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Supplements That Every Runner Should Be Using to Boost Performance

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Figuring out how to boost your running performance can be difficult at first. Should you start with your shoes? Your training regime? Your nutrition? All of these things are important, but sometimes you just need that extra kick that you can’t get somewhere else.

If you are looking to push yourself to hit that next goal, consider adding some supplements to your routine.

Energy Boosters

When it comes to running, there are a variety of different factors to consider in how to boost your performance and especially in figuring out how to increase your speed. One thing to consider is taking energy boosters like caffeine.

Energy Booster

According to The Wired Runner, caffeine can help increase your endurance when running long distances. It can also help you run faster per minute. Furthermore, all runners know that running is at least somewhat a mental game.

Drinking a caffeinated beverage before a run can help you feel more mentally up to the task of running 10 miles. Just make sure you aren’t consuming a lot of extra sugar with your caffeine or that you aren’t dehydrating yourself.

This could cause your caffeine to actually backfire and hurt your performance instead of helping you.

Pain Relievers

When it comes to dealing with post-run pain, it’s important to find the best pain relievers. In addition to just being uncomfortable, dealing with the pain can actually hurt your recovery, if you are sore enough that it hurts to move.

While many runners rely on pain relievers like Ibuprofen, it may be worth the effort to look at other alternatives like CBD.

According to Hemmfy, some research has shown CBD can help reduce pain and aches. It does this by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain that deal with your mood and perception of pain. By helping change the way you perceive pain, CBD can help you feel less discomfort.

Additionally, unlike other pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or other over-the-counter drugs, CBD won’t put you at risk for kidney damage in the future.

Coupled with other pain management techniques, such as massages, rolling out tight muscles, and properly pacing, you can stay in good shape for the next day.

Protein

This may seem pretty obvious, but making sure your body has enough protein to fuel it is incredibly important for runners. You don’t need protein every time you run, but if you won’t be eating for a while after or if you have another workout planned later in the day, protein can give you that boost you need to keep your energy up and prevent you from crashing and overtaxing your body.  

There are different types of protein powder, so making sure you choose the right one for your protein shake is important. The most common options are whey and casein proteins, but both of these come from milk.

If you are dairy-free, you’ll need to choose other options, such as soy or pea proteins. Each of these proteins has pros and cons, so make sure you do your research before choosing one.

Additionally, the biggest problem with protein for runners can be the additives. If you are just running for fun, you don’t need to worry as much, but if you are a competitor, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally disqualify yourself by using a protein powder with substances that aren’t allowed.

You can check the labels for certifications, but you should also talk with your trainer before adding anything new to your diet, just in case.

BCAAs

When you’re running long distances at quick paces, your body may actually end up burning calories faster than it can take in. While the idea of having a calorie deficit seems positive to many, it can actually have some negative effects.

For example, when the body needs to burn energy quickly and efficiently, it often doesn’t discriminate between which sources from which to draw that energy.

As such, your body may inadvertently be burning muscle cells instead of fat cells. According to Peak Performance, taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can actually offset this muscle loss.

BCAA
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs

They do this by helping your body draw energy from fat sources. BCAAs can also help you avoid excess muscle soreness, which will allow you to have a faster recovery. This is especially important if you are running long distances every day, as over-tired muscles could spell doom for your training routine.

When it comes to boosting running performance, it can be difficult to know where to start. Finding the right supplements for your body type can be challenging as well. Following these suggestions can help get a leg up on boosting your performance and increasing your overall health.

Read this next: Cycling or Running: Which Is Better for Your Health?

What You Can Do if Traditional Therapy Isn’t Enough

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Seeking therapy is an important step for anyone—whether they suffer from physical or mental ailments. But sometimes going to therapy alone is not enough to fight off the problems you are facing or you may find that therapy just doesn’t work for you the way that you want.

While that isn’t a bad thing, that doesn’t mean that you should just give up on your quest to feel and be better. Educate yourself on how you are feeling, and make changes or find new help to help you feel better.

Change Your Lifestyle

If you are feeling negative physically, you may need to create a more effective exercise schedule to better fend off these effects. Exercising is one of the ways physicians recommend mitigating feelings of anxiety or depression.

Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle Changes

Running, biking, hiking, and yoga are all positive forms of exercise you can do anywhere. Choose a form of exercise that you both enjoy and challenges you to push yourself harder.

Though exercising can help with your mental health, your physical health is also largely based on the food you choose to eat. Make sure you stay within your daily calorie intake and that you are accurately calculating what that intake should be.

Just because 2000 calories is the recommended amount doesn’t mean that is right for your body and level of exercise. Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t be eating, focus on increasing the amount of healthy foods you do eat.

Try to work a handful of vegetables into every meal and snack and it will make a huge difference.

Join a Support Group

Support groups are great for helping you to deal with the challenges that come with both everyday life and the less common things that come up.

The point of a support group is to connect you with people who are going through similar things who can understand your struggles. Joining either an in person or online support group can do wonders for helping you feel less alone and discovering that some of the things you are struggling with are actually quite common.

Support Groups
Support Groups

It can also give you the opportunity to help other people, which can be incredibly beneficial. Just make sure that the support group you join is actually supportive. There are some groups out there that aren’t actually helpful and can make you feel worse about yourself and your situation.

