Variety, One Key to Optimum Results

Although any physical activity is beneficial to your health, variety is an important component to getting maximum results from your fitness program.

Our bodies are constantly adapting to the physical stresses placed upon them- figuring out the most efficient way to perform an action. If you follow a regular strength training routine, your body will adapt to that program in approximately 4-6 weeks. Although you will still benefit from doing that program, changing to a new group of exercises will challenge your muscles in new ways, resulting in better results.

Adaptation also takes place with cardiovascular exercise. Runners who follow the same course every run would get more effective workouts by using different routes. Cross training is also a great way to add variety to your aerobic workouts. If you’re a regular walker, you might try swimming, cross-country skiing, dancing, or biking for a change. Those of you who go to the gym and always use the same cardio machine, on the same program, for the same amount of time at the same intensity would do much better to mix it up. Use different equipment on different days or even alternate machines within one cardio workout. Varying machine can also help you avoid repetitive stress injuries.

Besides physical boredom, another important reason to spice up your fitness regimen is to avoid mental boredom. Studies have shown that people who routinely change their workout programs are more likely to exercise regularly. Yes, initially, it may take a little more thought and a little more time to learn a new activity or a new strength training program but the benefits are definitely worth it.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Drinking Tea

When you return from work each day, the first thing you do is prepare a hot cup of tea. It rejuvenates and refreshes you. It restores energy needed to complete household chores before you dive into bed. Tea, like coffee, belongs to the class of stimulants. However, its health benefits go beyond that. This article discusses the advantages of drinking tea. Also, learn more about the varied types of tea.

Types of Tea

The beverage is of different types. They are sourced from the same plant – Camellia sinensis. The plant is native to China and India. The varieties are distinguished on the basis of the point in the growth cycle when the leaves are picked and on the methods of processing. We have listed the common varieties below.

  1. Black Tea: This is the commonest variety of tea. It is made by fermenting the leaves of the shrub. It is rich in caffeine.
  2. Green Tea: This variety has gained immense popularity for its weight loss benefits. Unlike the black variety, it is dried for a shorter period and is not fermented.
  3. White Tea: White tea is made from the young bud of the plant. It is un-oxidized and unfermented. Although it is believed to be the most potent variety, it is still being studied for its varied health benefits.
  4. Oolong and Pu-erh Tea: These are fermented varieties. Pu-erh tea is made by aging the leaves.

There are herbal teas too. They have made from fruits and herb extracts. They include ginger, ginseng, hibiscus, chamomile, jasmine, rosehip and echinacea.

Benefits of Tea

  • Aging is the biggest concern for women. They dread the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Tea is packed with anti-oxidants. Flavonoids are the most important antioxidant. The antioxidants help fight signs of aging. It protects cellular damage caused by free radicals. The proportion of antioxidants is highest in the white variety, followed by the green variety and finally the black variety.
  • Catechin, a highly effective anti-aging ingredient in tea, regulates blood cholesterol levels by reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine.
  • Tea is beneficial for oral health too. It possesses antibacterial properties. It suppresses the development of plaque and inhibits the formation of cavities and dental caries.
  • Drinking a cup or two of tea regularly has a positive impact on heart health. Tannins and fluoride reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by maintaining proper blood circulation and preventing clogged arteries.
  • It protects and strengthens the bones. It improves gastrointestinal health. It also has a positive impact on blood sugar levels. It increases mental alertness.
  • The antibacterial properties of tea bolster the body’s immune system.
  • It is a low calorie drink.
  • Tea accelerates metabolism and thus helps burn fat and lose weight faster.
  • Many recommend limiting the intake of tea because of its caffeine content. The caffeine content in tea is half the proportion of that present in coffee. Hence, the former does not cause harm to the body neither does it act as a diuretic. Instead, it helps keep the body hydrated.
  • Some reports state that polyphenols present in tea prevent carcinogenesis. This means it reduces the chances of cells becoming cancerous. It prevents the development of tumors throughout the body.

Medifast Protein Shakes – A Review of Taste, Variety, and Nutrition

I get a lot of questions about the Medifast shakes.  This is probably because they are the most popular food item of the over 70 choices.  Many people assume that this diet has you consuming only shakes or liquids, but this isn’t the case.  Rather than argue this though, I’ll concede that I understand why this option is so popular, which I’ll discuss in the following article.

The High Protein Content Of The Medifast Shakes: I believe that what makes this option so unique (other than the taste) is the company’s ability to take typical diet fair and make it taste decent while being very low in calories, sugars, and carbohydrates while maintaining a very high protein content.  For example, most all of the shake options are under 100 calories, are under 13 carbs, have less 8 grams of sugars and have at least 11 grams of protein. This ratio (which exists in all of the “Medifast meals”) helps to put your body in a fat burning mode known as ketosis.  This is where you want to be because this is what gives you quick and dramatic results.  You can test to see how far or close you are to this by using ketone strips.

Medifast Shake Choices:  First off, there’s no difference between any of the shakes and what some people call “protein shakes.”  All of the choices in the line up are equally as high in protein. With that explanation out of the way, let’s get to the choices.

The 55 Option: This is what most people order and consume as this is what comes with the basic women’s monthly package – and this is true whether you go with the most popular package or whether you chose your own foods. These shakes require you to either use the little shaker that often comes with your order or a blender.  I prefer to use a blender because it creates a smoother product and I prefer this texture.  I also often add fat free whipped cream and / or syrups to these and the blender helps me with this.  But, some people like the shaker and get by just fine without a blender. These come in a couple of chocolates (Swiss Mocha and Dutch), French vanilla, and a variety of fruit flavors (banana creme, orange creme, strawberry creme.)  I prefer the chocolate and vanilla, but the fruit cremes are very good with fat free whipped cream blended in.)

The 70 Option: These are basically the 55 with additional protein added.  They have 14 grams as opposed to 11.  Most often, men will try these or women who are on a work out regimen that need additional protein to gain muscle.  The flavors and taste are the same as the 55.

Specialty Shakes: The company also offers some shakes that address specific health conditions. For example, the diabetic shakes are lower on the glycemic index. The antioxidant shakes contain 1,000 ORAC units of antioxidants per serving and are made with whey rather than soy (for those who make be allergic to soy.) The joint health has omega 3s to deal with inflammation. The heart health variety contains co-enzyme Q10, amino acids, and pycnogenol for heart health.  The women’s health contains herbs to deal with the stress of menopause or hormonal changes.

In general, these “specialty” options have a bit more limited flavor options like basic chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.  They are still pretty decent tasting though.

Medifast Momentum Shakes: The company has a line of products that contain some caffeine and some ingredients in green tea to rev your metabolism and speed your results.  There is only one flavor with this option and that is banana creme. Luckily, this is a good tasting and popular option.  It doesn’t taste all that different from the 55 option, only having some caffeine and other metabolism boosters are added.

Ready To Drink: The company does have some options for those who don’t want to have to use a blender. The ready to drink shakes come already mixed and you only need to insert the attached straw. These only come in chocolate and vanilla, but they taste OK.  As I said, I prefer to control my texture, but I appreciate these in a pinch because they keep me from hitting the drive through when I’m on the go.