The 30-Day Plan to Toned Arms Strong, toned arms are just a few weeks away thanks to our 30-day plan designed to gradually build the weight and reps, so by the time you’re done, you’ll be the proud owner of a pair of strong, toned […]
Month: November 2017
Top Pinned Holiday Recipes of 2017 Enjoy the season’s festivities by making flavorful dishes without the added fat and calories. We rounded up our most pinned holiday recipes all under 500 calories — from appetizers to entrees, breakfasts to desserts. All are perfect for potlucks, […]
The Most Underrated Core Strengthener, Revealed
You’ve tried every core exercise imaginable: crunches, planks, pikes, ab-wheels, you name it. But it turns out the most important core-strengthener isn’t actually a “core” exercise at all. It’s every other exercise you do in the gym. Performed correctly, those exercises improve the strength, stability and functionality of your core better than any traditional “core” exercise.
“A person can have the strongest core in the world without ever touching the abs with a crunch or plank,” says Erik Marthaler, CPT, co-owner of Lateral Fitness in Chicago. It stands to reason: In one Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study, when researchers had exercisers perform heavy squats and deadlifts, they activated a far greater percentage — and a greater degree — of their core than when they performed dedicated core-stability exercises including the side-plank and superman.
After all, the core is quite literally the foundation for your entire body, comprising not just your six-pack muscles (aka your rectus abdominis) or your deep-lying transverse abdominis, but also your spinal stabilizers, lats, traps, heck, even your pecs.
READ MORE > ARE ABS WORTH THE HYPE?
“To effectively train the core, we need to stop looking at the body as a hacked-together grouping of various body parts, and instead look at how the body functions overall,” says Mike T. Nelson, PhD, a Minnesota-based strength coach and exercise physiologist. As the core is the main connection between the upper and lower body, training it that way is the key to a stronger, more functional total body.
MAKE EVERY EXERCISE A CORE EXERCISE
When it comes to strengthening the foundation of your body, some of the best movements include squats, deadlifts, step-ups, lunges and large push and pull movements such as the bench press, standing cable row and all-powerful pullup. Other great options include the farmer’s carry, where you stand tall, hold a weight (or two) and walk across the gym floor.
While these exercises are generally added to workout programs to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, quads, pecs or lats, it’s important to remember that proper execution of any of them requires and builds a strong, stable core. “Your body almost automatically tightens up to make a sturdier base when doing these exercises,” Marthaler says.
However, you can increase the core contraction by coordinating deep diaphragmatic breathing in your movements, he says. During the eccentric — or easy part of an exercise (i.e., lowering into a squat or lowering down in a pushup) — inhale slowly through your nose inflating your abdomen. Then, as soon as you begin the concentric — or hard part of an exercise (i.e., raising out of a squat or pushing away from the floor in a pushup) — forcefully push the air out through your mouth, tightening your abs like you’re about to get punched in the gut.
WHAT ABOUT TRADITIONAL CORE EXERCISES?
Your core-centric planks, deadbugs and Pallofs can still be part of your exercise routine — and they should be especially if your core is weaker than the rest of your body, Nelson says.
How do you know if your core is relatively weak? During every exercise, pay attention to how your body feels. If you regularly feel your core shaking when performing standing shoulder presses or your core gives out before your chest and shoulders do during pushups, your core needs strengthening. Similarly, if you can squat or deadlift considerably more weight when you wear a weight belt, it’s a sign your core could use a little extra love.