Try Experiential Therapies

If regular therapy not cutting just doesn’t seem to work for you, you should give an experiential therapy a try! Rather than talking about problems, most of these unique therapies place emphasis on redirecting pain into something productive.

They can be relaxing, fun, and physically engaging. This is especially effective for people who deal with neurodivergent conditions.

For example, equine therapy can be especially helpful for teens dealing with emotional or social issues. Working with a horse has often given people unique strength and support.

Dance studios are offering class opportunities to get active and promote body positivity. Finding a unique hobby you can attach to is a great way to find additional purpose in your life.

Stay Away from Certain Foods

While making sure you stick to an effective diet is essential, you may want to avoid specific foods or drinks altogether. Some things are addictive in nature and add to your anxiety and depression instead of quelling it.

Sugar and rich foods are a good example, but there are more things to think about.

Avoid Certain Foods
Avoid Certain Foods

Gluten and soy have been shown to have a detrimental effect on a variety of conditions, beyond just the normal sensitivities. Caffeine is one of the most common substances people drink.

Coffee, tea, and soda are prevalent in our daily purchasing and consuming habits. Excessive caffeine use can aggravate anxiety symptoms. Instead of continuing to consume the same products regularly, you should avoid foods that make your symptoms worse.

Talk to Your Doctor

While most people turn to therapy to treat mental health issues, this is something that your doctor can be brought in on as well, especially if therapy alone is not enough.

While there is some stigma surrounding medication for mental health, it is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Work closely with your doctor to make sure that you find the right medication and dosage and keep them regularly updated on any side effects or progress you are making.

Talk to your Doctor
Talk to your Doctor

If you feel the need to go to therapy, you should. It is worthwhile and does a lot of good for people. However, it is not the only solution to mental health and physical health problems.

You can use these other methods to assist in your recovery. Everyone has different needs and different things that work for them. The important part of all of this is to find what works for you.

Are you struggling to relax? Check out these tips!

Public Health Crises the U.S. Will Still Have to Deal with After COVID-19

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COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Despite the virality of the disease, it is not the only thing our healthcare system has to worry about right now.

It definitely gets the most attention, but there are a lot of other issues that are plaguing our healthcare and society. You may have heard of some of them, but others are just waiting to become a bigger problem, especially with the conditions that COVID-19 has caused.

Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccines have been a hot topic for many people in the past few decades. Anti-vax trends have started to gain more and more traction, which has led to a few outbreaks of diseases thought to be eradicated in the last few years.

Vaccine Sceptic
Vaccine Sceptic’s

And now, with the COVID-19 vaccine reaching the point where it will soon start being distributed, this issue has only thrown more gas on the fire of the debate—to vaccinate or not.

This used to be a few fringe groups, but anti-vaxxers, medical freedom advocates, and some government leaders have cast doubt on the COVID-19 vaccine. Part of this comes from misunderstandings on how scientists and doctors have been able to develop the vaccine so quickly, but it is also symptomatic of a larger problem.

Medical experts will have to educate and relieve any hesitancy found throughout the nation. Some people are scared that a vaccine will give them a higher chance to die from the virus.

Others may be thinking about conspiracy theories they heard about vaccines. Education and assurance will be the ways to combat this. Not only is this important for the COVID-19 vaccine, it needs to continue happening for other vaccines.

Even small outbreaks can lead to serious problems, and with many hospitals and healthcare systems overrun right now, that is the last thing that is needed.

Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is not a new problem, especially in the US, but the extent of the issue is only just becoming part of the public awareness.

Problems with opioid drug abuse and overdoses have actually been a concern for the CDC since the 1990s, when prescribing opioids became more common, leading to more addictions and overdoses.

Poppy's before the manufacturing process
Poppy’s before they are made into Opioid’s

Since that time, there have been multiple waves of rising opioid overdose deaths. The opioid crisis kills tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Combating the opioid crisis is going to take more than just public education, though that is an important part. A large number of addicts start off with prescription drugs they were properly prescribed that they become dependent on.

Proper oversight from doctors is key to preventing further addiction. Effective treatment and de-stigmatization of addiction can also play a huge role in helping people recover.

If you know someone who is suffering from an addiction, supporting them through their recovery process and staying sober is one of the most important things you can do.

Mental Health

Mental health struggles come in all shapes and sizes, and as we learn more about how our brain works and how it interacts with our body, mental health issues are becoming more prevalent.

There are plenty of reasons that people point to that may be causing the rise in mental illness, including social media, increased pressure, the state of the world, and more education to name a few.

In the next few years, the number of people diagnosed with a mental health condition is expected to continue to rise.

Mental Health Blocks
Mental Health Blocks

With the current pandemic, political climate, and economic unrest, it is no wonder that there has been an uptick in mental health concerns over the last year, beyond what was initially expected.

As routines have been disrupted and lives thrown into chaos, those who already struggled may have found themselves in a worse position and many more people started developing depression and anxiety.

Helping all of those struggling is a huge task, one that many places aren’t prepared for.

Nursing Shortage

Nursing is an important part of our healthcare system, and the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown this into sharp focus. Without dedicated nurses, nothing happens.

Unfortunately, even before the current pandemic, the US was already facing a nursing shortage, with a predicted 1.1 million new RNs needed by 2022 to prevent a true shortage.

