Health & Fitness

No-Equipment Workouts

No-Equipment Workouts

For centuries, people used no-equipment workouts. Sometimes, it was a function of their daily tasks. Carrying firewood, pushing a hand plow, and doing other chores was exercise enough. There were also local weightlifting contests, so farmers prepared for those. The exercises used were similar to the exercises used during military training. They were calisthenics and bodyweight exercises you could do anywhere. Here are a few of the exercises you can do at home. We have videos of many exercises you might want to try.

One well-known bodyweight exercise is the push-up.

Push-ups are well-known and have many variations, making them versatile. They build upper body strength. You can modify the push-ups to suit most fitness levels. A knee-bent push-up is perfect for people who aren’t fit. The traditional push-up is an intermediate option. More difficult options include a hand-clap push-up and a one-arm push-up. Traditional push-ups start in a plank position with your weight balancing on the balls of your feet and palms. Hold your body in a straight and line as you slowly lower it toward the floor, getting as close as possible then lifting the body back up.

Lunges build lower body strength.

Whether you choose walking or regular lunges or combine them with explosive jumps and push-ups to do burpees, lunges help build lower body strength. To do a lunge, stand straight with your feet together then step forward with one foot, bending at the knee. Your other leg remains straight as you lower your body toward the floor. Then step back to the starting point and step forward with the other leg. You can do walking lunges where your front foot remains in place but the foot in the back steps forward as you do the lunge.

You can do jumping jacks, walk, or run to get aerobic benefits.

Building muscles is just part of fitness. Flexibility, balance, and endurance training are also necessary. You can use a variety of endurance exercises like jumping jacks. They start with your arms to your sides and feet together. As you jump in the air, you raise your arms above your head and jump your feet outward. Then jump again while lowering your arms and putting your feet together. If you walk or run, pay attention to good posture. It’s vital for maximizing benefits.

  • Marching in place becomes more difficult when you lift your knees high and swing your arms. It’s also a great exercise.
  • Squats are another favorite. You lower your body as you raise your arms in front of you, pushing back your buttocks as though you’re going to sit down. Hold that position and then stand up.
  • Do mountain climbers that start on your hands and knees. You bring one foot forward, tucking your knee under your chest. The other foot remains extended. Jump, and as you do, switch legs, stretching out the bent-knee leg and tucking the other underneath you.
  • Do wall squats if you can’t do regular ones. Stand with your back against a wall and slide down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position, then slowly slide back up to a standing position.

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Fat-Burning Detox Soups

Fat-Burning Detox Soups

You’ll find many fat-burning detox soups if you google detox or weight loss soup. These options are popular for weight loss because they work. Before you get too excited, they only work in the short run and aren’t sustainable for long. Even though these detox soups may not be the solution for long-term weight loss, there is a place for them in your diet. Studies show that people who eat soup regularly often weigh less.

One of the best-known detox soups is cabbage soup.

The cabbage soup diet is a seven-day plan for jump-starting a long-term weight loss program. You consume the soup daily and include other authorized foods. You can eat unlimited soup and fruit except bananas on the first day. On the second day, eat leafy greens and even a baked potato. You can’t have potatoes on the third day but can have any other fruit or vegetable. More food choices in limited amounts continue until the diet ends. The soup is relatively nutritious, although many variations may not be. It contains onions, green pepper, tomatoes, celery, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, bouillon cubes, and water.

The vegetable bean detox soup also contains healthy ingredients.

The list of ingredients for Dr. Greger’s Champion vegetable bean detox soup is more extensive. It contains onions, celery, salt-free vegetable broth, mushrooms, bell peppers, chili peppers, garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, turmeric, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, corn, and smoked paprika. In this version of the bean detox soup, you eat two bowls daily and all the unprocessed fruits and vegetables you want. The soup combined with the fruits and vegetables fills you, contains fibers and nutrients, and doesn’t add many calories. This soup diet is more sustainable than many detox soups.

Another short-term diet that’s not sustainable is the Sacred Heart soup diet.