You’ve tried every core exercise imaginable: crunches, planks, pikes, ab-wheels, you name it. But it turns out the most important core-strengthener isn’t actually a “core” exercise at all. It’s every other exercise you do in the gym. Performed correctly, those exercises improve the strength, stability and functionality of your core better than any traditional “core” …
Aleisha FettersUnder ArmourNovember 30, 2017
For Better Performance, Use Your Imagination There are many successful strategies for setting realistic, achievable goals, as well as measuring your progress. But there’s one quirky technique that tends to be underutilized: visualization. With this tactic, you’re basically using your imagination to “see” yourself as […]
10 Poses to Avoid if You’re Pregnant Generally speaking, yoga is an excellent practice for pregnant moms. It can relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, relieve lower-back pain, improve sleep and strengthen and tone the body in preparation for the physical and emotional challenge […]
Dangers of Low Body Temperature + 5 Ways to Prevent Hypothermia
Hypothermia causes a lot more deaths than many people realize and it affects people of all ages. Hypothermia can occur both outdoors as well as indoors and it doesn’t have to be below zero for someone’s body temperature to get dangerously low fast! In fact, hypothermia can occur at cool temperatures (those above 40 degrees Fahrenheit) if you become chilled due to sweat, rain or being in cold water. (1)
Recently, and very sadly, a young Michigan college student hiking passed away from hypothermia while this same year, an elderly woman stranded outdoors for over four hours in temperatures in the mid-30s also succumbed to death resulting from hypothermia.
Before you think this is only an article for campers and outdoorsy types, hypothermia can also happen indoors. And the very young as well as the elderly can be particularly susceptible. In addition, a low body temperature can also be caused by opioid abuse, hypothyroidism, anorexia, septic shock and more. (2)
Shivering is typically one of the first signs of your body temperature dropping and it’s actually a defense mechanism that the body uses to keep itself warm. Hypothermia is known for coming on gradually, so it’s important to know the signs and best treatment before it’s too late!
What Is Low Body Temperature?
Human body temperature, whether too high or too low, can be indicative of a wide array of health concerns. Low body temperature — or hypothermia — is a body temperature dangerously below normal temperature. This health condition results from the body losing heat faster than it can produce heat. Another more simple hypothermia definition: subnormal temperature of the body. (3)
I’m sure you’re getting the picture — when you have hypothermia you are definitely feeling cold and the situation needs to be addressed right away because hypothermia symptoms follow a spectrum of progression from mild to outright deadly.
What is the normal body temperature? The average normal human body temperature is generally said to be around 98.6 F or 37 degrees Celsius. However, what’s considered a normal body temperature can differ from person to person. It can also vary depending on the time of day; your sex; what you recently ate or drank; where you are in your menstrual cycle (if you’re a woman); your level of physical activity; and your age. Research has shown that “normal” can be anywhere from 97 F (36 C) to 99 F (37.2 C). (4)
While a temperature higher than 100.4 F (38 C) is considered a fever, hypothermia is said to occur when the body temperature drops below 95 F (35 C). (5) Hypothermia has a spectrum from mild to severe. Temperatures can vary, but mild hypothermia is typically considered a body temperature between 89 F–95 F; moderate hypothermia is a body temperature between 82 F–89 F; and severe hypothermia is a body temperature lower than 82 F. (6)
Common Signs and Symptoms of Low Body Temperature
When you have hypothermia, your body’s normal temperature regulation abilities get overpowered, resulting in a body temperature that is much too low. Basically, heat loss wins over heat production.
Hypothermia typically comes on gradually and gets progressively worse as it is left untreated. Hypothermia symptoms commonly progress in the following way: (7)
- Cold feet, hands, and face
- Shivering (older adults may not have this symptom)
- Confusion, irrational thinking
- Cold skin on the chest and abdomen
- Poor coordination and balance
- Stiff, jerking movements
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Slowed or irregular heartbeat
- Stiff muscles and some trembling
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of heartbeat, leading to death
For infants, some important hypothermia signs to look for include: (8)
- Bright red skin that is cold to the touch
- Unusually low energy
Causes and Risk Factors
Common causes of hypothermia include cold weather exposure or being submerged in cold water. (9)
Sometimes individuals experience a low body temperature because they have an infection, but this scenario is most likely to occur in people who are frail or older adults and newborns. Babies can’t regulate their body temperature like adults, so they are prone to fast heat loss.
