How to Increase Your Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption

How to Increase Your Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption

Before we talk about how to increase Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), let’s first discuss what it is. Without getting too complicated, it is a physiological effect where the number of calories burned
for a period of time after working out is higher than it would be if you had not exercised. Sometimes it is referred to as “after burn” or “oxygen debt”.

Muscles are fueled by adenosine triphosphate or ATP. It is either produced with or without oxygen and hence the activity that produces it is referred often an aerobic “with oxygen” or anaerobic “without
oxygen”. Anaerobic exercise is the type where you get out of breath in just a few moments. When you first start exercising, the body uses ATP anaerobically that has been stored.
After five to eight minutes of exercising, the oxygen level that you are taking in through breathing is sufficient to support ATP production aerobically. However, performing exercises that use anaerobic
ATP over aerobic ATP will increase the amount of EPOC after exercising.

So, what happens after a workout that helps increase EPOC? Post-workout and up to 24 hours after, your
body uses oxygen to:

• Replace ATP that was expended
• Replenish glycogen in the muscles from lactate produced while exercising
• Increase oxygen in the blood that was depleted during the workout
• Bring back down the body temperature that was increased while working out
It takes five calories of energy to consume and use 1 liter of oxygen, the more oxygen consumed the more calories burned, which is why it is important to keep the EPOC high for as long as possible.

Some types of exercising pull more energy from the anaerobic side that from aerobic. Strength circuit training that alternates between the upper and lower body muscle groups, and targets either compound muscles or multiple joints, is one of the best forms of anaerobic ATP use.

Other types of high intensity training with short rest cycles are also good. You may know this form of exercising as HIIT (High Intensity
Interval Training).

During the high intensity phase, there is not enough energy available aerobically, so the body pulls from the anaerobic stores. During the rest phase, anaerobic stores are replenished and will provide oxygen for a lower intensity exercise that may be done during the rest phase.
While it would seem to make sense that a longer duration of high intensity would lead to a greater burn of calories, studies have found that not to be true. The intensity of the exercise is more important than the duration. Three sets of 8 repetitions per sets at an 80% to 90% of 1 RM (RM is the amount of weight one can lift for one repetition) aerobically provided a greater EPOC than 40 minutes of cycling at 80% maximum target heart rate aerobically.

To keep your metabolism functioning at a higher rate than normal post-exercise, include some circuit weight training or HIIT into your training routine. The additional calories burned post-workout are free for the taking.

April 16th is National Stress Awareness Day

April 16th is National Stress Awareness Day

Is work or school putting on the pressure? Are the kids on your nerves? Is there enough money to pay all of those the bills? There are literally thousands of reasons for you to get stressed out.

RELAX! Today is National Stress Awareness Day. This is your opportunity to recognize that there is plenty of stress in your life… as if you didn’t already know. More importantly, today is an opportunity to learn, and to do something about the stress… before it drives you batty or worse.

April is also designated as Stress Awareness Month.

Did you know? There was method behind the madness. April 16 was designated as Stress Awareness Day, because it is the day after taxes
are due!

Origin of Stress Awareness Day: Stress Awareness Day and Stress Awareness Month is sponsored by the Health Resource Network(HRN), a non-profit health education organization, launched an annual “Stress Awareness Month” to make the public aware of the dangers of stress as well as options to explore for successful coping strategies. They started this holiday in 1992, to increase public awareness of the causes and cures of stress.

5 Stretching Practices to Relieve Stress

5 Stretching Practices to Relieve Stress

Stress causes our body to go into the “flight or fight” response mode. This in turn causes tension in muscles resulting in stiffness. Over time, chronic pain makes its home in the shoulders, neck, head
and back. Fortunately, fitness experts have found stretching helps relieve the pain caused by stress.

Of course, it would be far better not to experience excessive stress in the first place, but in the world we live in today, that is all but impossible.