Promoters say the Sacred Heart Medical Center developed the diet to prepare obese patients for surgery. There are no records of any Sacred Heart Medical Center using it. You may shed quite a few pounds when you follow it for a week, but that weight often returns. It may have other benefits similar to fasting. While the recipes vary, most contain chicken or beef broth, Beef or chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, carrots, green beans, green onions, celery, and green bell peppers. The rest of the diet is similar to the cabbage diet.

  • Eating soup may help you lose weight. Soup takes longer to eat. That gives your stomach a chance to signal to the brain that it’s full. Soup also tends to have more water and fewer calories than solid food.
  • One reason soup may help detox the body is it usually doesn’t contain offenders like sugar, artificial sweeteners, or highly processed white flour. Broth options don’t contain substances some people don’t tolerate well, like lactose or gluten.
  • The extra fluid you intake when you consume detox soup with a meal can help flush out toxins. Adding spices like turmeric, which are anti-inflammatory, can also protect your body.
  • Make soup ahead and freeze them. Detox soups aren’t creamy or contain potatoes, so they should freeze well. After a while, you’ll have enough to create variety and can enjoy including healthy detox soup every night.

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Get Rid Of Cellulite Fast

Get Rid Of Cellulite Fast

Many people in Louisiana ask for help eliminating cellulite. Cellulite is that bumpy skin often found on thighs and other parts of the body that causes the skin to dimple regardless of weight. You won’t get rid of cellulite simply by losing weight. It takes more than that. There are medical techniques to remove cellulite, but they all come with unwanted side effects and don’t address excess fat. What are the natural ways to eliminate it? There are none, but there are ways to minimize its appearance.

What is cellulite?

Everyone, no matter what their weight, may experience cellulite on their body. It’s due to fat beneath the connective tissue of the dermis pushing its way through toward the skin surface. It bulges out in various spots and spaces to make the outside skin look dimpled. The thickness of the skin, the location of fat, and the strength of the connective tissue determine whether you’ll get cellulite. Hormonal influences play a role. For instance, women tend to have more body fat and thinner outer skin layers.

Natural methods don’t remove cellulite but make it more inconspicuous.

Eating a healthy diet containing fiber can help prevent insulin spikes that contribute to inflammation and cellulite. Including foods with antioxidants in your diet, such as blueberries, helps reduce inflammation and boost collagen production. Cut out excess salt to reduce fluid retention that contributes to cellulite. Eliminate food with added sugar. Sugar interferes with collagen production. The less collagen you have, the more prone to cellulite you are. Drinking more water and less soft drinks or coffee also helps.

The right type of exercise can aid in cellulite reduction.

Increasing circulation helps. It reduces the excess fluid that makes the bumps more noticeable. Exercise increases blood flow and builds the muscles beneath the skin’s surface to make it look more even. Losing weight helps if excess weight is part of the problem. Focus on strength training. It tones the muscles and diminishes the appearance of cellulite. Strength-building burns fat and replaces it with muscle tissue. The less fat tissue you have, the less cellulite you have. If you lose weight but don’t exercise, it makes cellulite more noticeable.

  • Get a massage or massage the areas of cellulite. Use creams containing retinol when you massage cellulite areas. The retinol won’t remove the cellulite but improves the skin texture.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking causes blood vessels to narrow and affects circulation. That contributes to cellulite. It also reduces the production of collagen. That leaves you more prone to cellulite.
  • Medical treatments for cellulite include surgery, laser and radiofrequency treatments, surgery, and acoustic wave therapy. All have some side effects. Endermologie is a form of massage for cellulite.
  • Changing lifestyle habits may not be as easy as letting a doctor liposuction away fat, but it keeps you healthier and often with better results. Liposuction can leave baggy skin that makes the lumps more noticeable.

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The Importance Of Warm-Ups And Cool-Downs

The Importance Of Warm-Ups And Cool-Downs

No matter how fit you are, you should always warm up before you workout and cool down at the end. Warm-up and cool-down sessions should last about five minutes, so it doesn’t extend your workout by much. They both play a vital role in protecting your body from injury and boosting recovery. When you warm up you increase circulation and as the name implies, warming the muscles. Cooling down helps prevent blood from pooling in extremities.