Nursing Shortages
Nursing Shortages

With the current situations of the pandemic, with healthcare professionals getting overwhelmed, and some even dying, there is a likelihood that some may retire earlier than planned to leave hospitals and clinics understaffed and overwhelmed.

These health crises are not new, but they do present dangerous problems that our healthcare system and society face. COVID-19 has helped us to see the areas we fall short in and how we can do better.

It is important to make appropriate efforts in your sphere of influence to combat these issues and to help those around you.

Want to know more about the COVID-19 vaccine? Check out this article!

How to Use the Internet to Advance Your Health

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Nowadays, you can turn to the internet to advance your health or not. But to get the answer you want, on any topic you want only the internet can do that. This has been a great thing for increasing awareness and education.

But using the internet as a resource for health can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Dr. Google has given rise to an increasing number of patients who prefer to self diagnose, rather than listen to a doctor.

On the other hand, it is full of helpful resources that you should be using to advance your health without discounting your doctor’s expertise.

Join Support Groups

There are lots of support groups online. Whatever your challenge, there’s probably a support group for it. Going through a difficult experience or just having something you are dealing with is always easier if you are with people who understand what you are going through.

If you need help staying motivated to meet your health goals, joining a support group can be a great idea. There are multiple benefits of joining a support group.

These groups are good places to meet others who have similar goals and struggles, who can share their experiences and how they’ve overcome obstacles. Lots of support groups have social media pages where you can read and share content.

Finding Doctors

Doctors play a key role in helping people become healthier, so it is incredibly important to make sure you find the right doctor for you. This is doubly crucial if you have medical conditions.

Not only do you need a good doctor, you need one who will be able to properly treat you. Thanks to the internet, finding a doctor is easier than ever before.

Search engines often organize their search results to reflect local listings, meaning if there’s a doctor who specializes in what you need you’re more likely to find one nearby. Search engines aren’t the only online resource available to help you find doctors though. Healthcare review sites contain millions of listings of various general practitioners and specialists.

Sort and filter the results until you find one that looks like it will suit your needs. Be sure to check the reviews before you go so you know what to expect.

TeleHealth

The idea of seeing a doctor virtually has been around for a while, but with the current pandemic, it has seen a huge spike in popularity.

TeleHealth visits allow you to see a doctor or other medical professional without actually going to visit them in person. This can be a game-changer for people with incredibly busy schedules, people who live in more rural areas, and people who have other mitigating circumstances.

But telehealth goes beyond just virtual appointments. It can also include things like patient portals and personal health records. Your doctor can even get you set up to have symptoms and vitals monitored remotely.

This allows you to complete studies from the comfort of your home that you used to have go into the clinic for.

Increased Awareness

With the rise of the internet and social media, people have started having more conversations about health, particularly mental health and how it impacts their lives.

As these conversations have become more mainstream, it has also increased the awareness around mental health conditions and the kind of help and support these conditions require.

It is also helping de-stigmatize things like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other issues that people face. Being able to talk to people about their experiences and learn about conditions you don’t have is one of the biggest benefits of the internet.

Getting Inspired

Diet and exercise are a huge part of improving your health. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the recipes you’re using and the exercises you’re doing.

The internet is an amazing place to find new recipes that fit within your dietary requirements. If you have dietary restrictions, like gluten, lactose, or soy, you can find websites that are solely dedicated to recipes that fit your needs and that teach you how to adapt your old favorites.

There are tons of resources for finding new workouts too. There are a ton of different workout subscription services, complete with videos and coaching that allow you to try new things safely.

You can also find different programs that you can implement on your own. If you need inspiration or ideas for what to do next, the internet is the place to go.

Variety is the spice of life. Use the internet to add a healthy helping of it.

The internet can be a wonderful tool for advancing your health if used properly. You can find support groups to join, doctors, and inspiration for your diet and workouts.

By using it in a constructive way, you can find resources to help you improve your health and live a more wholesome lifestyle.

Dealing with anxiety? Check out our tips on how to keep it from controlling you.

5 Dumbbell Exercises For Men To Build Big Arms Faster

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5 Dumbell Exercises
Matt Adams is the Co-Founder of Exercises.com.au, Australia’s premier exercise and fitness site, featuring over 500 exercise demonstration videos, training guides and advice on muscle building, strength training, toning, weight loss and nutrition.

Go to any gym and you’ll see a bunch of guys doing a variety of dumbbell exercises for biceps and triceps (along with barbells) to get a big set of guns.

As a co-founder of Exercises.com.au, I’m here to tell you that you can get big arms with just dumbbells. Yes, it is possible to get great results by following a weight lifting program that uses dumbbell exercises for bigger arms.

I’ve created this guide on how to put on a gun show everywhere you go with the 5 best dumbbell exercises for arms.

Great if you’re a member of a local gym – but you can do these 5 best arm exercises at home.

To build muscle, all you need to do is continue to increase the weight every month to ensure you overload the muscles, and eat a healthy diet complete with protein, carbohydrates and vegetables.

Are you ready? Let the gains begin!

Top Dumbbell Exercises for Arms

Big arms are a conversation piece. You can’t hide them and girls can’t help but notice. Once their eyes drift to your arms, count to three, and the question will pop up:

“How long have you been training for?”

That’s why men spend hours training their arms in the gym. As the popular gym saying goes, “curls get the girls”.