So here are some stretching exercises you can do while sitting at your desk to relive the tension caused by too much stress:

Ear-to-Shoulder Neck Stretch – Tilt your head to one side bringing that ear close to that shoulder. Now with the same side hand, pull down on your head slightly until you feel a stretch on the opposite side of your neck. Repeat the exercise twice during each session holding each stretch 15 to 30 seconds. Do the exercise again using the other side of your head and neck. To get the maximum benefit, repeat this stretch 3 to 4 times per week.

• Neck Lateral Rotation – This exercise stretches the neck horizontally instead of vertically. Start by turning your head as far to one side as you can. Hold for 15 seconds before returning to the front. Repeat 4 times in each direction as often as needed.

• Shoulder Stretch – Cross your right arm across your body. With your left hand positioned on the outside of your right upper arm, pull the right arm farther to the left until you feel tension. Repeat at least 4 times on each side as often as necessary.
• Upper Back Stretch – With this exercise, sit forward in your chair so there is room between your back and the chair back, cross your arms and grab the chair arm rests with opposite hands. Now lean back feeling the stretch in your upper back.  repeat as often as necessary.
If your chair does not have armrests, grab the underside or edge of your desk instead.
• Lower Back Stretch – Push back from your desk and while sitting in your chair, bend over at the hips attempting to touch your toes.
If you can’t go that far, then go until you feel tension. Hold for a count of 5 before returning to the upright position. Repeat as many times and as often as necessary.

Not only does stretching reduce the stiffness caused by stress, but it also increases blood circulation throughout the body. This allows tight muscles to relax and increase brain function, along with improving heart performance overall and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

When Physical Activity Increases, Stress Decreases

When Physical Activity Increases, Stress Decreases

Physical activity is a great heart-healthy stress management tool. It works a couple of different ways to promote overall health, inside and outside the body. First off, exercise
makes your heart strong. So, it doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job.

Secondly, physiological processes which are promoted by consistent physical activity naturally prevent stress from occurring in the first place, and act as effective stress

Here’s what happens:
When you perceive stress, either real or imagined, the age-old “fight or flight” reaction takes place. This puts your senses into overdrive.
Your state of arousal and awareness skyrockets and so does the amount of energy which is instantly created. Your brain is on high alert, and this state of being can become very stressful.

Exercise is a great way to burn off that excess energy:
When your brain releases chemicals to respond to a stressful situation, exercise actually does the opposite. The hormones and endorphins released when you experience physical activity will make you feel happy and relaxed.
These “feel good” hormones are perfect for fighting anxiety and depression, stress, and mental frustration.

The next time you feel stress building up, try this. Run in place at your workstation. Drop down and fire off 5 or 10 or 20 push-ups. Perform some biceps curls, jog around the block, or enjoy 10 or 15 minutes of Pilates or yoga.
These simple physical activities can overcome stress quickly, and even prevent It from occurring in the first place.

What is Spring Fever?

What is Spring Fever?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Spring Fever” as a feeling of wanting to go outdoors and do things because spring is coming and the weather is getting warmer. It’s popular usage of the term is various mental changes (e.g., brightened moods, positive attitude, etc.) that accompany the longer, sunnier days of spring.

It can also be applied to the less common findings of exhaustion, dizziness, irritability, join complaints and lack of drive that may occur in the early spring. This concept may be based in a biology. A lift in mood with the arrival of spring, and longer periods of daylight, can be quite strong for sufferer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), who experience lows or depression during the winter months.

Centuries ago, during springtime, people sometimes experienced weakness with joint swelling, loose teeth, and poorly healing wounds. This listlessness and weakness was given the name “Spring Disease”, or “Spring Fever”. Centuries ago this disease of spring was more serious and was often fatal. It was scurvy. Scurvy is the lack of vitamin C, of course, and in the 18th century it was a major threat to life.

During the winter, when no fresh vegetables were available, people depleted the vitamin C stored in their bodies during the preceding year. More accurately it was an “End of Winter Disease”, striking people before fresh food became available once more.

What Your Hair Says About Your Health

What Your Hair Says About Your Health

Full and luxurious hair can be a good sign that you are getting proper nutrition.