Get your muscles ready for increased effort.

If you’ve been laying around all day and then got up and immediately started running at top speed, it could overstress your heart. Instead, gradually increasing your speed and effort slowly increases your heart rate and breathing, taxing the heart far less. A warm-up warms the muscles and slowly increases your heart rate. Warming the muscles before doing strenuous tasks helps prevent injury and increases productivity. You’ll get better results and prevent a sudden rise in blood pressure.

Warm-up exercises increase coordination.

You’ll be more agile and have more muscle control when you warm up before a workout. Warming up also improves reaction time. The increased circulation helps prevent the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles by increasing circulation slowly. It builds if there’s a sudden demand for oxygen. That can happen if you transition from sedentary to intense activity. The build-up causes the blood to be acidic and increases the body’s pH, making it harder to maximize your efforts during your exercise session. That can cause you to tire quickly and quit too soon.

Cooling-down plays a vital role as well.

If you suddenly stop after an intense workout, blood can pool in your extremities. That can cause you to get lightheaded and even faint. When you gradually decrease your intensity and cool down, your heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature return to normal slowly. Stretching can also help reduce any lactic acid build-up and speed recovery. Your muscles are warmed, so they’re more flexible, making it a good time to stretch and improve your range of motion. Improved range of motion can help prevent future injuries when working out.

  • Warm-up exercises should mimic the activity you’re doing. If you’re running, walking around is sufficient. Cool-down exercises should use static stretching to take advantage of the warmed muscles and flexibility.
  • Warming up before a workout helps improve your focus. It gives you time to get your head into your workout before the movements get intense. It’s as important mentally as it is physically.
  • Cooling down is also a transition time. It allows you to review your workout and mentally note any changes you might make or areas where you need extra work.
  • Cooling down can prevent DOMS—delayed onset muscle soreness. It can be extremely uncomfortable. You don’t have to stretch. You can use other mild exercises like cycling to help reduce the potential for soreness and DOMS.

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Health Benefits Of A Mediterranean Diet

Health Benefits Of A Mediterranean Diet

Before transporting food across nations was possible, each country or region had its style of eating based on the local food supply. The Mediterranean diet is one of those diets. The diet comes from the local cuisine of the French, Italian, Greek, and Spanish Mediterranean areas. It limits red meat and includes meals containing fish, local herbs, olive oil, and fresh fruit and vegetables. It became popular when scientists discovered that people in the Mediterranean areas had a lower risk of heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, strokes, and premature death.

The Mediterranean diet contains healthy fat.

Some of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet come from the higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids. That comes from the fatty fish and nuts in the diet. Why is it important to increase omega-3? You need a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 for the body to run properly. Right now, most Americans have too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3. Increasing omega 3 in your diet can boost heart health and reduce the risk of a stroke. It lowers the risk of a heart attack by 30%.

Cutting red meat can also bring benefits.

Fatty fish plays a more significant role in the Mediterranean diet than red meat. Meals revolve around plant protein sources, such as beans and whole grains. Butter is limited and replaced, in most cases, with olive oil. The desserts are lower in added sugar and get their sweetness from fresh fruit. Many cakes and baked goods use olive oil instead of butter or less healthy oil. Whole foods play the biggest role in the diet since it limits processed food.

The Mediterranean diet helps protect the brain.

The Mediterranean diet benefits the brain in other ways besides preventing stroke. It slows the progress of cognitive decline in seniors from diseases like Alzheimer’s. Scientists have used many of the dietary keys in the Mediterranean diet. They combined them with ones from the DASH diet to create the MIND—Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay—diet. The MIND diet makes berries the fresh fruit choice.