The good news is you don’t have to spend countless hours working out your arms because your biceps and triceps are used in a variety of exercises.

The biceps are used in pulling exercises such as rows, pulldowns, and chin ups – and the triceps while you’re pushing in the bench press and shoulder press.

As a small muscle group, you only need a few arm exercises for mass gain. Dumbbells are an ideal choice as your weapons for mass construction. They’re portable; allow you to get a better range of motion, and a strong contraction on top.

Without further delay, here are the 5 best arm exercises for men.

Alternating Dumbbell Curls

Alternating Dumbbell Curls are a classic arm exercise. It’s one of the best arm exercises for size and strength because you go through a full range of motion while curling heavier dumbbells.

Basketball and football players love Alternating Dumbbell Curls because strong biceps make it harder for the defense to smack the ball away. Plus, big arms look imposing!

Alternating Dumbbell Curls are one of the ideal arm exercises for men at home. For best results, use adjustable dumbbells so you can easily adjust the resistance level.

How To Perform Alternating Dumbbell Curls

● Choose a pair of dumbbells that will allow you to perform 8 to 12 reps using good form.

● Place the dumbbells on your sides with the palms facing each other. Keep your shoulders down but keep a slight bend in your elbows.

● Take a shoulder-width stance, tighten your core, keep your chest out, then flex at the elbow to begin the curling motion.

● As your arm hits mid-point, supinate by externally rotating the wrist. At the top position, your fist should be facing your shoulder.

● Flex the biceps on top for a count of “one” to get a powerful contraction.

● Resist the weight on the way down; internally rotate the wrist to get the dumbbell back to starting position. Repeat the process with the other arm.

● Continue until you’ve completed the target number of sets and reps.

Best Techniques To Grow Your Arms With Alternating Dumbbell Curls

● Progressive Overload – Stronger arms build bigger arms. Increase the weight after every set but stop when you can’t perform a strict curl for 6 reps. If you have 1 pair of dumbbells, you can increase the intensity by reducing your rest periods between sets.

● Time Under Tension – Curl the dumbbell until mid-point and hold the position for 10 seconds. Return to starting position then knock off 8 straight reps in perfect form.

● Negatives – Use a weight that’s 10-20% heavier than your best dumbbell strict curl. With a bit of body English, curl the weight up to your shoulder. With a count of 8 or more seconds, resist the weight on the way back to the starting position. Use negatives only at the end of your normal biceps workout.

Incline Dumbbell Curls

Incline Dumbbell Curls is a more challenging version of Alternating Dumbbell Curls because you perform the exercise seated and the biceps get a deeper stretch.

This is one of the best upper arm exercises with dumbbells because the stretch hits the long head of the biceps which gives you the much-sought-after “peak”.

If you participate in physical activities that require a lot of pulling such as rowing, wrestling, and grappling styles of martial arts, doing a few sets of Incline Dumbbell Curls will improve performance and lower the risk of biceps tears.

How To Perform Incline Dumbbell Curls

● Set an adjustable bench to an angle of 45 degrees.

● Grab 2 light dumbbells and sit on the bench with your back firmly pressed against the bench. Allow the dumbbells to hang straight down, with your palms facing in.

● Tighten your core; flex at the elbow and curl the dumbbell up.

● At the midpoint, where your forearms are parallel to the floor, supinate by externally rotating your wrist. At the top position, your palm should be facing your shoulder.

● Resist the weight as you return to the starting position.

● You can perform Incline Dumbbell Curls by curling the dumbbells alternately or at the same time.

● Repeat the process until you’ve hit the target number of reps.

Best Techniques To Grow Your Arms With Incline Dumbbell Curls

● Rest-Pause – This technique will give you one of the best dumbbell workouts for arms because it’s intense and you don’t need to use very heavy dumbbells. Choose a weight that you can incline curl for a maximum of 10 strict reps. After you hit 10 reps, allow the dumbbells to hang on your sides, and rest for 30 seconds. Once your rest period is over, go for 3 to 4 strict reps. Rest for another 30 seconds, then try to do 1-2 more curls without cheating.

● Drop Sets – Choose a weight that you can incline curl for 10 strict reps. Once you’ve completed 10 reps, get a lighter pair of dumbbells, and go to failure. For your third and final drop set, choose a lighter weight, and again perform strict reps until failure.

● 21s – Curl the weight halfway and perform 7 strict reps. Return to the starting position then curl all the way to the shoulder. From there, curl the dumbbell only from the shoulder until midpoint for another 7 reps. Finally, return to the starting position and knock out 7 full strict reps.

Hammer Curls

Peaked biceps – check. Horseshoe triceps – check. Hammer Curls build your forearms and give your arms the complete look. It also works your biceps and allows you to carry heavier weights which makes Hammer Curls one of the best arm exercises for mass.

Hammer Curls is an important exercise for those who play sports that need a strong and stable grip such as golf, tennis, baseball, grappling martial arts, and bowling.

How To Perform Hammer Curls

● Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them as if you’re carrying a hammer in both hands; arms straight down and palms facing each other.

● Assume a shoulder-width stance. Tighten your core. Flex your elbow to curl the weight up to your shoulder. Maintain the position of the wrist; don’t supinate.