Other things that can cause hypothermia include: (10)
- Alcohol or drug use
- Medicines such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and sedatives
- Nerve damage
- Parkinson’s disease
Wilson’s syndrome, also called Wilson’s temperature syndrome, is another condition typically more accepted as a diagnosis in the alternative medicine world. According to the American Thyroid Association, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this diagnosis, which typically includes low body temperature and hypothyroid symptoms. (11, 12)
- Cold indoor or outdoor temperatures
- Being outdoors for extended periods of time
- Infants, children and elderly without sufficient heat, shelter, food and/or clothing
- Babies sleeping in cold bedrooms
- Improper clothing and equipment
- Having a mental illness
- Being homeless
- Fatigue, exhaustion
- Poor food intake
- Alcohol intake, which causes vasodilation leading to increased heat loss
- Lack of knowledge of hypothermia
The first step if you or someone you know has hypothermia is to seek emergency medical care by calling 911.
According to Mayo Clinic, while waiting for emergency assistance you should “gently” move the person inside if they are outdoors and if it’s possible. However, be careful not to make any jarring movements that could bring on dangerous heartbeat irregularities. If the person is wearing wet clothing, then switching out that clothing for dry, warm coats or blankets is a helpful idea. (15)
5 Natural Treatments for Low Body Temperature
People can recover from even severe cases of hypothermia with prompt and appropriate treatment. Conventional treatment and natural treatment of hypothermia definitely have a lot of overlap. The following are treatment recommendations for hypothermia that both conventional and natural medical practitioners are likely to agree on.
While waiting for emergency medical care to arrive at your location, here are some of the best natural things to do for hypothermia:
1. Handle with Care
Alaska is certainly a state that deals with hypothermia on a regular basis. According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services:
A patient with moderate to severe hypothermia should be handled very gently and kept horizontal if at all possible. When cold, the heart is very prone to ventricular fibrillation with any disturbance. Even cautious movement of a patient may induce VF. A patient who is moderately or severely hypothermic and not in cardiac arrest may experience severe cardiovascular stress if placed in a vertical position. (16)
2. Gradual Rewarming
If the victim is outdoors, keeping the head and neck warm is key. If you can’t move the person indoors, then putting something between them and the cold ground is helpful. Remove wet clothing promptly. At this point, the CDC recommends the following rewarming measures: (17)
- First, begin to warm the center of the body first (chest, neck, head and groin) using an electric blanket, if possible.
- Use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of sheets, blankets, towels or clothing.
- Once there is an increase in body temperature continue to keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket making sure to include the neck and head for optimal warming.
3. Warm, Sweet Beverages
As part of the rewarming process, it’s recommended to give the victim warm, sweet liquids. Of course, this is only a good idea if the person can swallow normally. Do not attempt to give liquids to someone who is unconscious. A warm beverage can help the person to increase their core temperature from the inside out and the sugar content can help give them some quick fuel. (18)
Some commonly recommended warm, sweet drinks include hot chocolate and hot apple cider. I have some healthy recipes for both:
- Hot Cocoa Recipe
- Spiced Hot Apple Cider Recipe (just leave out the citrus fruit slices to make it easier to sip)
Severe hypothermia can cause someone to lose consciousness. To those around them, it can seem like there is no breathing taking place. It also may be difficult to find a pulse. In addition to practicing gentle handling, the CDC says:
Even if the victim appears dead, CPR should be provided. CPR should continue while the victim is being warmed, until the victim responds or medical aid becomes available. In some cases, hypothermia victims who appear to be dead can be successfully resuscitated. (19)
5. What NOT to Do
What not to do in an emergency medical situation is just as important as what you should do. If you are caring for someone with hypothermia, there are many things you should not do and some of them are quite surprising. If you didn’t know better, you would think many of these sound like the perfect natural treatments, but trust the experts on this!
