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Are you Sabotaging your Training Efforts by Neglecting Basic Nutrition?
By: Barry Boswell

If you regularly train using cardiovascular workouts and a weight resistance
routine while taking nutritional supplements but are not paying attention to
basic nutrition than you are essentially throwing away a good portion of the
benefits you are gaining from your workouts.

Basic nutrition is absolutely essential to making the most of your sports training.

Food calories supply energy and nutrients to the body during exercise.
Without proper basic nutrition you loss energy more quickly resulting in a
less intense workout. While simple sugars are used up almost immediately,
complex sugars or complex carbohydrates provide prolonged energy to the
muscles during exercise. Protein is composed of amino acids which support
growing muscles. In fact, basic nutritional deficits can cause you to lose hard
earned muscle to muscle tissue breakdown or catabolism.

According to Joel Marion, prior Body for Life 2001 Grand Champion, not
only are the foods you eat important but proper timing in relation to workouts
plays a vital role in maximizing your performance, optimizing fat loss, and
minimizing muscle loss. The intensity of your workout is directly related to the
amount of calories and fat you burn. You can not be at full intensity if you are
suffering from lack of proper nutrition.

In addition, intense exercise can increase muscle loss in people who are not
meeting their caloric needs.(1)

There are six nutrients needed on a daily basis. These include: water, vitamins,
minerals, fats, carbohydrates and proteins. There are three types of calories
including: carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates are converted to
sugars during exercise. Complex carbohydrates are what your body needs to
perform at optimum levels. Fats also fuel the body for exercise. Saturated fat is
what you should strive to avoid while monounsaturated fat is the least
detrimental to the body. Protein helps build and maintain muscle mass.

Foods high in protein include chicken, egg whites, lean beef, beans and skim milk.

It is recommended that your daily diet consists of 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat,
and 20% protein. If you exercise regularly you may want to increase your
carbohydrates and protein intake while slightly decreasing your fats.

To improve your nutrition you should try to consume five servings of fruits and
vegetables per day, drink eight glasses of water (more if you are consuming a
lot of proteins and complex carbohydrates), eliminate junk food and unnecessary
fat like in whole milk, and consume only lean meats. If you want to maximize your
work outs while eliminating unnecessary muscle breakdown, it is recommended
that you consume a nutritional supplement before and after workouts to restore
glycogen and creatine levels, decrease muscle tissue catabolism, and encourage
muscle tissue growth.

1. Marion, Joel. Active Nutrition.

About the Author

Barry Boswell is a Independent Distributor for Xtend Life Natural Products, the
manufacturer of Total Balance, a daily supplement designed to
support your daily nutritional needs with 84 synergistic ingredients. To discover how Total Balance can help you, go to ...

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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*The information, products and the claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by or the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

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