● At the top position, flex your upper arm. You should feel a strong contraction in your biceps and forearm muscles.

● Bring the dumbbells back to the starting position by resisting the weight.

● You can perform Hammer Curls with alternating arms or by curling the dumbbells simultaneously.

● Repeat until you’ve completed the target number of repetitions.

Best Techniques To Grow Your Arms With Hammer Curls

● Rest-Pause – The rest-pause technique will turn Hammer Curls into one of the best exercises for arm strength. This time, choose a weight that you can Hammer Curl for a maximum of 8 strict reps. After you’ve completed 8 reps, rest for 30 seconds, then hit 3 to 4 reps. Rest for another 30 seconds then try to complete 1 to 2 strict reps. Add a twist by finishing off with a weight that’s 50% lighter then perform strict reps until failure. See if you can hit 20 reps non-stop.

● Extended Sets – Start out by doing Incline Dumbbell Curls. When you’ve hit failure, switch to Hammer Curls. Because you can carry more weight with the Hammer Curl position, you should be able to complete 4 to 6 strict reps after doing Incline Dumbbell Curls.

● Time Under Tension – Perform Hammer Curls one arm at a time. Start with your right arm and go for 5 reps. Hold the 5th rep in the halfway position then knock out 5 reps with the left arm. At the 5th rep, hold the dumbbell in the halfway position then curl another 5 reps with the right arm. Repeat until you’ve completed 20 total reps for each arm.

Weighted Tricep Dips

Weighted Triceps Dips is one of the best exercises for arm mass. The triceps account for a larger portion of your arms and Weighted Triceps Dips hits all 3 heads of the triceps muscle.

This is also a good all-around mass builder for the upper body as it hits the chest and shoulders.

Gymnasts, football players, boxers, and other athletes who do movements that require an extension of the elbow and a lot of pushing will greatly benefit from doing Weighted Triceps Dips.

How To Perform Weighted Triceps Dips

● Hook a dipping belt around your waist and attach a dumbbell that will allow you to perform 10 strict reps of Weighted Triceps Dips.

● Get a good grip on the handles of a parallel dipping bar. Push off your foot to give yourself a boost to the top position.

● Tighten your core to stabilise your upper body then hook one foot behind the other.

● Bend at the elbows to lower your body. Stop at the point where your lower arms are parallel to the floor or your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.

● Extend the elbows to bring you back to the starting position. Flex your triceps at the top to get a powerful contraction.

● Repeat the process until you’ve completed the target number of reps.

Best Techniques To Grow Your Arms With Weighted Triceps Dips

● Drop Sets – After you’ve completed the maximum number of reps, remove the dumbbell, and perform bodyweight reps until failure.

● Progressive Overload – Start out by using a dumbbell that allows you to perform 12 strict reps. Keep increasing the weight until you can do no more than 6 strict reps. Rest 2 minutes between sets.

● EMOTM – Every-Minute-On-The-Minute means you hit as many reps as possible within 60 seconds. If you hit your max number of reps in 30 seconds, you’ll have 30 seconds to rest until you go again. Try for 5 minutes.

Tricep Kickbacks

Triceps Kickbacks is one of the most popular arm exercises for men who want to develop that eye-catching horseshoe shape on their triceps. This exercise can be used as a warm-up or as a finisher because you don’t need to lift heavy dumbbells to see great results.

How To Perform Triceps Kickbacks

● Grab a light dumbbell, place the knee opposite the working arm on the edge of a flat bench. Stabilise your position by using the non-working arm to anchor your body to the bench.

● Pull the elbow back as if performing a rowing exercise. Hold the position where your lower arms are parallel to the floor. Keep your working arm close to the side of your body.

● Extend the elbow by kicking back the forearm. Hold the contracted position for a count of one.

● Resist the weight as you go back to the starting position.

● After you’ve completed the target number of reps, switch and repeat the exercise with the other arm.

Best Techniques To Grow Your Arms With Triceps Kickbacks

● Pre-Exhaustion – Perform reps to failure with both arms before doing Weighted Triceps Dips.

● Superset – Perform a set of Triceps Kickbacks after every set of Hammer Curls.

● Time Under Tension – Hold the fully-contracted position for 20 seconds then perform reps to failure.

Wrapping Up

Great guns are just 5 exercises away!

I’ve just shown you the best dumbbell exercises for biceps and triceps. Performing them consistently and with good form will give your arms size, shape, and strength.

For best results, train your arms twice-a-week, choose one workout technique per exercise, and change it up every session. This way, your muscles won’t adapt to the same stimulus and will continue to grow.

BIO:

Matt Adams is the Co-Founder of Exercises.com.au, Australia’s premier exercise and fitness site, featuring over 500 exercise demonstration videos, training guides and advice on muscle building, strength training, toning, weight loss and nutrition.

When You Should Stop Using Teeth Whitening Products

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Nothing says confidence like pearly white teeth, but those can be hard to get on your own. Many people, despite having incredible dental hygiene, simply have teeth with a yellow hint.

Teeth whitening products can give you brighter teeth and help with your confidence. But like all artificial enhancers, you need to be careful. You want to take care of your teeth, so it’s a good idea to keep these factors in mind.

You’re Using Them Every Day

You shouldn’t use teeth whitening products every day. Unlike toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss, teeth whitening is not a necessary part of cleaning your teeth.