So what shouldn’t you do if you’re caring for someone with hypothermia? You should not give someone with hypothermia alcoholic beverages or cigarettes. It’s also key not to attempt to rewarm someone with low body temperature too quickly. So as smart as it may seem, don’t put them in a hot bath or under a heating lamp. The CDC recommends warming the center of the body, but it’s actually recommended not to warm the arms and legs because this can put too much stress on the heart and lungs. (20)
Always call 911 if you believe you or someone you know is suffering from hypothermia. If you notice any hypothermia symptoms, take the person’s temperature and if it is below 95 F, then the situation is an emergency and you need to seek medical attention right away. For a baby, a temperature below 97 degrees is too low. (21)
Also seek urgent medical attention for a low body temperature that may be due to infections or other medical conditions such as diabetes.
- It’s a smart idea to keep a thermometer on hand in case you need to check if you or someone you care for has a low body temperature. Hypothermia is a very dangerous health condition and prompt care is crucial to successful recovery.
- It’s important to check on elderly people who live alone regularly when it’s cold outside to make sure their body temperatures and homes are warm enough.
- Many people who experience hypothermia are dehydrated or lacking in nourishment. So no matter your age, make sure to take care of yourself, especially when you’re in conditions that can put you at risk for hypothermia.
- Consuming more warming foods like soups and stews is a great move in the colder, winter months to help keep your core temperature up. Also, try incorporating more warming spices into your diet such as ginger, turmeric, garlic and cayenne.
- Of course, dressing appropriately for the weather, removing wet shoes and clothing promptly, and keeping your home warm enough are all crucial to avoiding a chill that could lead to low body temperature.
- Remember that hypothermia is not just a risk of the winter or wilderness, so stay warm year-round, inside or out!
Annie PriceDr. AxeNovember 29, 2017
Are You Overdoing HIIT? High-intensity workouts are all the rage right now and with good reason. They rev your metabolism, help improve endurance and provide a high-calorie burn in a short amount of time. That’s probably why many exercisers opt to do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) […]
Essential Oil Safety (and Are Essential Oil Diffusers Safe?) Essential oils have been shown in studies to have very few negative side effects or risks when they are used as directed. But given how popular essential oils have become in recent years, and how many […]
4 Must-Try Bodyweight Exercises to Build Strength
Somewhere along the line, bodyweight exercises got a reputation for being for beginners. But we’re here to tell you that some are anything but easy.
“Being able to master your own bodyweight is an underrated sign of true fitness,” says Tennessee-based certified strength and conditioning specialist Hannah Davis. “It is a product of mobility, strength and stability — and is even linked to increased longevity.” After all, moving your bodyweight is a measure of relative strength, meaning that the bigger, taller or heavier you are, the harder the weight actually becomes. That makes bodyweight exercises a pretty good indicator of your body composition, not to mention overall function outside of the gym.
Plus, apart from being the perfect “how strong are you, really?” test, bodyweight exercises open up your workouts in a big way. They allow you to train your body to move in new and unique ways, says SoCal-based trainer, coach and performance-enhancement specialist Mike Donavanik. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bodyweight exercise that doesn’t force your body to work as a whole. Hello, core strength!
READ MORE > 9 REASONS TO LOVE BODYWEIGHT TRAINING
If you’re ready to take your workouts to the next level with bodyweight exercises, here are the four to master:
“No matter your fitness level, pull-ups are always a challenge,” Donavanik says. They work your upper-body’s biggest muscles, while simultaneously training the core and even the glutes.
How to do it: Grab a pullup bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you) that’s just greater than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and hang at arm’s length with your legs extended and slightly in front of you so that you’re in a “hollow body” position. Make sure to keep your chest out and proud. From here, squeeze your shoulder blades down and together, and then, pointing your elbows toward the floor, pull through your arms to raise your chest up to the bar. Pause, then slowly reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Work up to it: Integrate more back exercises into your workout routine, says Donavanik, noting that most everybody doesn’t spend enough time strengthening the muscles that make up the back. As a general rule, for every chest exercise in your week, you need two back exercises. One great option is the negative pullup: Jump up to the pullup bar to grab it in the “top” position with the bar at your chest. Hold for 2–3 seconds and slowly lower and repeat.
