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Use This Ab Exercise to Get Your Stomach Muscles Burning in Seconds!

The older we get, the more it becomes apparent that we can’t rely on a moderately active lifestyle to beat back the dreaded abdominal paunch. It takes hard work to keep it in check, and even with sit-ups, crunches and leg lifts it’s not always easy to keep ahead of the game.

We’ve read many different books and articles on ways to get back our six pack, so it is rare to come across an exercise that a.) we have never thought of before and b.) is incredibly effective.

We tried this one out after seeing it in the book, The Core Fitness Solution, and within moments our lower abs were burning. We love this exercise, too, because it takes only a moment to do and it is incredibly effective.

THE HOVER

“This one may look easy, but appearances are definitely deceiving when it comes to this lower abs assault. Much of this exercise is based on your being honest with your movement.

Don’t rock on your heels to create momentum or rely on your spine or upper body to move your torso forward to mimic the intended motion of this move. Instead, be extra mindful of bracing your lower abs, forcing them to do all the work. Once you have that mind-muscle connection, you’ll be feeling your lower abs as never before.

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START: Sit on the floor with your legs pointing straight ahead of you and your toes pointing at the ceiling. Put your hands by your hips and place them flat on the floor with your palms down.

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ACTION: Push down with your hands to raise your butt off the floor so only your hands and heels are touching the ground. With a slight bend in your knees, contract your abs inward and use the power of your lower abs to push your hips backward so they move to just behind your shoulders, making your spine angled at about 80 degrees.

BEGINNER: You can alternate your leg placement during this movement to make it easier. Simply leave one leg flat on the floor while the other is balanced on your heel.

ADVANCED: Adding a weight plate to your lap will create more tension in this exercise. Also, instead of returning to the starting position (where your legs are flat on the floor), for added intensity, try to stay off the ground for as many reps as possible.


 

Core Fitness SolutionThe promise of building a six-pack is found in many places–Results, however, are not. With Core Fitness Solution, those results are finally attainable. With more than 5,000 customizable solutions in this book, you pick the exercises. You decide the workout, the location, the duration and the intensity. Finally, a leaner middle, a stronger core, and the set of abs you’ve always wanted can be yours. Former editor-in-chief of Men’s Fitness, Michael de Medeiros, and “King of Abs,” Kendall Wood, have handpicked the most effective exercises to target all areas of your midsection. Crafting your core has never been so simple.

Kendall Wood, NASM CPT, M.Ed., CES, PES, FNS CERTIFIED, the “King of Abs,” is a multi-time fitness magazine cover model, NASM certified personal trainer, health advocate and a forerunner in the fight against childhood obesity. His foundation, Smart Moves, works to end obesity for children by partnering up with school boards and family associations. He is also the promoter of FitScience’s annual fitness contest in Atlanta.

Michael De Medeiros is the former vice president and editor in chief of Men’s Fitness magazine, former editor in chief of Maximum Fitness magazine, and author of 13 books, including historical biographies, educational textbooks, and active health and fitness books. He has been nominated and shortlisted for several awards, including best book and best book in a series (Weigl Publishers).

 

The Biggest Mistake An Endurance Athlete Can Make

Amy Goodson - Swim, Bike, Run -- Eat

Amy Goodson – Swim, Bike, Run — Eat

Dietician and sport nutrition expert Amy Goodson and triathlete and fitness expert Tom Holland recently joined forces to tackle the process of training for a triathlon from both a physical and nutritional standpoint. The result, Swim, Bike, Run–Eat, treats nutrition and fueling as the fourth key aspect of training for an endurance event.

In this exclusive BMBH interview, Goodson talks about what brought her and Holland together to write this book, why nutrition is just as important as physical training, the biggest mistake an endurance athlete can make, and more!

1.) What brought the two of you together to write this book?
Tom as was looking for a registered dietitian to pair up with and I do some expert quotes in media stories for one of his friends, Linda Melone, that is an active writer for magazines and websites. She asked if I would be interested and I said yes and I think within hours we were talking and it all happened from there! I work with a variety of athletes, so I think that helped the cause.