In fact, according to Delta Dental Insurance, over-whitening them can lead to some disastrous problems. Depending on the product you’re using, it will tell you in the instructions how often you should be using them.

Teeth Whitening
Teeth Whitening before and after

There are some that tell you to use the product for 7–10 days in a month, and others that say once a week. It’s important to follow the directions so that you can keep your teeth safe and not chalky.

It’s also important not to leave the product on your teeth for too long. Overusing whitening products can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity. In some cases, it can even erode your enamel. This leaves you at risk for tooth decay.

You Have Tooth Pain

According to Kuhni Orthodontic Studio, tooth sensitivity isn’t necessarily due to a cavity. You need to listen to your teeth. If you have tooth pain, it could be because of the teeth whitening product you’ve been using.

Some people develop sensitivity in the gums or teeth. If your teeth start to hurt, consider taking a break from your whitening product for a while. Talk to your dentist, in case that’s not the cause of the pain.

Be up front about what you have been using. Make sure you also thoroughly cover your medical history. Some medications or medical conditions can lead to extra sensitivity to whitening treatments.

Additionally, make sure you are careful about how you apply the whitening solution. At-home whitening products often use peroxide, which can cause irritation and inflammation of your gums, mouth, and throat, if it comes into contact with them.

Your Dentist Tells You to Stop

If you are looking at different whitening treatments, it is actually best to talk to your dentist before starting them. But, if you have already started, you still need to pay attention to what they say.

Obviously, if your dentist is telling you to stop using whitening products, you should do what they say. Your dentist has your best interests in mind when it comes to the health of your teeth.

Dentist using whitening products
Dentist using whitening products

Some treatments just don’t work well for people, and some treatments you find on the internet can actually be dangerous. If your dentist tells you to stop, it is for good reason.

According to OraWellness, your dentist can tell if your teeth are being stripped of their enamel because you’ve been using whitening products too often and will tell you.

You can ask them what they’d recommend and when you can eventually start using the product again. They will have some good advice for whitening your teeth and will tell you what your best course of action will be.

When You Are Satisfied

When you are satisfied with the results of your teeth whitening, you can stop regularly using the whitening product.s This seems like it should be obvious, but some people will continue even after they get to the level of white they want.

Continuing to whiten your teeth past that point can lead to some of the over whitening problems that were mentioned earlier, or you may just end up not looking like you want to.

Once you have stopped whitening your teeth, you will have to take some extra care to keep them white. Some kinds of foods will naturally stain your teeth or can leave them looking more dull. Doing a regular touch up every couple months will do the trick to keep your teeth pearly white.

The goal is white teeth
The final goal is white teeth

If you do regular upkeep, you won’t have to worry about going through the full whitening course again.

Teeth whitening products can be a great way to give you the smile you’ve always wanted, but there are some things you need to keep in mind.

It is possible to be using them too often, so you need to know when to stop using them in order to protect your teeth. Make sure you consult with your dentist before starting any treatment, even at home ones and do your research before you commit to one method.

Not all of the methods you read about really work, and the one that works well for your best friend may not be the best fit for you.

Read this next: How Your Teeth Affect Your Health

How to Take Care of Your Health This Winter

You should always be thinking about your health, but it is especially important during the winter months. It can be hard to stick to an exercise regimen and healthy diet in the winter because all you want to do is curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of cookies.

With everyone indoors, it is a little easier for viruses to spread from person to person, leading to an increase in colds and flu symptoms. You should try to keep yourself healthy in winter in every way if possible when your body is at its most vulnerable.

This can be critical this winter, as COVID-19 surges in multiple locations, and staying healthy can play a big part in helping to keep things under control.

Stay Active

Do not let the cold deter you from exercise. Staying active during the winter months will give you energy and keep your body toned. You don’t want to risk losing muscle or strength.

If you usually work out outside, consider adapting your routine to feature exercises to do inside. Social media also provides a wide variety of influencers who can give you exercise plans that fit your needs.

Snow Boarding and Staying Active
Snowboarding and Staying Active

Consistency is key. Plan to work out for 30 minutes to an hour every day. Make sure it happens at the same time of day so you can get used to your new schedule.

Early mornings work the best for most people, but this is circumstantial. Many people also find it helpful to have other people to exercise with. Enlist your family members in working out with you or set up a virtual workout with your friends.

Even just scheduling a quick walk every couple of hours can get your blood pumping and give you the added bonus of being more focused at work.

Practice Good Hygiene

Your physical well-being is not limited to your exercise, but also relates to illness prevention. While it is not guaranteed you will not get sick, you can protect yourself by practicing good hygiene.

Washing your hands regularly has been proven to protect you from the majority of germs, making it one of the most important things you can do. Not only should you be washing your hands after you use the restroom, but you should also do so before eating, when you get home, and any other time that feels appropriate.

Hand Washing for better hygiene
Hand washing for better hygiene

If you are out in public, make sure you wear a mask and use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. Transmission of COVID-19 is more likely to occur before symptoms manifest, which makes these precautions a matter of public safety.

You should also avoid touching your face and hair as much as possible, especially in public. If you do manual labor and often get dirty while working, you should shower as soon as you get home from work. It may seem like extra, but washing off any potential bacteria is important for your health. It also means people will want to be around you more, which is an added bonus.

