Archives January 2022

Exercises To Help You Lower Belly Fat

reduce belly fat

How many people would be willing to spend a lot of time and energy “working out” to no avail if the results were not immediately visible? How many people would slog through endless diet plans, gym sessions, and hours upon hours of cardio to see no difference in their waistline or abdominal size? If your answer is zero, then you may not have put enough effort into learning about different methods for shedding fat from your midsection. This article will guide you through the best exercises to help you lose belly fat.

There are four primary types of abdominal toning workouts that are effective in losing belly fat:

1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of fitness exercise in which you work very intensely for about 30 seconds, followed by short recovery periods lasting about 10 seconds each. The intervals may last from 30 seconds to 4 minutes, depending on the workout routine used. The high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts can be carried out by anyone of any experience level and will normally last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, depending upon what exercises are being used. This type of workout is ideal as it burns more calories in less time than other forms of exercise. Most of the time, HIIT workouts are done to improve cardiovascular endurance and increase overall lean mass.

2. Resistance Training

Resistance training refers to basically lifting weights instead of cardio, where you move about. Studies have shown that resistance training is one of the most effective ways to increase the production of testosterone. Increased testosterone levels will decrease your estrogen levels, which causes fat to be stored in the midsection. Resistance training can also help you increase muscle mass and help develop stronger bones and connective tissues. The three main types of resistance training are strength training, powerlifting, and isometrics. Strength training involves using weights approximately 60% of your one rep max (the maximum amount of weight you can lift for one repetition) for two sets for a ten-repetition maximum (10RM). In powerlifting, you use weights 50-60% of your 1RM for three sets with five repetitions per set. Isometric is a form of weight training in which you simply push, pull, or carry weights against your body weight. All three forms of resistance training have been shown to be effective in losing belly fat.

3. Abdominal Plank

The abdominal plank is one of the easiest ways to start toning your midsection. It only requires a soft surface to lay on and an exercise mat if you find it uncomfortable on your elbows. Depending on your preferences, it can be done anywhere from two times per day to once per week. The abdominal plank both works the rectus abdominis and the obliques, as well as increasing core strength and stability, improving posture, and helping with balance. This simple fitness exercise is also known to help stimulate lymphatic flow, meaning you may be able to lose some fat just by getting in the habit of doing it each day. It also helps to increase your range of motion and flexibility in your hips and shoulders, reducing potential issues such as stiffness or even injuries.

4. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are a more challenging version of standard crunches. They work out the rectus abdominis and obliques in a way that standard crunches do not. This helps increase the tone around your abdomen, which will help develop a tighter and more toned midsection. Bicycle crunches are also known as one-arm crunches. They can also be used to help develop abdominal strength since you have to work against resistance with only one arm. Hold on tight and raise your elbow straight up towards the ceiling so that you feel your abs contract. Lower slowly until it is bent at a 90-degree angle and then repeat. For this exercise to be effective, you must use a supported seat in order for it to be safe for the back.

In conclusion, these are the best exercises to help you lose belly fat. They will help you develop a tighter, flatter stomach and will also help to tone your back and hip area since you have to incorporate them into the exercises.

Do you want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Fitness & Lifestyle
Do you want to live a healthy lifestyle? Fitness is an important part of any lifestyle. There are many different ways people can get in shape, and there is something for everyone!A Health cleanse is a great way to jumpstart your fitness journey! This is a great way to get rid of toxins in your body and to start feeling better immediately. There are many different types of health cleanses available, so you can find one that fits your needs. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to stay fit while living the life you love.

Find a Fitness Routine That You Love

There are many different types of exercise, and it is important to find one that you enjoy. If you don’t like running, then don’t run! There are plenty of other exercises out there that can help get you in shape. Try going to the gym, taking a dance class, or playing a sport. As long as you are moving, you are doing something good for your body!

Make Time for Fitness

It can be tough to find time to work out, but it is important to prioritize it. If you can’t go to the gym, try doing some exercises at home. Many different workouts can be done in just a few minutes! And if you don’t have any time at all, try taking a brisk walk or doing some light stretching. Just remember, fitness is important for your overall health! So, find a way to fit it into your life, and you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Eat Healthily

Another important part of staying fit is eating right. Your diet has a huge impact on your weight, energy levels, and overall health. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits & be sure also to include plenty of protein and healthy fats in your diet. This will help keep you feeling energized and satisfied throughout the day. There are many different ways to stay fit, and it is important to find one that works for you. Make time for fitness, eat healthily, and find a fitness routine that you love! These are just some of the tips on living a healthy lifestyle, so be sure to read more in this article.