While many of us only focus on the aesthetic pleasure of having flowing shiny locks, the fact is that dull, limp strands, or hair loss, can sometimes indicate a health issue. Here are a few conditions to watch out for:

Hair loss and graying

While thinning and graying hair can be a standard part of aging for both women and men, a recent study of 2,000 men in India showed that participants who had coronary artery disease were more likely to be prematurely bald or gray. The study, conducted by the European Society of Cardiology on men under 40, discovered that the 50 percent of participants with coronary artery disease were more likely to have gone prematurely gray, versus 30 percent of a healthy control group, the BBC reports. The participants in the heart condition group were also more likely (49 percent) to have male pattern baldness, compared with those in the healthy group (27 percent).

Metabolic or hormonal stress and certain medications can cause hair loss, especially if it is sudden. This condition is called Telogen effluvium, according to Medscape. In a majority of cases, new hair starts growing within six months, but longer durations of the condition also exist.

Brittle, dry hair

If your hair is dry, brittle and splits easily, you may be getting too much sun exposure, reports WebMD. This is particularly true for those with blonde or gray hair. If you already have thinning hair you are also at greater risk for sunburn on your scalp. While hair care products with sunscreen provide some protection, the best bet is to wear a hat made of sun-protective fabric with UPF 30 (ultraviolet protection factor).

Dull and limp hair

For hair to look full and luxurious, it needs sufficient nutrients. Extreme or crash diets deprive your hair of protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. “Very low-calorie diets are often lacking in sufficient nutrients and can stunt hair growth or leave hair dull and limp. If the nutritional deficiency is big enough — like for someone with an eating disorder — hair can fall out,” according to WebMD.


Yellow greasy flakes of dandruff could be a sign of seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition that is also quite itchy, reports It is often found in middle-aged and older populations, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology. People with this condition may also find patches in their brows, beard and other areas of the body. It is also linked to Parkinson’s disease or HIV.

If you have concerns about consistent issues with your hair, it is always a good idea to talk with your primary care doctor or dermatologist.


5 Food Fixes for Thinning Hair

5 Food Fixes for Thinning Hair

Have you started seeing globs of hair in your brush or shower drain? If so, you’re not alone.

By the age of 50, as many as 85 percent of all men have experienced a thinning of their hair, according to the American Hair Loss Association, a consumer organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of hair loss. Women, too, often see hair loss as they age, with as many as 40 percent of all women experiencing hair thinning. For women, the most common cause is female pattern hair loss (FPHL), a condition that affects millions, especially those 50 and older, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

The reasons for hair loss vary. It can be caused by childbirth or other stressful events. Heredity, thyroid levels and even frequent use of a flat iron can also be to blame. Since hair loss is less socially acceptable for women than it is for men, it can take a toll on a woman’s emotional well-being and level of confidence, experts say. Even so, loss of hair can be unsettling for both sexes.

But the good news is that not all hair loss is permanent. By increasing your intake of foods rich in certain nutrients, you may be able to strengthen your strands.

Here are five good-for-your-hair foods that you might want to add to your diet.


Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which, in the body, gets converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A not only helps preserve good vision and boosts your immune system, it’s also good for your hair and skin. In addition, carrots contain biotin, which helps promote hair growth. Other good sources of beta-carotene are sweet potatoes, spinach and kale.


Although more research is needed, some studies in years past have pointed to a connection between a vitamin D deficiency and hair loss. Why? Because vitamin D appears to aid in the stimulation and nourishment of hair follicles. One of the best sources of vitamin D is salmon, which also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s lubricate the scalp and reduce the dryness that can lead to hair breakage. If you choose to take a vitamin D supplement, though, be sure to check with your doctor first, as excessive intake can cause nausea, constipation and other side effects.


Eggs not only have protein and iron, but also biotin, which helps control hair loss by improving the infrastructure of keratin — which is what hair is made from. (Many people even take biotin in supplement form in order to try and stimulate hair growth.) Furthermore, the folate in eggs also acts as a hair booster. Keep in mind, though, that it’s the yolk that’s key — not the egg white.