Get Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an excellent way to keep yourself healthy. It strengthens your immune system response and can assist in fighting mental health problems.

Unfortunately, the sunlight is one of the most reliable ways to acquire this important vitamin, so most people find that their anxiety and depression worsen in the winter. Many people work indoors and with the sun coming up later and setting earlier, during the week, they may only see the sun through a distant window.

While most people experience some form of the “winter blues,” more severe cases are known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and can be very serious. If you feel like you are suffering from SAD, you need to talk to your doctor about getting treatment for your condition.

Vitamin D along with other supplements always helps
Vitamin D along with other supplements always helps

If you are struggling with lower energy but don’t feel like it needs medical attention, there are still effective ways to combat the lack of vitamin D. Eating foods such as fish and eggs that are rich in vitamin D can help your body deal with the shortage.

You can also take vitamin D pills to supplement what little sunlight you do see (this is necessary if you live in a colder climate). You can also use light therapy to combat your low energy and anxiety. However, it will not impact vitamin D production, so make sure you couple this with other methods.

Staying healthy can mean different things. Mental health, physical health, and emotional health are all important, and depending on your situation, you might feel the need to focus on one.

Look for ways to improve your life during the winter, and the rest of the year is likely to be better. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in accomplishing your health goals.

Read this next: Who is Helping Develop a Vaccine for COVID-19?

The Incredible Ramification of Exercise on Diabetes

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Exercise on Diabetes

As of 2020, over 35 million Americans have diabetes and at least 88 million others have symptoms of pre-diabetes. The cumulative medical costs that are related to the chronic condition have exploded to 327 billion annually. The benefits of exercise on diabetes is immense and need to be taken seriously by millions of Americans and people worldwide.

These are worrying statistics that spark many questions about what is happening in the current health world. For anyone with diabetes or almost any other disease, the benefits of exercise cannot be underrated.

Exercise helps lower blood pressure, control weight, raise healthy HDL cholesterol, minimize harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce anxiety, strengthen bones and muscles, and enhance general well-being.

Benefits of Exercise on Diabetes

There are more benefits for anyone with diabetes; exercise reduces glucose levels in the blood and boosts the body’s sensitivity to insulin which counters insulin resistance. Moreover, exercise is considered to be a transforming pill that comes without any side effects.

Although exercise is normally seen to help in diabetes prevention, not many patients with the disease engage in the recommended level of physical activity. In the United States, only 40% of diabetes patients engage in exercise therapy which just 28.2% of them achieve the recommended physical activity levels.

Physical activity is proven to play an integral role in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes but many people with this chronic disease are not regularly active. Although the data from that survey is a small percentage of the general population, it reflects an expensive predicament in modern-day society.

Health and wellness education has evolved among media platforms recently. But, patients and susceptible people are still failing to meet the call. The data from the study should not be depressing and is not meant to instill any fear.

In reality, many barriers prohibit people with chronic conditions from exercising and it is not their fault. Society should inspire a message of hope and the experts should simplify exercises to make them attractive.

The Reality

The future is bright for those who are serious about fighting chronic diseases with physical activity.

Exercise is the diabetes medication that is free if you administer it correctly. But, it is a part of a bigger puzzle that also includes proper nutrition, sleep, and stress management practices.

All these factors must be considered to minimize the prevalence of the chronic disease. Always speak to health professionals before starting exercise regimes to ensure that you are doing it correctly.

Many benefits are associated with exercising your body.

In the field of chronic disease, exercise helps in the:

· improvement of blood glucose control

· prevention of type 2 diabetes

· decreasing the rate of cardiovascular events · increase of mitochondrial biogenesis

· lowering of blood pressure

· positively affecting lipid levels

Beyond all these factors, there is a physiological mechanism that is outstanding. Doctors say that exercise can work nearly as powerful as insulin in regards to diabetes.

The Exercise Pill While resting, regulation of muscle glucose uptake relies mainly on the insulin hormone. The uptake happens through GLUT 4 transporters. These transporters carry glucose out of the bloodstream. In the case of type 2 diabetes, there is a mismanagement of blood glucose as a result of issues with insulin production or resistance.

The imbalance results in various symptoms like hunger, thirst, fatigue, urination, and multiple fluctuations in the levels of blood glucose. But, all this can be prevented or managed if one is already diabetic.

Exercise on Diabetes

Research has proven that exercise can change calcium and ATP levels in a manner that manages GLUT 4 transporters and proper glucose uptake into skeletal muscle irrespective of the prevailing insulin levels.

Acute exercise is proven to activate alternative molecular signals that can easily bypass the defects in insulin signaling in skeletal muscle. That results in an insulin-independent increase in glucose absorption.

According to Standford & Goodyear, exercise-induced adaptations to skeletal muscle are necessary to prevent and fight type 2 diabetes.

The best part of it all is that this exercise routine is free.

Doses Can Even Be Ten Minutes Only

The benefits of exercising are many and complex but the effort put in is quite simple. For instance, 150 min/wk of physical activity coupled with diet-induced weight loss reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 58% in an at-risk population. More findings indicate that exercise alone is a great strategy for mitigating and preventing this condition.

The recommended guidelines for Type 2 diabetes are the 150min/week spread across at least three days in a week in 10-minutes segments or more. Doctors suggest that individuals with severe cases of obesity can target the 200–250-minute mark per week as time goes.

