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Not All Crunches are Created Equal; the Importance of Proper Form

Almost everyone who performs workouts regularly attempts a few crunches at some point. Crunches have become increasingly popular because of their unique benefits. A lot of people who relied on doing sit-ups in the past are choosing to do crunches now.

However, many fitness experts warn that if the crunches are performed the wrong way, it could lead to muscle cramps, backache, or other conditions. The key is to attempt crunches correctly and focus on the area that an individual wishes to work on.

Common Errors to Avoid

To ensure that you are following the correct techniques for crunches, try to avoid these common mistakes that many people make while attempting crunches.

Do not Hold Your Breath

One of the most important aspects to remember while doing crunches is the breathing technique. The body requires oxygen to flow through the blood and reach the targeted muscles. Therefore, if you hold your breath while performing crunches, it could result in cramps or quicker fatigue.

Do not Go too Fast

Any exercise related to the abdomen should be performed in a steady and gradual manner. The movements must be slow and controlled, and never jerky.

Do not Use the Neck to Pull Up

While doing crunches, all the pull should originate from the abdominal area and not the neck. The easy way to ensure is to keep the belly button down because that will mean you are pulling up from the abdominals.

Benefits

Fitness experts recommend nowadays that some sort of abdominal exercises should be part of everyone’s workout. These exercises will help improve posture, support a healthy back, and stabilize the body’s core. Crunches are not merely great because they help to build the abs. The entire abdominal area is the center of your body, and its health and fitness is vital to your overall well-being.

While most people want to have that highly sought-after six-pack looks, but the reality is that flat abs are very hard to achieve. All the crunches in the world are not going to be adequate to realize this goal, if they are not accompanied by cardiovascular exercises. These exercises will reduce the stubborn fat layers that cover the stomach muscles.

In the experience of many people who have done crunches for a long time, it is quite clear that crunches alone will only help to draw in the abdominals. But it will not remove the fat around the abdominals. Therefore, a combination of implementing the correct crunches technique and cardiovascular exercise will deliver the desired benefits.

The Benefits of Honey

Honey has been considered a golden liquid for centuries, packed with nutritional power and medicinal value. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties make it one of the healthiest natural sweeteners for both kids and adults.

Mitigating Allergies

Honey can provide symptomatic relief from seasonal allergies. Its anti-inflammatory effect and the ability soothe a sore throat make it a good natural treatment option to fight of a cough or flu. Many experts suggest that honey contains tiny amounts of pollen, which can trigger an immune response that produces antibodies to the pollen. Prolonged use of honey can build the body’s resistance against pollen allergies.

Providing Natural Energy

With about 17 grams of carbohydrates in one tablespoon, honey can serve as a very useful all-natural energy source. The unprocessed glucose and fructose in honey goes directly into the bloodstream and provides a quick energy boost. It helps to raise the blood sugar temporarily, which can serve as a short-term energy source for people who perform workouts and engage in jobs that require prolonged physical endurance.

Cough Reliever

Pesky colds can be tackled with honey as an all-natural cure. Two teaspoons of honey can provide soothing relief from persistent cough. Kids above the age of one can receive some degree of relief from nighttime cough if they take two teaspoons of honey before going to bed. The thick consistency of honey helps to coat the throat and protect it from incessant coughing.

Support for Sound Sleep

People suffering from irregular sleep patterns or insomnia might benefit from honey. Honey can raise the levels of insulin and release serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter to elevate the mood and happiness. That body converts serotonin into melatonin in a natural process. Melatonin is a chemical compound that regulates the quality and length of sleep.

Temporary Relief from Dandruff

Honey can target dandruff and provide temporary relief to the scalp. Scientific studies have found that when honey is diluted with 10% of water and applied to the targeted areas of the scalp, and left on for three hours, it can provide relief from itching and scaling within a week. The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of honey make a terrific treatment for dandruff and even seborrheic dermatitis.

Natural Antibiotic for Burns and Wounds

Honey can act as a natural antibiotic both in topical and oral form. As a topical treatment, it can disinfect sores and wounds from certain harmful bacteria. Its medicinal properties can promote healing when consumed internally.

Laid Off From a Pharma Company? 3 Career Options to Consider

You head into work one morning to start your day. But then your supervisor calls you into their office and suddenly you find yourself packing everything in your office. The company has decided to reduce its workforce by downsizing and you were one of hundreds of employees that were let go.

Losing your job can be extremely disorienting. Worse is the fact that layoffs seemingly come out of nowhere and are completely unexpected. Employees of major pharmaceuticals are increasingly finding themselves in a similar position.

Pfizer is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. But has eliminated more than 56, 000 jobs world-wide since 2005.

Tens of thousands of jobs were lost as a direct result of such reorganizations not just from Pfizer but from other pharmaceutical companies around the world. Some took early retirement while others found employment within the industry. So what are your options if you are let go and well into your 40s or 50s?

With a background in health, here are three career options to consider.

1. Start a company

If you have always dreamed of being your own boss, why not look into starting a company?

Pharmacies are extremely lucrative. But those run by major corporations often lack a more personal touch. With a small and independent business, pharmacists get to know their clients on a much more personal level.