Stay Positive

One of the most important things about fitness is staying positive. If you are constantly making negative comments about your body or your progress, then you will be less likely to stick with it in the long run. Be kind to yourself, and focus on the positives! You are doing something good for your body by working out, so be proud of yourself! Stay positive, and you will find that fitness becomes much easier.

Have Fun!

Doing something you enjoy will always be more motivating than doing something that doesn’t interest you. If running isn’t your thing, but rock climbing is, then get out there and try it! There are so many different things to do in this world, and sometimes we forget about all the possibilities. You don’t have to do just one type of exercise. Try it all, and enjoy the journey!

Make a plan

One of the best ways to stay on track is to make a plan. Plan out your workouts for the week, and be sure to include different types of exercise. Plan out your meals, and make sure you have plenty of healthy options available. Having a plan will help keep you organized and motivated! So get out there and try something new!

Be patient

It takes time to see results, and it is important to be patient. If you are not seeing the progress you want, then adjust your routine. Don’t give up if it’s taking a little longer than you thought! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your perfect body be. Just keep at it, and you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Give it You’re All

When you are working out, give it you’re all! Push yourself to the limit and see what you are capable of. You may be surprised at what you can do if you try your best. Fitness is about challenging yourself and growing as an individual. So don’t be afraid to go hard in your workouts! You will be glad you did.


Taking care of your body is extremely important, and there are many ways to do it! Make time for fitness, eat healthily, stay positive, have fun with different activities you enjoy doing, make a plan for yourself each week to don’t fall behind on workouts or meals. It takes time to see results from fitness, so don’t give up if you’re not seeing progress as quickly as you thought. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Most importantly, be patient and give it your all when working out. You will see results over time and be on your way to a healthier lifestyle! Thanks for reading!

Hibernation Fitness | Cold-Climate Workout Adaptations

cold workout

I don’t know about you, but December to January is a difficult time of year for this body. The Holidays, as they do every year, come and go. But I can’t say the same for the extra pounds – of food and wine; of butter, flour, and sugar. A cold snap has come over Northeast, confining my partner and me to our living room. And as that familiar winter chill sets in, I once again find myself a few pounds heavier and a little more out-of-breath on the stairs.

Winter always disrupts my routines. Motivation wanes, overtaken by the primordial urge to hibernate. It’s just too tempting to spend a few extra minutes in bed, watch another episode or two on the couch, or spoon an extra bit of sugar in my coffee.

But I have to keep moving.

Because exercise is never more beneficial for us than it is in Winter. Aside from the obvious need to drop our holiday pounds, exercise helps us fend off colds, influenza, and… other viral pathogens. It helps keep us happy and upbeat, giving structure to our days and helping to regulate the hormone cycles which govern our behavior. And aside from the holiday weight gain, I now have an impending ski trip to Breckenridge to contest with (and for which my legs are vastly underprepared.) So, here’s how I’m beating the Deep-Freeze this year:

Cardio Alternatives

I’m a distance runner and have been for roughly two years now. The 5K and 10K are familiar friends. But right now, it’s in the low ‘teens outside, and no runner’s high or endorphin rush is pulling me out there. No way.

But I can’t just not do cardio. It’s the best, most efficient way to drop pounds. So these are my indoor alternatives:

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Burpees
  3. Running Stairs
  4. Mountain Climbers

Your downstairs neighbors might complain. But don’t let that interfere. We’re all stuck inside. What else are you supposed to do here?


Militaries and sports teams of the world have long recognized the benefits of calisthenics (or, in common-speech: bodyweight exercises) for building strength and range of motion.

Now, I like lifting weights when it’s warm out. In the summer, the gym becomes a social hub. I’ll enjoy a run, to-and-from, for a little extra cardio. But, especially when there’s snow on the ground, a 30-minute round trip walk to the gym feels unsustainable. It’s a bitter slog to show up to that windowless room, put in set after grueling set, and walk back out into the cold. I can change my habits, but I can’t change my tendencies. I hate going to the gym in Winter.

That said, I try to take advantage of this natural, seasonal aversion to the gym by using December to March to work on basic calisthenics. And no matter my baseline conditioning, I’m always surprised at how difficult they end up being — squatting 5×5 sets with 225 on the bar? No problem. Jumping around in a stupid little square? Somehow, excruciating.