Starting an exercise habit can be quite intimidating but it is always good to start even small by even walking just 10 minutes per day. You can go on a bike ride, walk regularly in the morning, engage in a new sport, play outside with the children more often, or even join a training team.

Exercise on Diabetes

Getting into a routine even a healthy habit involves more of psychology than physiology. But once a rhythm is formed, there is always room for growth. Thus, 10-minute walks if done consistently can go a long way to open doors for many health benefits. Some of the

benefits include prevention of other chronic diseases, enhanced emotional regulation, elevated mood, and so much more. The small sacrifice results in astronomical gains.

The Takeaway

Whether you feel healthy or have a chronic disease like type 2 diabetes, exercise is for everyone. It combats a lot of illnesses, and it is entirely free to acquire. But the real challenge lies in consistency. It is easy to start exercising but quite challenging to keep up the habit in the long-term.

Healthy living should be a norm for anyone, and everyone who wishes to avoid various illnesses, and exercise is a component of the life-changing ‘pill’.

Are You Guilty of These Negative Health Behaviors?

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This year has made it clear how important it is to take care of your health. With all the differing opinions on what’s best and all the work you have to put in, it can be easy to slip into negative health behaviors. Here are three such behaviors you should avoid falling into.

Relying Too Much on Natural Medicine

Natural medicine isn’t inherently a bad thing. Despite what some would have you believe, modern medicine isn’t inherently bad either. It is unwise to rely too much on natural medicine though.

To do so ignores the enormous amounts of research and progress that has been made regarding the best healthcare practices. This has the potential to put your health at risk if you refuse treatments that have proven effective in favor of natural remedies that may or may not work.

Instead, as BetterHealth suggests, supplement modern treatments with natural medicine under the direction of your doctor.

Self-Diagnosing

With a wealth of information about different diseases literally at your fingertips, it can be tempting to do a quick search of any symptoms you might be experiencing to figure out what’s going on. This isn’t always the best idea though.

According to Podium, while the internet is a great resource, it also contains a lot of inaccurate medical information. Self-diagnosing based on information obtained on Dr. Google can lead to inaccurate assumptions and unnecessary stress.

This can compound whatever it is that you’re dealing within the first place. Diagnoses are best left for healthcare professionals. If you think they got it wrong, get a second opinion in lieu of a self-diagnosis.

Making Excuses

Taking care of yourself takes work and discipline. It’s often difficult to get the right amount of exercise and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Too often, people tend to make excuses for living an unhealthy lifestyle.

While it may make them feel better in the short term, this unhealthy behavior perpetuates an unhealthy way of living. Instead of finding all the reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t take care of your health, find ways to overcome those obstacles.

You’ll empower yourself to live a healthy life, complete with the knowledge that you made it happen.

It’s important for you to do your best to take good care of your health and avoid negative behaviors that can cause you harm. Relying too much on natural medicine, self-diagnosing, and making excuses for poor behaviors will only hurt you in the long run.

Take action now to kick any negative health habits or behaviors you might have to reap the benefits of living a healthy life.

Read this next: How to Take Care of Your Health in School This Semester

Who is Helping Develop a Vaccine for COVID-19?

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Concerns about the coronavirus abound. Many people are fearful, and understandably so. There is so much we don’t know about how it works and what treatments can be used to help those who contract COVID-19. In an attempt to combat the illness, there are many people who are working to develop a vaccine.

Pharmaceutical Companies

For all the complaints about Big Pharma and the conspiracy theories surrounding it, there are some definite advantages to wielding that degree of power and amount of money. Currently, it means that pharmaceutical companies are well positioned to undertake the enormous task that is research and development for a vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, and Pfizer are among the pharmaceutical companies who have begun working to develop a vaccine to varying degrees of success. Johnson & Johnson had begun a human trial but stopped it due to unexplained illness in a participant. Sanofi has begun human trials, though results likely won’t be forthcoming until the end of the year.

Pfizer, who teamed up with Germany’s BioNTech, has also been performing human trials and have reported a measure of success in producing an immune response.

Government Agencies

Government agencies aren’t sitting idly by either. The CDC has a broad mission to promote various avenues of public health. The Department of Health and Human Services is getting involved as well through the National Institutes of Health.

More specifically, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is involved in the clinical research process of developing a vaccine. They are also able to provide support and funding for external research institutions who can further research and development efforts.

NIAID has a vaccine they have developed in partnership with Moderna Inc, a biotechnology company, that is currently in clinical testing. 

Universities

The United States is far from alone in attempts to develop a vaccine. Universities from around the world are participating in research and development. The University of Oxford in England and the University of Queensland in Australia are hard at work trying to create a viable vaccine.

Oxford partnered with AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company. They began clinical testing in April. It was stopped in September due to possible side effects, but later resumed. Queensland expects to enroll participants in their trial from December 2020 through March 2021 and anticipate rolling out a vaccine later in the year if the trial is successful.

There are many people involved in the process of developing a vaccine to combat COVID-19 and the coronavirus that causes it. Pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and universities are all heavily involved in research and development projects that will hopefully lead to success soon. For those suffering or at high risk, it can’t come soon enough.

Read this next: How to Calm Your Pandemic-Related Anxiety

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