Avocados are rich in the monounsaturated kind of healthy fat that can help keep your hair soft and shiny. They also are high in vitamins B12 and E, which may improve the quality of your hair strands. Avocados may also help spark the production of collagen and elastin if applied topically to your hair and scalp, usually as part of a conditioner.


Oysters contain more of the mineral zinc per serving than any other food, according to the National Institutes of Health. And zinc helps spur hair growth — so much so that people with a zinc deficiency may suffer from hair loss or slow growth. Important to note: A zinc deficiency can be caused by deficiencies of vitamin A.

For faster result try MD NutriHair clinically-tested drug and hormone free solution for thin hair. MD Nutri Hair also addresses hair breakage and excess shedding—for more beautiful, full, and thick-looking hair.

Get Happy: Dance! A Fun Way to Lose Weight and Stay In Shape.

Get Happy: Dance! A Fun Way to Lose Weight and Stay In Shape.

Ballroom dancing or any type of couples dancing burns 200 to 300 calories per hour! That’s about the same as a fast walk, but it can be a lot more fun. It has other benefits such as improving posture and giving you a whole-body workout.Don’t know how to dance? Classes are everywhere from adult education programs to gymnasiums and dance studios. Classic ballroom dance includes the waltz, tango, and fox trot, which are easy steps. Latin dancing features the mambo, salsa, and cha-cha. The fast steps and turns are great fun. Swing dancing includes everything from slow and romantic to twirls.
Another great benefit is dancing releases negative energy. Many of internalize our emotional pain and stresses. Negative energy can change your entire outlook on life. It can lead to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, anger issues and antisocial behavior. None are productive and can harm a person. Release that negative energy with a little movement. Movement can express what we feel inside but can’t seem to get out any other way.
Dancing is exercise. No one wants to admit that, because it is so much fun when you are doing it. Moving your body in successive motions for a certain period of time is essentially physical exercise. Endorphins are secreted during such activities; increase well-being and improve mood and promote clarity and focus. What was bothering you when you stepped on a dance floor can be seen in a clearer light after twirling around on the floor. Such movement also releases stress.

Stress can cause internal changes in our bodies and render a body ill when it gets out of control. People who suffer from chronic stress are typically more tense and prone to negative thoughts. Stretching the muscles of the body as you dance, releases that tension in the muscles.

Over time, dancing can help you to lower your heart rate and increase your endurance while also getting in shape. A person in shape is better able to combat negative energy and turn it into a positive. Dancing allows the body to move in different ways, releasing negative energy and tension from the muscles and the mind. It doesn’t matter what form of dance you participate in so long as it speaks to your need to embrace positive thoughts and energy.

Spring Into Action to Keep Allergies At Bay This Season

Spring Into Action to Keep Allergies At Bay This Season

According to the National Oceanic and Atmo­spheric Administration (NOAA), December 2015 through February 2016 was the warmest winter on record. The mild weather is triggering an unusually early release of pollen that causes pesky allergy symptoms. Beyond the itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose, one overlooked side effect of allergies is dry or irritated lips.

For allergy suffers, managing allergy symptoms is paramount to get through the season. It starts with the skin, as it is the first line of defense. Dry and cracked lips cause fissures in the skin, leaving them more susceptible to infection. Additionally, by relieving the lip discomfort, allergy sufferers also feel better, which in turn helps them rest and recover.

Here are a few tips to help alleviate allergy symptoms include:

  • Using a moisturizing lip balm can provide comforting relief and protection for lips that are feeling under the weather due to allergies.
  • Bathe in cool water useing a mild soap without perfume or color.
  • Wash your laundry in hot water with a temperature of 130 degrees or greater.

Your Car Can Make Your Allergies Worse

Don’t let the joys of warm weather driving be diminished by the irritating pollen and pollutants drawn into your car through the air-conditioning and ventilation systems.