An easier option is to buy a franchise. This lets you leverage an existing name with branding solutions to help you operate your own pharmacy. You can also buy an existing pharmacy (assuming one is for sale) or start completely from scratch. All are certainly viable options but no doubt require substantial planning.

2. Become a distributor for GenoVive

Obesity is increasingly becoming a rampant problem around the world. Many try a variety of weight loss programs but fail to get any results. But the reality is that no two people are alike so a personalized approach is required.

GenoVive offers weight management programs that test DNA to determine metabolism type. This allows for a highly personalized plan for effective weight management. Many are already seeing great results by continuing with the program.

If you are passionate about health, you could be a distributor for GenoVive’s personalized DNA diet and DNA fitness programs. You benefit from an existing brand name and a new clientele stream for your practice.

3. Find a new job

If you are not yet ready to go on your own, make a plan for what to do next. The tough job market can be rather discouraging but the key is to stay positive. Being laid off is often a blessing in disguise for many as it means the opportunity to really evaluate your options.

Make it a full time effort to apply for new jobs you qualify for. Reconnect with some of your old colleagues to ask about any job openings. Contact companies you want to work for even if there are no listings on the company site. Demonstrating your value will eventually bring in some job offers.

Being laid off is not easy.

You may feel completely blindsided but realize that the situation is only temporary. With a background in health there are plenty of options open to you. You could start your own company, become a distributor for GenoVive or continuing working in the same field.

Eating Clean and What this Entails

Eating clean is a terrific way to achieve solid health simply by choosing healthier options in each of the food groups, and reducing the intake of less healthy ones. Here are a few simple guidelines to support a committed eating clean plan:

Increase Intake of Fresh and Organic Produce

The primary rule of clean eating should be to include fresh, local, and organic produce in the diet as far as possible. Choose the in-season veggies and fruits, which are typically more enriching, tastier, and more affordable. Avoid foods with ingredients that are artificial or over processed.

Veggies provide vital minerals and vitamins as well as heart-healthy fiber. Fresh veggies come clean, straight from the farm, are low on calories, and give a feeling of fullness, which leaves lesser scope for fatty foods. Similarly, fresh fruits are unprocessed, whole foods that can boost the immune system.

Go for Whole Grains and Whole Foods

Whole grains are packed with a lot more nutrients as compared to refined grains. Whole breads, whole wheat, whole pastas, and other whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice provide high fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is always a judicious idea to check the ingredients on the label before buying packaged foods.

Healthy, homemade substitutes such as tomato sauce, mayonnaise sauce, cheese and macaroni, and granola bars can provide awesome clean food benefits. In any case, not everything that comes packaged is really bad. Clean packaged foods will include chickpeas, baby spinach, whole wheat pasta, and such other foods. These products are minimally processed and preserve the nutritional value to a good extent.

Reduce Saturated Fats

Eating clean does not mean cutting out on fats, but it involves a focus on healthier fats. Saturated fats such as the ones in meat, cheese, or butter can be replaced with healthier fats as the ones found in canola oil, olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish. The healthier fats can, in fact, help raise good HDL cholesterol and cut down the risk of heart disease.

Control Sugar and Salt in the Diet

Added sugars can cause harm beyond a point, and it is important to limit their intake in the form of candy, soda, or baked products. Similarly, excessive salt intake can cause an increase in blood pressure. Reducing the use of processed and packaged foods will help to cut back on the salt intake.

In the long run, eating clean can help to prevent and manage diseases, eliminate toxins, and improve your overall health, energy, and fitness levels.

5 Things Your Trainer Should Know About You

Having a personal trainer can help you to achieve your fitness goals safely and quite effectively. To start with, it is important that you should choose a trainer only after having a fair idea about their areas of expertise and whether they match with your personal fitness needs.

Once you have chosen the trainer, it is pertinent that the trainer should also know certain things about you in order to provide you with the right training plan that is tailored to meet your requirements.

Personal Profile 

The trainer should know your full name, age, contact address, and phone number. They should know whether you are single or married, and if married, for how many years and having how many kids.

The trainer should know whom to contact in case of an emergency, so you should provide them with alternative contact details of someone who can be reached in case of a need. The contact details of your primary care physician should also be made available to the trainer.

Medical History

Your personal trainer should ideally screen you for health risk factors and design the training program in accordance with your unique health status. Any health risk factors should be clearly noted so that the training does not interfere with those factors.

The trainer should have a basic idea of your health history and any existing ailments or conditions that you may be suffering from. If you have undergone any surgeries, or if you plan to undergo any surgery, weight loss plan, or pregnancy, the trainer should be made aware of such plans.

Current Health and Fitness Level

In case of a specific physical condition, the personal trainer may require you to receive clearance from a physician before accepting you for certain training programs. To determine the current fitness level, the trainer should evaluate you for muscle strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility.

Individual Fitness Goals

Your personal trainer should be aware of your fitness goals and what level of figure improvement and muscular strength and fitness you wish to achieve. The trainer will prepare a customized training program in accordance with your personal goals.

Duration and Timings

Your trainer should ideally know at the outset what may be the estimated duration for which you would need their services. A short term or long term fitness plan can be prepared accordingly. They should have a fair idea of your regular or normal schedule and more importantly, your commitment to stick to the fitness regimen.