2.) How important is nutrition in training for a big endurance event like a triathlon?
Well, just like the title of the book: “Swim,Bike, Run-Eat”; eating is the fourth discipline. I like to use the example if you were going to go on a long trip, you would fill up your car with gas and then stop and fill it up along the way until you get to your destination. Same things goes with your body. If you want to take it on a long trip (aka triathlon or Ironman), you better fuel it up and then continue to refuel or you will not get to your final destination.

The car stops if it runs out of gas, no matter how good it looks or how many trips it has been on, if it is under fueled, it stops. So does the body. The body has to have fuel to swim, bike and run and if you think you can do those three things without proper fuel, you are sadly mistaken.

You have to put the right gas into your car to make it run and especially to make it run well. Learning the tools and basics of sports nutrition, specific to endurance athletes, can help you dial in your individual nutrition plan and what works for you the athlete.

3.) What is one common misconception that you correct in the book?
I think the most common misconception is that you can workout and race without fuel, thinking the body will just work. It won’t. It will for a little while, as we all have stores of carbohydrate (glycogen), but once those 300-400 grams are gone, things go bad quickly.

It is amazing how many endurance athletes I work with who think the can just drink a little and have a gu or bar if they feel hungry. They are in for a sad reality once they really start training for hours and hours, because the car does not run without gas and the body does not run without adequate fuel and fluid.

Thinking that you don’t “need” to pay attention to nutrition is the biggest misconception an endurance athlete can ever have…and thinking they can just take some nutrition in on race day and call it a day. You have to practice with nutrition to get used to opening it, chewing or drinking it and digesting it while biking and running and feeling stressed.

4.) Is this book only for elite athletes?
No way! This book is designed for an elite athlete or an a new athlete taking on a small race. The principles apply to all athletes; they don’t change as you become a better athlete. Ideally, you just learn to fine-tune your nutrition to best benefit you.

Teaching new athletes the basics and having them take that and adjust it to their training is what is all about. And then for the experienced or elite athlete, it is all about taking things they might know and fine-tuning them to get better and faster.

Or for the more experienced athlete, learning more about nutrition might allow them to go to the next level or successfully complete a longer race. Nutrition is key to endurance activity, and the more you can dial in a nutrition plan, foods and fluids that work for you and your timing, the more successful of an athlete you will become, and the more enjoyable your races will likely be.


Swim Bike Run EatIt’s race day and you have your quick-closure running shoes, sleek suits, bikes, goggles, and watches, but if you haven’t been training with the proper nutrition, you’ll be left in the dust in the third mile. Enter Swim, Bike, Run–Eat to guide you from day one of training to the finish line and help your body perform at it’s peak of fitness. In this book, author Tom Holland joins up with sports dietitian Amy Goodson to cover race-day essentials, food choices to complement your training regimen, as well as recovery nutrition. Learn how to determine what to eat; what to drink; how many calories to consume each day; whether or not to carry snacks while training; the difference between taking in calories from solid foods, semi-solids, and liquids; and whether or not to take electrolyte or salt tablets.

This books is the ideal companion to Holland’s The 12-Week Triathlete. Casual and core triathletes alike require a nutrition guide that is easy to understand with expert advice that is easy to implement. Look no further and get ready to take your triathlon to a new, healthier level.

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Time to Give Your Dog A Bath? Here is a Handy Guide to Dog Shampoos and Conditioners

For pet owners, there are few things that look, smell and feel better than the coat of a freshly bathed dog—especially if that pooch is long overdue for a trip to the tub.  But at our house, at least, there are few things less cooperative than a dog who knows that it is time for her bath.  

When we do muster up the energy to wrestle her into the tub for a scrub, we want to make it worth our while. Using the right shampoo and conditioner can make a big difference in clearing up any coat issues or—heaven forbid—getting rid of fleas.