Pick any four exercises below, perform 20 reps each, and cycle through 3 times. Mix and match to your liking, and avoid working the same muscle groups on consecutive days. Do it three to four times a week, and watch how quickly your body adapts.

  • Push-ups – flat, or with lifted legs for a shoulder workout
  • Crunches – with raised legs
  • Sit-ups – with feet on the floor
  • Tricep dips – using a chair for lift
  • Russian Twists – with or without weight
  • Scissor Kicks, Flutter Kicks
  • Planks
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Calf Raises


I like yoga best. It’s relaxing, routine, and low-impact: the perfect warmup and cooldown to my day. And, of the options listed in this article, it’s the only one that has instant benefits. After a morning flow, I walk away from my mat with a tangible boost in alertness and enthusiasm. And after a good bedtime session, I can count on falling asleep and staying asleep that night.

Not to mention: it doesn’t really feel like exercise (until the balancing poses, that is), and it acts as a diagnostic test for the body. A thorough yoga session should reveal exactly what hurts, where it hurts, and help us take compensatory action in our other exercises to protect those injured and sore areas. It’s crucial to perform this kind of self-maintenance, especially in the early stages of a new workout routine when we are especially susceptible to injury.

So, this Winter…

Skip the frozen toes! Say goodbye to foggy sunglasses, the line at the squat rack, and those nasty locker room showers. There are plenty of alternatives. And while they require more discipline from us, we are rewarded with more time in our lives and a habitual association between our home and our health. All you have to do is get off the couch, get on the floor, and move around! Doing anything is better than doing nothing.

A Brighter Shade of Blue | Addressing Seasonal Affective Disorder With Light Therapy

seasonal depression

Fortunately, as with other forms of depression, treatments are available for SAD. Exercise, psychotherapy, dietary modification (and, in severe cases, antidepressant medication) are all prescribed, to varying degrees, by clinicians who encounter seasonal depression in their patients. But ever since Norman Rosenthal first began describing SAD in the 1980s, Light Therapy has been the go-to treatment.

While there’s still plenty we don’t know about the disorder (and about depression, in general), we do know that onset of SAD seems to coincide directly with a lack of sunlight. So, the easiest and most-effective solution, for the last 40-odd years, has simply been: “replace the missing light.”

For this treatment: depressed individuals spend 30 to 45 minutes under a special lightbulb every day, usually first thing in the morning, from fall to spring. The bulbs are about 20 times more potent than ordinary indoor lights – emitting 10,000 lux, and often more – effectively extending a person’s experience of “daytime.” The bulbs mimic our sun while filtering out damaging UV light, making this a safe treatment for almost everybody.

This all sounds kind of silly. I mean, a lightbulb? For depression? Turning that over in my mind feels ridiculous. It feels like a placebo… But, studies show that bulbs below the threshold of 10,000 lux seem to have no therapeutic effect whatsoever. Only these extremely-bright sun-like lights seem to melt the depression.

So there’s clearly something at work here. But what?

Consider the following:

First: Occam’s Razor. When faced with competing explanations of a phenomenon, the simplest explanation – the one which makes the fewest assumptions – is often the most correct.

Second: Did you know that scientists don’t know how Paracetamol – the active ingredient in Tylenol and the most commonly used medication in the world – actually works? I’m serious. We just don’t know! There have been some good guesses – that it inhibits COX enzymes: the creators of our bodies’ pain messenger molecules, that it blocks prostaglandin formation… but the drug interacts with so many mechanisms within the nervous system, we just can’t say with certainty why it works. We just know that it does.

It seems trivial, but these two factoids essentially sum up the history of human medicine: trial and error until something – a plant, a stretch, a change in setting – has the desired effect. And when we find that desired effect? Well, after sacrificing countless hours, dollars (and often, animal and human lives) to the search, we tend not to question those rare, positive results. And when trying to explain ourselves, the theories with fewer “moving parts” are necessarily easier to test – to prove true or false. Describing, in detail, what actually happens inside our brains during a prolonged loss of sunlight? That’s far less meaningful to an individual than preventing the consequences of that loss. If it’s as simple as replacing a light – why question it?

Thankfully, the timing of winter-pattern SAD is highly predictable. And Light Therapy lamps have exploded in popularity over the last decade, with the brightest bulbs becoming relatively affordable, even outside of an insurance plan. If you have SAD, or even just a history of depression: consider beginning Light Therapy in early Autumn. You’ll be surprised at how much a simple lightbulb can improve your day-to-day mood.

