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5 Ways to Improve Joint Health

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5 Ways to Improve Joint Health

When you’re young, healthy, and mobile, it’s easy to take your joints for granted! But osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, affects one in five women and one in 10 men over the age of 60.

This chronic condition causes cartilage — the rubbery material in your joints that acts as a cushion between your bones — to break down, causing pain, swelling, problems with mobility, and joint damage.

Osteoarthritis can take decades to develop, so you need to care for your joints now to ensure mobility later in life!

Here are 5 ways to improve joint health, whatever your age:

Improve joint health

Exercise

People who have joint pain often avoid physical activity for fear that it will cause more pain or further damage to their joints, but the opposite is true. Your joints are meant to move! Exercise can reduce pain and stiffness, and strengthens the muscles that support your joints. Try low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, cycling, or yoga.

Lose weight

Carrying excess weight increases the stress on your joints, so maintaining a healthy weight is key for joint health. Studies show that every extra pound increases the working load on your knees by four pounds! Losing as little as 5% of your body weight can help relieve joint pain.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet

Reducing inflammation is another way to improve joint health. A diet rich in antioxidants (like fish, nuts, leafy greens, berries, and whole grains) can help reduce joint pain. Keep your intake of inflammatory foods like meat, dairy, and vegetable oils to a minimum.

Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D

Calcium is crucial for healthy joints and bones, and you need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium. Your doctor can order a simple blood test to find out if you’re deficient in vitamin D. Many people require supplements to get enough of these vital nutrients.

Take glucosamine and chondroitin

Supplementing your diet with glucosamine and chondroitin (the building blocks of cartilage) can help relieve joint pain and stiffness and slow the breakdown of cartilage that occurs with osteoarthritis. THRIVE MOVE is a premium gel formula that delivers glucosamine and chondroitin to help calm joint irritation and support flexibility and mobility.

Improve joint health

If you are experiencing joint pain and stiffness, taking these actions can help ease soreness and slow the progression of osteoarthritis. And if you haven’t yet thought about taking care of your joints, it’s never too early to start!

What’s a HIIT Workout and Does it Really Work?

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
What’s a HIIT Workout and Does it Really Work?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could reap the same benefits of spending 60 minutes on the treadmill in half the time?

If your answer is yes, then you’ll understand why HIIT workouts have become so popular. HIIT workouts help you improve your endurance, heart health, and muscle tone in less time than traditional cardio exercises.

The catch? It’s intense.

Read on to learn all about HIIT and why it has spread like wildfire through gyms across the country.

What’s a HIIT workout

What’s a HIIT Workout?

HIIT — which stands for high-intensity interval training — is a cardio workout that alternates between short bursts of very hard work and even shorter periods of rest. It can be done with almost any exercise or a combination of different exercises: running, cycling, burpees, squats, pushups, you name it. What defines a HIIT workout is the pacing.

In HIIT, the bursts of activity typically last between 20 and 90 seconds, during which you should push yourself to your limit, working at at least 90% of your capacity. You should not be able to hold a conversation or say more than a few words at a time.

The level of intensity can take some getting used to! But because they are so intense, HIIT workouts tend to be short, lasting no more than 30-45 minutes.

Rest is just as important as the activity bursts in a HIIT workout. If you’re not resting, you’re not doing it right! HIIT forces your body to acclimate between two different states repeatedly, which provides great cardio conditioning. Rest isn’t just a feature of the workout — it’s the point!

The most common HIIT ratio of work to rest is 2:1. For example, you would work for 60 seconds, rest for 30, then repeat. The Tabata Protocol is probably the most well-known kind of HIIT workout. To do Tabata, you work for 20 seconds and rest for 10 for a total of 8 rounds (4 minutes).

HIIT beginners can start with a 1:2 exercise-to-rest ratio. As your aerobic capacity improves, switch to a 1:1 ratio, then 2:1.

What’s a HIIT workout

What are the benefits of HIIT?

HIIT is an awesome way to optimize the time you spend working out.

Research has shown that with 15 minutes of HIIT, you can achieve more progress than in an hour on the treadmill. According to one study, two weeks of regular HIIT workouts can improve your aerobic capacity as much as 6-8 weeks of endurance training.

Some of the other benefits of HIIT:

HIIT burns fat and boosts metabolism. High-intensity workouts create an oxygen shortage, which causes your body to consume more oxygen during recovery. This “afterburn effect” is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which helps burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic exercise. It also boosts your metabolism for up to 48 hours after you’ve completed the workout.

You can do it anywhere. Because you can do HIIT with almost any type of activity, you can do it anywhere — at home, on the road, or in the gym. No equipment needed!

It can help you get shredded. Whether you’re doing bodyweight exercises or adding dumbbells, kettlebells, or medicine balls to your workout, HIIT tones your muscles while spiking your heart rate.

HIIT is scalable. HIIT workouts can be done at any fitness level! Push yourself to your personal limit during the bursts of activity. It’s not a competition.

Want to get a feel for HIIT? You can do it in 4 minutes! Try doing Tabata with your exercise of choice: Work at 90% capacity for 20 seconds, then rest for 10, for 8 rounds.

The Benefits of Eating Leafy Greens

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The Benefits of Eating Leafy Greens

Green is good. We associate the color green with all sorts of good things — nature, health, and prosperity, for example.

It’s also good when it comes to the color of the food you eat!

Leafy green vegetables are the ultimate health food: They are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients.

Some of the benefits of eating leafy greens are:

    • Healthy skin and bones
    • Improved brain function
    • Lower blood sugar

Greens are also excellent detoxifiers: The chlorophyll in greens binds to heavy metals and toxins in your blood and carries them out of your body.  

