enjoyable time of day. Discover our 10 favorite hacks to rejuvenate your mornings below!

1. Keep your alarm out of reach
 Put your alarm clock or phone far from your bed. This will force you to physically get out of bed to turn it off and stay awake. It will also make you less likely to hit the snooze button and fall back to sleep. With the Eight Sleep Pod, you can set the thermal alarm to start cooling your bed toward wake up time, waking you up energized and refreshed.

2. Make your bed
 If you want to feel more productive in the morning, the easiest thing to do is make your bed. It may seem like a small task, but starting your day by making your bed gives you a feeling of accomplishment. This will set you up for success for the rest of the day. And, as an added bonus, making your bed will make it that much cozier to lay down on after a long day at work.

3. Do the shower trick
 There's a 90-second trick that you do to boost your energy in the mornings. At the end of your shower, simply blast yourself with cold water for 30 seconds, followed by hot water for 30 seconds, and then finish with cold water for a final 30 seconds. The rapid change in temperature will increase blood flow and stimulate the body and mind.

4. Fatten up your coffee
 Instead of relying on that third cup of coffee, or that extra shot of espresso, consider adding healthy fats to your morning cup of coffee to give yourself a boost. If you depend on coffee to function, mix your coffee with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil or butter. Adding healthy fats to your coffee will make the caffeine metabolize slowly and work throughout the day to fight sleepiness. As a result, you'll stay alert for longer.

5. Exercise
 It may sound like a daunting task in the early hours of the day, but exercising in the morning is the best way to wake yourself up and snap out of your morning grogginess. Working out boosts endorphins, which gives you more energy and puts you in a better mood. You'll also jumpstart your metabolism and burn more calories. Not only will you feel more energized, but you'll be healthier too.

6. Drink a lemon elixir
 There are several health benefits to drinking warm lemon water in the morning. First, it flushes out toxins and aids the digestive system. Second, lemon is rich in nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Most importantly, it hydrates and oxygenates the body.

7. Eat a banana
 Bananas are an excellent morning staple because the fruit's combination of complex carbs, natural sugar, amino acids, and brain-boosting vitamins will give you a quick energy boost. Perfect to eat by itself or add to your breakfast.

8. Jam out
 Play upbeat music as you're getting ready or commuting to work. Decide on a playlist or choose a list of songs that make you feel lively and excited. The energizing tunes will pump you up and make you feel ready for the day. 

9. Get some sunlight
 Light, especially bright light from the sun, signals the body that it's time to wake up. As soon as you get up, open your blinds and let in the natural light to start feeling less fatigue.

10. Smell essential oils
 Aromatherapy can significantly reduce your grogginess. Peppermint and eucalyptus scents can make you feel more alert, focused, and stimulated in the morning. The smell of rosemary can jumpstart your brain, giving you more mental and physical energy. Citrus can reduce stress and boost the body's production of serotonin. In fact, studies have shown that sniffing the skin of an orange can increase alertness and reduce anxiety.

If you dread waking up early each morning, remember that you have the opportunity to set yourself up for success by just adding a few extra steps to your morning routine. There are so many alternatives to turn to when you find yourself needing a push in those early hours of the day. And, believe it or not, these added steps might prove to be more helpful than that extra shot (or two) of espresso. So, what are you waiting for? Follow these 10 hacks to help you feel energized and rejuvenated every morning. Begin by conquering one morning, and pretty soon you will be able to conquer them all.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Summers' Smear-Proof Eye Liner Color: HAZEL

FREE LIP INK® Sample smear-proof vegan Hazel Eye Liner, with every order while supply lasts! 
(No coupon code needed)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Skin Care: The Official New Currency for Men

Skin Care: The Official New Currency for Men

Keep your lips hydrated by grooming them with our LIP CARE SPA TREATMENT 
“LIP INK® SMOOTHE SCRUB”  with macadamia nuts, oil, added banana flavor, and plant protein peptides to build collagen tissue for a healthy groomed appearance.
This IS the season for healthy soft lips with a repeat regiment that will get your lips in shape.
(Twice a month will do it)