That’s why it helps to have this handy guide to dog shampoos and conditioners from the book “DIY Dog Grooming,” by Jorge Bendersky.

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Don’t be fooled by the wagging tail. It’s tough to get this dog in the tub!

Regular Shampoo

This category can be divided into an endless list, but the basic ingredients don’t vary much. Different additives will make them work better on white coats, dark coats, dry coats, and so on. Natural anti-itch shampoos are included in this category because they use only natural ingredients, such as oatmeal, to add soothing properties.

Medicated Shampoo

We can group all shampoos with prescribed medicine in the medicated category. These types of products, available in most pet stores, should only be used under veterinary supervision. As good as tar and sulfur shampoos are to treat certain skin problems, they can cause serious problems to a dog with sensitive skin.

Flea and Tick Shampoo

There are various kinds of natural flea and tick shampoos on the market that are safe to use as a preventive bug repellent, especially for dogs that play outdoors a lot. If you must use chemical-based flea and tick shampoos, it is very important to take the necessary precautions to be sure that no shampoo gets inside the dog’s eyes or mouth. The use of a protective ointment for the eyes is highly recommended when using any kind of shampoo other than a mild shampoo, and extreme caution should be used when applying the shampoo on the dog’s head.

Cream Rinse and Conditioner

Depending on the coat, you can choose from different kinds of conditioners. Heavier conditioners are harder to rinse out, and most will leave a thicker coat on the hair, making them a perfect choice for long drop coats. Lighter conditioners will protect and coat the hair, adding minimum weight while helping to achieve a super fluffy look. Like shampoo, conditioners must be rinsed thoroughly unless the manufacturer’s directions indicate a light rinse.

Leave-in Conditioner

These products are best used between baths or during daily brushing. Leave-in conditioners will add shine and flexibility to the hair and prevent breakage. For dogs with thick undercoats or very woolly coats, I recommend the use of a light leave-in conditioner to avoid product buildup. With these conditioners, a little product goes a long way. Using too much leave-in conditioner could turn your dog’s coat into a dust magnet by making it sticky. Always start by applying a small amount; you can always add more if needed.


 DIYDogGroomingYou can often tell how healthy a dog is by the appearance of its coat. Grooming your dog regularly offers clues to her health: It nips potential health problems, like allergies, poor nutrition, parasites, or diseases, in the bud–or at least gives you some early warning about them. Grooming also makes your dog (and you) comfortable socializing whilst also stopping the spread of dirt, fleas, and germs. You can conveniently groom your dog in the comfort of your home. But perhaps the biggest benefit to grooming your dog yourself is strengthening your bond with them. DIY Dog Grooming, From Puppy Cuts to Best in Show by Jorge Bendersky, and foreword by Cesar Milan, will show you how to take the best care of your dog, regardless of breed, temperament, or age. Practical step-by-step photos will take you through everything you need to know to bathe and trim your dogs, plus care for their nails, ears, teeth, and more. Learn how to train them to relax and enjoy grooming.

Jorge Bendersky is a celebrity dog groomer in New York City. He grooms Manhattan area dogs and consults on dog grooming. He has been a contestant on the Animal Planet show Groomer Has It, a judge on TLC’s Extreme Poodles, and an expert on Animal Planet’s Dogs 101. He has also appeared on The Today Show, ABC Nightline, CW11, and E! News, and in the New York Post, the New York Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, and more.http://www.planetjorge.com/

Tone Your Muscles with this Exercise Ball Push-Up Workout

Looking to not only strengthen your upper body, but tone it as well? This push-up work out from The Exercise Ball Bible by Lucy Knight is here to help and guide you.

Using the exercise ball for these push-ups can help strengthen and tone your chest, shoulder, and tricep muscles. 

Working out makes you feel physically good, but it’s such a great feeling when you can actually see the results on your body, and it motivates you to keep going. 

Work hard. Tone those muscles. Be proud! 

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Push – Ups

WHAT FOR? To strengthen and tone the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. This is also a great exercise for testing your neutral spine position and core contraction. Much more versatile than the traditional push-up on the floor!