What’s more, they’re high in magnesium, which can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, and the antioxidants and polyphenols in greens can reduce inflammation, which helps lower your cancer risk.

Read on to learn which greens are the most beneficial and suggestions for how to eat them!

Arugula

A green with small leaves and a slightly peppery taste, arugula is full of pro-vitamin A carotenoids as well as vitamins B9 and K. It’s great to include in salads or to use as dressing (in place of iceberg lettuce, which has fewer nutrients) on your favorite sandwich.

Beet greens

 Beets are nutritious, and so are their leaves! Beet greens are rich in calcium, fiber, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamins A and K. Throw them in a salad or soup, or saute and serve them as a side dish.

Collard greens

 Packed with calcium, folate, and vitamins A and C, collard greens are often simmered with ham or bacon and served as a side dish. You can also toss them into a soup or casserole to give it a healthy boost.

Endive

Delicious raw or cooked, endive is full of folate and vitamins A and K. Eat it on sandwiches or toss it into stir frys, pastas, soups, and casseroles.

Kale

 Nutrient-dense kale has become the poster vegetable for healthy eating. Just one cup of raw kale provides more than 600% of the daily recommended value of vitamin K, 200% of vitamin A and 130% of vitamin C! Roast it to make kale chips, or add it to soups or a smoothie.

Microgreens

Typically measuring 1-3 inches, microgreens are immature greens produced from the seeds of herbs and vegetables and can contain 40 times more nutrients as their mature counterparts! Toss them into salads or a smoothie, or add them to sandwiches or wraps for a healthy crunch.

Spinach

One cup of spinach delivers 180% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K and more than half the recommended daily value of vitamin A. Eat it in salads, pastas, soups, casseroles, or add some to a smoothie.

benefits of eating leafy greens

Swiss chard

Packed with potassium and vitamins A, C, and K, Swiss chard is a great addition to soups and casseroles. It’s also tasty as a side dish sauteed with garlic and olive oil.

Turnip greens

The leaves of the turnip plant are even more nutritious than the vegetable itself! Turnip greens are rich in calcium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. Try substituting it for kale or spinach in casserole and pasta recipes.

Thrive Boost

While it is always best to get vitamins and minerals from whole foods, it’s not always convenient — or even possible — to do so.

You can still reap the benefits of eating leafy greens even when they’re not in season, you’re traveling, or simply don’t have time to cook. Just toss a packet of THRIVE BOOST into a smoothie or simply mix it with water. THRIVE BOOST is a premium beverage that delivers the same phytonutrients you find in leafy greens in a delicious berry-flavored drink — and it’s available year-round!

Stalled on Your Goals? New Year’s Resolution Help is On the Way!

Stalled on Your Goals? New Year’s Resolution Help is On the Way!

Do you need a little new year’s resolution help? How are you doing?

Studies show that more than half of all new year’s resolutions fail. One third of them don’t even make it to February! So if you’ve slipped back into old habits, be assured that you are not alone.

Don’t throw in the towel yet! You can still salvage those goals. Here are some tips to get you back on track.

Stick to one goal

When it comes to new year’s resolutions, help yourself by keeping it to just one. Trying to modify too many behaviors at once is overwhelming — and a good way to succeed at none of them, especially if you’re making major lifestyle changes.

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that it’s most effective to focus on one goal at a time, so choose the one that matters the most to you.

resolution help

Make your resolution SMART

You’ve probably heard of SMART goals, but what does that mean? SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

Specific – Instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” say “I want to lose 20 pounds by December.”

Measurable – If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you’ll want to get on the scale regularly. But what if your resolution isn’t easily measured? Log your progress in a journal or take photos of yourself following your new routine. This will help you track your behavior and tie it to concrete results.

Achievable – Challenge yourself, by all means. But don’t be unreasonable. Unattainable goals only set up you for disappointment and failure.

Relevant – Make sure you’re pursuing your goal for the right reasons. Are you doing it because your spouse (or mother, or friends, or society) think you should, or because it’s important to you?

Time-bound – Set a timeline for your resolution, including incremental goals that you can measure along the way. If you’re making a lifelong change (say, quitting smoking), recognize and reward yourself for your hard work in the shorter term.

Be flexible

Things don’t always work out as planned. Being open to tweaking your schedule or even your goals will help you keep your new year’s resolution.

For example, say you resolved to run 3 days a week, and you start waking up an hour early to go for a run in the morning before work. But say you oversleep one morning and miss your run. Do you say “Well, I blew it!” and throw up your hands? Of course not! Go for that run after dinner — or the next morning — instead!

Or maybe after a few weeks of running in the morning you find that you’re rushing through your shower and commute and ending up a sweaty mess at your desk. That doesn’t mean you have to stop running — maybe running in the morning is the problem. Try running at night!

Plan for roadblocks

You will inevitably encounter obstacles on the road to self-improvement. Be prepared!

Say your resolution is to cut back on sweets, but you know that your coworkers always bring doughnuts into the office on Fridays. How will you handle it? Pack yourself a tasty but healthy snack that will satisfy your cravings without derailing your progress.

resolution help

Be kind to yourself

Mistakes happen — it’s not the end of the world! A lapse doesn’t have to turn into a relapse.

If you slip up once, pretend it never happened and just move on.

But if you keep slipping, take a step back and try to figure out where the breakdown is happening. Are you failing to plan? Are you giving in to moments of weakness? Learn from each of your hiccups and devise a plan for preventing the next one.

If your resolution was to quit drinking soda but you find yourself reaching for a Diet Coke every afternoon at 3, try to figure out why. Are you looking for a caffeine fix? Maybe a cup of hot tea or a piece of dark chocolate would do the trick!

Whatever you do, don’t give up! You have more than three quarters left of 2019 — plenty of time to turn your resolutions into reality. Keep going!