Does Winter Drain Your Happiness? | Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder

seasonal depression

In the early 1980s, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) named Norman E. Rosenthal noticed that he would grow depressed, each year without fail, at the onset of winter. A sober, scientific individual – he set out to systematically describe and report on this odd, familiar depression that seemed to ebb and flow with the seasons. And although industry experts were initially skeptical of the condition’s existence, Dr. Rosenthal’s work struck a personal chord with many other researchers – many of whom privately struggled with precisely what Rosenthal described, not just their patients – prompting further research into the subject.

The condition, now known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, and appropriately-abbreviated “SAD,” is a well-known feature of life in colder climates. It’s known among clinicians as one of the most common factors implicated in major depressive disorder, which means that SAD is not a separate disorder but a specific type of depression – one characterized by a recurring, seasonal pattern, with symptoms lasting about 4 to 5 months per year, and receding upon the changing seasons. Most people who experience SAD have also experienced at least one other episode of major depression in their lives, and the two are closely related.

It’s best thought of in terms of susceptibility and triggers. Specific individuals are born with different brain chemistry, making them naturally prone to depressive moods. And SAD statistics overlap precisely with those of other forms of depression. It occurs more commonly in women than men and occurs more often in people with pre-existing mental health conditions – especially bipolar type-II, ADHD, and eating disorders. It also seems to have a genetic component, as SAD is more common in people who have relatives with mental illnesses.

But climate remains the best, most-obvious predictive feature. In Florida, about 1.5% of the population reports seasonal mood changes. While in Alaska, a full 10% of the population reports struggling with SAD.

But like depression as a whole, we don’t fully understand the disorder. Research suggests that the culprit is dysfunction within two chemical systems – serotonin and melatonin. The former chemical is responsible for mood regulation, and our body relies on sunlight to create the precursor molecules, or building blocks, of serotonin. The latter is a hormone produced inside the body which regulates our circadian rhythm – again, a function of how much sunlight we get. So, the prevailing theory is that decreased sunlight reduces serotonin and boosts melatonin production, throwing our daily rhythms out of whack. As a result, affected individuals cannot adjust to the dramatic seasonal changes in the length of their day – sleeping longer, eating the wrong food at the wrong times, and falling into a self-perpetuating cycle of insomnia.

But where does this leave us? Fortunately, as with other forms of depression, treatments are available for SAD. In a separate post, I’ll cover some of the typical ways we address depression, as well as SAD-specific tips for beating the Winter Blues.

One Last Cup | The Poison’s Potential

caffeine poison

Caffeine is, originally, a pesticide.

That’s our best conclusion, at least. It matches all the criteria. We know it’s a bitter-tasting chemical concentrated in the bodies and leaves of a select few plants. We know that when insects and small animals consume caffeine, it overloads their nervous and digestive systems – severely impacting memory, motor functioning, and gut enzymes. We know that it is fatally toxic to many animals, even in relatively small doses compared to their body weight. And we can observe that this relationship existed long, long before humans did, as a means of self-preservation for the plant.

But interestingly enough: the only animals that are not negatively affected by caffeine? Pollinators.

While caffeine kills many insects outright, it robustly improves bees’ memory and motor functions. And, of course, humans, too. But it seems that the two animals most responsible for the proliferation of these unique plants are, in a way, rewarded for their efforts to continue the species. When the bees go for pollen, they quickly remember the coffee plants and return frequently. The plant didn’t just evolve an ability to repel predators – it evolved an ability to attract dedicated partners. That’s uncommon in nature, to say the least.

Our brains and nervous systems are so complex – so rich in chemical receptors – we can enjoy as an afternoon pick-me-up, that which is a lethal dose of speed for most of the animal kingdom. To think that this chemical, which existed only as a poison for so much of its time on earth, was directly responsible for the flourishing of civilization and thought? It boggles my mind.

And it’s only in light of this fundamental truth about caffeine that I can genuinely appreciate it. Too little, and I miss out on the remarkable ability of the human brain to turn poison into potential. Too much, and it becomes poison, once again.

It is a biological privilege to put this molecule to use, to experience the sharpening of the senses and memory brought on by the ingestion of caffeine. And it is a perversion to overuse this privilege – proven true by the gradual slipping away and diminishing marginal returns of these positive effects. Ultimately, we are punished with addiction and anxiety for our overindulgence in this magic molecule and forced to reset.

Moral of the story? Respect the plant. Respect the brew. Respect yourself.