1. Start on your hands and knees over the ball. Walk yourself out onto your hands and keep walking, allowing the ball to roll down your legs. Stop when the ball is underneath your thighs. Ensure your hands are directly under your shoulders and your core contraction is activated, maintaining your neutral spine position.

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2. Bend your arms, lowering your nose toward the floor. Keep your focus down to the floor and make sure your back does not sag in the middle.

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3. Extend your elbows again, pushing into the floor through the heels of your hands.

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4. Repeat 12–15 times. Walk your hands back in until you come onto your hands and knees over the ball.

 

Increase the Level

1. Repeat step 1 as before but continue walking out on your ball until it is underneath your lower legs. The farther you walk out, the harder this exercise will become. Make sure you only walk out as far as you can maintain neutral position in your spine.

2. Repeat steps 2–4 as before.

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Advanced level

You can also try walking out even farther on the ball until it is underneath the balls of your feet. This is a very advanced exercise so only attempt it when you have built up enough strength to stabilize the spine in this position.

pushup 5Tips

  • Your shoulders should be directly over your wrists at all times throughout the exercise. Don’t allow yourself to roll backward on the ball.
  • Keep your elbows slightly softened when extended—don’t lock the joint.
  • Your spine must stay supported by your core contraction. Do not start sagging in the lower back. This will put a lot of pressure on your spine and could potentially cause injury. If you sense this happening, walk yourself back onto your ball a bit until you feel that you can maintain neutral spine position.
  • Your body should remain strong and stable as a whole unit throughout.
  • Keep your focus down to the floor. This will ensure your head stays in line with the rest of the spine.
  • Coordinate your breathing. Breathe in as you lower and out as you push up.

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Get more exercise ball workouts from The Exercise Ball Bible by Lucy Knight. It’s a great purchase!

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The Exercise Ball Bible is the most up-to-date, authoritative and comprehensive guide to maximizing the use of this ever-popular exercise equipment. Whether your goal is to stay trim and toned or you need to correct your posture, professional dancer and fitness trainer Lucy Knight offers over 200 exercises to help you lose weight and improve your strength and flexibility. With more than 300 full-color photographs, this book demonstrates the many different ways you can make use of your ball and offers a workout option for every stage of life. Chapters include exercises for getting toned, tight, and strong; fun cardio routines for burning fat; ball-assisted pilates and yoga; ball stretches for a healthy back and posture; and ball exercises for easier pregnancy and birthing.

Three Natural Remedies for Acne — And The Scientific Reasons Why They Work

We’ve all been through a breakout cycle at one point or another.

In high school, it seemed like acne was something we had to deal with every day. But as many of us in our 20s, 30s and 40s know, the plague of pimples doesn’t end when you turn 18. There’s nothing worse than waking up for work one day and feeling an unfamiliar bump on the side of your chin or the tip of your nose.

Acne’s not only unsightly, it also leaves us with some unpleasant choices. We can leave our pimples as they are and wait for nature to take its course, but that means days of looking less than our best. Popping them can lean to even bigger issues, including infections, and using harsh chemical treatments can be painfully drying.

Luckily, it is possible to effectively treat acne using natural ingredients.

Here are three great formulas for doing just that (along with the explanations for why they work), from the book 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them; Ease Aches, Pains, Ailments and More with Hundreds of Simple and Effective At Home Treatments, by Linda B. White, MD, along with Barbara H. Seeber and Barbara Brownell Grogan.

RECIPES TO TREAT ACNE

1.) Green Tea Wash

INGREDIENTS: 1 green tea bag

PREPARATION AND USE: Brew a cup or small bowl of green tea. Let cool to the touch. Apply to the affected area with a clean cloth.

YIELD: 1 application

HOW IT WORKS: Tea is astringent, antiinflammatory, and antibacterial. One study found that a 2 percent green tea lotion reduced acne.