Cabin air filters clean the incoming air, removing allergens, as long as they’re replaced regularly. A dirty or clogged cabin air filter causes contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe more fumes and particles when riding in the car than when walking in the street. Replacing the cabin air filter is a simple way to help you and breathe easier while driving.

In addition to trapping pollen, bacteria, dust and exhaust gases, the air filter prevents leaves, bugs and other debris from entering the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system. A restricted cabin air filter can mean musty odors in the vehicle and impair airflow in the system, possibly causing interior heating and cooling problems. Over time, the system may also become damaged by corrosion.

Cabin air filters should not be cleaned and reinstalled. Instead, they should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual.


While researchers continue to focus on a vaccine to control allergic responses, there are steps you can take now to help moderate the effects of allergens during peak seasonal-allergy times. Here are some time-proven tips to take control of seasonal allergies:

1.     Minimize outdoor activities in the morning. Pollen counts are typically highest during the early hours of the day. Whenever possible, avoid outdoor activities during these hours.

2.     Change clothes frequently. When you arrive home, especially after working outdoors, change clothes and take a shower to get rid of as many allergens as possible.

3.     Close windows. If you suffer from allergies, resist the temptation to open up the windows to the pleasant springtime air. Many people like to sleep with windows open during the spring, which allows more pollen to enter the home.

4.     Keep the indoor air as clean as possible. Use a high-performance air purifier, contaminants from the air, such as dust, pollen and pet dander. Also, vacuum frequently with a high-performance HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaner to remove allergens that have settled from the air. A vacuum without this filter may make allergies and asthma worse by disturbing and blowing the dust particles in the air.

These simple steps can reduce the levels of airborne pollen in your air at home, easing your springtime allergies and helping everyone in the house breathe better during periods when seasonal allergies are at their highest levels.

Seasonal allergies are nothing to sneeze at, but keeping the air in your home as pollen- and pollution-free as possible can help.

Essentials of a Healthy Breakfast

A wise saying: Skip all food, but not the breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal; it is the food that gives momentum to your day-to-day activities. A quality breakfast will automatically yield a quality life style. It is not only important for your physical growth, but it is also required for the mental growth. People who eat better breakfast are found to be better performers than those who eat poor breakfast.

The working community has developed a tendency to skip the breakfast and opt for the fast food available in the market. These substitutes do not give the necessary nutrients to your body; on the other hand, they harm your body to a large extent.
Below is a summary of the essentials of a healthy breakfast:
⦁ Include wholegrain cereals for breakfast. The bran of the cereals grain is an excellent source of fiber. Eating wholegrain breakfast will ensure better fiber content in the body and also meet its energy demand. These are low in fat and cholesterol. Go for whole-grain oats, barley, wheat, maize, etc.
⦁ Add enough protein in your breakfast. Protein food is essential for bodybuilding. Having a protein-rich food suffices your morning hunger and lets you manage your long hours of work or school without any problem. The foods that are rich in protein and can be served in your breakfast menu are milk, egg, peanut, soybean, etc. An excellent combination of a protein rich food will be a combination of nuts with milk. If you are in the habit of eating egg, make sure that you eat an egg a day. It is considered as a good source of lutein that is essential for the health of your eyes. A poached egg with a whole grain toast is an ideal combination of carbohydrates and protein.
⦁ Add a serving of fruits and vegetables. These are the unavoidable components of any healthy food menu. Our bodies need fruits and fresh vegetables on a day-to-day basis to protect us from the diseases. The various vitamins and the minerals present in most vegetables and fruits are the components of the nutrients that help our body fight diseases. Apple a day is the most successful formula for a healthy being.
⦁ Avoid sugary breakfast. A sugary breakfast may result in low mental capacity. Also some studies have proven that women who eat less sugar have better capacity to burn the fat than those who eat more.
⦁ Avoid processed meat at breakfast. These are foods rich in saturated fats that are greatly damaging to the heart. Some of these contain nitrite salts, which are found to be responsible for many diseases such as pancreas disorders and colon cancer. However, sliced meat and low fat meats such as chicken or turkey can be a good alternative.

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