If you’re ready to commit to a pullup challenge, try this 21-Day Pushup and Pullup Plan.
2. PISTOL SQUAT
Besides taking you through a full range of motion — all the way down to the floor — pistol squats are great in that they load one leg at a time. “You’ll find out if you have any muscular imbalances for sure with this one,” Donavanik says.
How to do it: Stand tall on one foot with your opposite leg extended in front of you and down toward the floor. Hold both arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Brace your core. From here, slowly and under control, bend your knee and hip to lower your body until your glutes are stacked on top of your planted foot. Make sure to keep your chest up, back flat and weight balanced between the ball and heel of your foot. Pause, then drive through your planted foot to reverse the motion and return to the start. Repeat on the opposite side.
Work up to it: It might sound strange, but holding a weight straight out in front of your body at shoulder height actually makes this move easier, Donavanik says. Other options include holding a TRX handle in each hand for help when you need it or starting with a partial range of motion. Try squatting down on one leg to touch your glutes to a bench or box, and then press back up to start. Over time, lower the bench until you’re lowering all of the way to the floor.
The amount of strength and stability you need through your shoulders and core to balance your bodyweight on your hands is phenomenal, Donavanik says. What’s more, handstands are an excellent tool for improving your proprioception — or your ability to gauge and control your body in space.
How to do it: Get in downward dog with your fingers spread and shoulder blades pulled down and back away from your ears. From here, bend one knee, then drive through that leg to swing your opposite leg toward the ceiling. As your legs lift off of the floor, squeeze your abs to pull your hips over your shoulders. Keep the crown of your head pointed toward the floor, and roll your inner thighs toward each other to help keep your balance. Hold, then slowly reverse the movement to return to start.
Work up to it: Build strength, stability and just get comfortable with the idea of being upside down with TRX pikes. Get in a high-plank position with your feet in the TRX straps so your body is parallel to the floor. From here, squeeze your core to lift your hips up as high as possible over your shoulders and point your head down between your arms so your torso is completely vertical. Hold, then slowly return to start.
READ MORE > 10 ESSENTIAL BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
Building on the original bodyweight star — the pushup — burpees not only train the chest, triceps and core, but also the entire lower body while getting you a legit cardio workout, Donavanik says.
How to do it: Get in a high-plank position with your hands in line with your shoulders, your feet hip-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Squeeze your shoulder blades down and together away from your ears, and brace your core. From here, perform a pushup. At the top of the pushup, jump your feet forward to land just outside of your hands, and then explosively jump straight up into the air as high as possible, reaching your arms overhead toward the ceiling. Land in a squat position, place your hands on the floor and jump your feet back behind you to return to start. Focus on performing the entire exercise under control. Don’t roll, flop or let the front of your legs touch the floor.
Work up to it: Perform the pushup portion of the exercise with your hands on a low bench or box. This lightens the load on your chest, triceps and core. Plus, if you have tight hips, it will allow you to jump your feet forward with a bit more ease, Donavanik says.
Somewhere along the line, bodyweight exercises got a reputation for being for beginners. But we’re here to tell you that some are anything but easy. “Being able to master your own bodyweight is an underrated sign of true fitness,” says Tennessee-based certified strength and conditioning specialist Hannah Davis. “It is a product of mobility, strength …
Aleisha FettersUnder ArmourNovember 29, 2017
5 No-Cook Meals Under 500 Calories Sometimes you just don’t feel like turning on the oven — and for those times, these meals are perfect. Loaded with vegetables and full of protein, these no-fuss meals are ideal if you’re watching your carb intake. 1. EASY […]