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Aloe vera photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

2.) Essential Oil Lotion

”I’ve had my kids apply these essential oils directly to acne. Aloe adds a soothing element.” ~Linda B. White, MD

INGREDIENTS:
2 drops pure tea tree or lavender essential oil
1 teaspoon (5 g) Aloe vera gel

PREPARATION AND USE:
Blend the tea tree essential oil with the aloe gel. Dot the mixture on blemishes using a cotton swab or clean finger.

YIELD:
1 application

HOW IT WORKS: Tea tree and lavender are both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Lavender smells nicer and can be applied without dilution. Aloe vera is also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. In addition, it reduces discomfort and speeds healing. Topical applications of 5 percent tea tree oil gel have been proven as effective as benzoyl peroxide (Oxy-5) and other commercially available products.

3.) Essential Oil Face Spritzer
This is a soothing and reviving elixir.

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup (120 ml) witch hazel
½ cup (115 g) Aloe vera gel
20 drops lavender essential oil

PREPARATION AND USE:
Place the ingredients in a clean spray bottle and
shake until combined. Mist over your face.

YIELD:
1 week of twice daily applications

HOW IT WORKS: Witch hazel extract, which you can find in most drugstores, is an astringent. It can be used alone to gently clean the skin. It also tones the skin and decreases inflammation. This mixture stays good for one week.


500 Time Tested Home Remedies Look no further! From insect bites, insomnia, and upset stomach to nasal congestion, stress, and heart health, 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies is an authoritative and comprehensive guide offers easy, effective recipes to bolster your resistance to illness, ease aches and pains, and manage minor ailments naturally.

The authors explain the science behind these remedies, debunk common myths, and let you know when to call the doctor.

In addition, they provide a blueprint of wellness for you and your family. This book’s 500 recipes contain readily available, inexpensive, and safe ingredients–many that you will find within your cupboards or at the grocery store.

Linda B. White, M.D., holds B.S and M.S degrees from Stanford University and an M.D. from the University of California, San Diego. She is the co-author of The Herbal Drugstore and Kids, Herbs, and Health. She served as a medical advisor and contributor to The National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Since 2004, Dr. White has been on faculty at Metropolitan State, Denver, in the Integrative Therapeutic Practices Program in the Health Professions Department.

National Geographic editor and award-winning feature writer Barbara H. Seeber is a 30-year veteran of the publishing world. As an editor for National Geographic Books, she helped launch a number of titles in National Geographic’s line of health books.

Barbara Brownell Grogan, former editor in chief at National Geographic Books, is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, in New York City. At National Geographic she grew the health line of publications, including Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine, Body: The Complete Human, Brainworks, and Guide to Medicinal Herbs, and has worked with health and well-being experts including Joe and Terry Graedon, of The People’s Pharmacy, among others.

Does the Halloween Season Give You the Jitters? Use these Crystals to Calm Your Fears

Black cats crossing your path. Ghosts hung from lamp posts. Giant decorative spiders attached to the sides of houses. Full moons, cold wind and crunchy leaves. If you are the nervous type, there are plenty of things to give you the jitters during the Halloween season. And cold winds.

Author and new age healer Judy Hall is not only a calm and centered presence, she is also an expert on all things crystal, so naturally we turned to her handy how-to guide “The Encyclopedia of Crystals” to find something to calm our nerves during this time of goblins and ghouls.

JET:

JetCrystal system: Amorphous
Chemistry: Oxygenated hydrocarbon
Hardness: 0.2-2.5
Source: Worldwide, especially USA
Chakra: Base, heart
Number: 8
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Planet: Saturn
Beneficial for: Mood swings, depression, migraine, epilepsy, colds, glandular and lymphatic swellings, stomach pain, menstrual cramps

Electrically charged when rubbed, Jet has been looked on as a magical talisman against “entities of darkness” since the Stone Age, and is said to become part of the body of the wearer. In ancient Greece, worshipers of (the goddess) Cybele wore Jet to seek her favors, and in Britain, fisherman’s wives burned it to ensure their husbands’ protection.

It is said that those who are attracted to this stone are “old souls” with long experience of incarnation on earth. Jet promotes taking control of life, transmutes negative energy and alleviates unreasonable fears, guards against violence and illness, and gives protection during spiritual journeying. To stabilize finances and protect businesses, place in a cashbox or the wealth corner.

Jet cleanses the base chakra and stimulates kundalini, placed at the chest, directs kundalini toward the crown chakra.

BLUE QUARTZ (natural)

Crystal system: hexagonal
Chemistry: SiO2 Silicon dioxide with impurities
Hardness: 7
Source: Africa, England, Russia
Chakra: Throat
Number: 44
Beneficial for: Organs in upper body, detoxification, depression, bloodstream, throat, immune system, overstimulation, spleen, endocrine system

A master healer for any condition, multidimensional cellular memory healer, and efficient receptor for programming. If Blue Quartz is rutilated, it is said to restrain premature ejaculation.

In addition to carrying out the generic properties of quartz (see book for more info), Blue Quartz reaches out to others and inspires hope, calms the mind, assuages fear, and assists in understanding your spiritual nature during metamorphosis. Excellent for overcoming disorganization, it instills mental clarity and self discipline and fires creativity. Natural Blue Quartz way have Dumortierite, Aerinite, Rutile, or Indicolite included within it.

Note: Blue Quartz is a high vibration stone.


The Encyclopedia of Crystals

The Encyclopedia of Crystals

The ultimate guide to crystals gets even better in this new edition of The Encyclopedia of Crystals! International bestselling author Judy Hall presents a comprehensive guide to more than 400 powerful healing crystals, plus information about 150 newly discovered stones in this new edition of The Encyclopedia of Crystals. Beautifully illustrated and effortless to navigate, The Encyclopedia of Crystals, 2nd Edition is organized by crystal color for easy reference, relates the colors of the crystals to chakras, and lets you know how to cleanse and activate them. This book is also full of helpful authoritative advice on healing with crystals. This encyclopedia is an essential addition to the libraries of everyone working with crystals.

Judy Hall is a successful Mind Body Spirit author with dozens of books to her credit, including the best-selling Crystal Bible (volumes 1 and 2). She has been a past-life therapist and karmic astrologer for more than forty years. An internationally known author, psychic, healer, broadcaster, and workshop leader, her books have been translated into fifteen languages. She recently appeared on the Watkins Review list of the 100 most spiritually influential authors. A trained healer and counselor, Judy has been psychic all her life and has a wide experience of many systems of divination and natural healing methods. Judy has a bachelor of education degree in religious studies with an extensive knowledge of world religions and mythology and a master of arts in cultural astronomy and astrology at Bath Spa University. Her mentor was Christine Hartley (Dion Fortune’s metaphysical colleague and literary agent). She runs crystal, past life, and creative writing courses at her home in Dorset, England. Her specialties are past-life readings and regression, soul healing, reincarnation, astrology and psychology, divination, and crystal lore. Judy has conducted workshops around the world and has made 15 visits to Egypt, the subject of her novel Torn Clouds. Visit her website at http://www.judyhall.co.uk.

Your Meditation Mandala for the Day

Are you stressed? Tired? Take a deep breath and check out this meditation. Try printing and coloring this mandala and let your mind wander. Your brain needs a break. It’s perfect for the end of a long, fall day.

mandala

 

You can find more mandalas like this in Coloring Mandalas for Meditation by Armelle Troyon. There’s two hundred to choose from!

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With the perfect shape, mandalas allow us to refocus. A mandala is a drawing organized around its center. It is a universal form that is often found in nature in things like flowers, spider webs, the solar system, or a human cell. Because of its shape and the way it is designed, mandalas allow your eye to rest in the center while taking in the beauty of the whole object. They help achieve brain balance by calling for the use of both brain hemispheres. Before you know if you’ll be thinking of nothing else but what color to use next. Complete with 200 mandalas in a variety of themes, you will soon be finding relaxation and clarity.