  • The Mediterranean diet is beneficial for weight loss. Eliminating sugar, fried, and highly processed food can help reduce weight by cutting calories. Obesity is the main cause of preventable death. It leads to many other conditions, including metabolic problems.
  • The high fiber content of the Mediterranean diet helps improve digestion and improves the gut microbiome. The improved microbiome and higher omega-3 play a beneficial role in mental health.
  • The Mediterranean diet contains many anti-inflammatories foods and few foods that cause inflammation. Red meat, processed meat, and food with added sugar can cause inflammation. They’re limited in the Mediterranean diet.
  • Part of the benefit of the Mediterranean diet comes from the Mediterranean lifestyle. Meals are more social and eaten with friends and family. People following that lifestyle have more daily physical activity.

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Best Pre-Workout Energy Foods

Best Pre-Workout Energy Foods

You might think eating something before working out is counterproductive if you want to lose weight, but it’s not. The food you eat can give you more energy and improve your workout. Many people in Louisiana realize they hit the wall mid-workout if they don’t fuel up and know the benefits a meal or snack can provide. There are many benefits if you time your meal or snack properly and eat the right food.

What should pre-workout food be, and when should you eat it?

Your pre-workout snack should be a combination of carbs and protein. You should avoid high-fiber and high-fat food. The ratio should be approximately 60% carbs. If you’re eating a snack, it should be about a half hour before working out and contain approximately 100 to 200 calories. It can be as simple as apple slices with peanut butter. Besides giving you the energy to maximize your workout right through the end, a pre-workout snack also helps jumpstart the recovery process.

Put fruit in the blender with milk, protein powder, or both.

Make a smoothie. It’s easy to toss fruit into the blender, add a liquid source of protein, and blend away. You can even get several bags of frozen fruit and divide them up into plastic bags containing one serving. Just put in your liquid and protein if it’s not liquid, toss in the fruit in one individual serving and blend until smooth. It takes about a minute. The natural sugars give you the energy you need and the fiber keeps your blood sugar level.

If you eat a full meal it should be two to three hours before exercising.

A pre-workout meal should be well-balanced but not contain a lot of fat. If it’s higher in fiber, eat closer to three hours before working out. Include a protein source like chicken breast or make a chicken salad sandwich served on whole wheat toast and topped with a tomato and mixed greens. Add a side of fresh fruit. Make it juicy to boost your hydration. Watermelon, grapes, and oranges provide both liquid and potassium. Include a side of baked or roasted sweet potatoes for the perfect pre-workout meal.

  • An easy-to-transport snack is a stuffed date. Slice a pitted date down the middle on one side and stuff it with cream cheese, peanut butter, or other nut butter. Put a few berries on top for a bit of freshness.
  • Overnight oats are a quick solution if your workout day is crowded. Add nuts, fresh fruit, or seeds on top. Use a small amount of honey if you need more sweetness.
  • A large lettuce leaf makes the perfect container for a chicken salad. Make it with a small amount of chicken, celery, onion, and seasoned yogurt for flavoring. Roll the leaf around the salad and eat.
  • Leftovers make good pre-workout snacks or meals. Salmon and sweet potatoes with a small side salad is an excellent meal. Dip leftover fresh veggies in a yogurt or hummus dip for a satisfying snack.

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Best Arm Toning Exercises

Best Arm Toning Exercises

Summer is just around the corner. That means you’ll wear short-sleeved or sleeveless tops that expose your arm. The problems can range from batwings to skinny arms that look like twigs. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, looking fitter is sexy. There’s still time to firm your arms with toning exercises. They won’t build big muscles but they will make you look and feel more attractive on the beach, during play, or in evening wear. Get rid of flabby arms in a few months and spend your summer gathering compliments.

Build core muscles and firm your upper body as you tone your arms.

You don’t have to have weights to tone your arms. You can use your body weight. Simple exercises like push-ups or planks can sculpt your arms. The traditional push-up places hands at shoulder-width. It works on the forearm and triceps. Holding your hands closer together helps eliminate bat wings. Placing your hands further apart tones the triceps and shoulders.

If you have weights these exercises get fast results.

If you don’t have weights, you can use household items, like bottles of water, for weights. Bicep curls work the bicep and lower arm. By doing them palm-up, palm-down, or doing a hammer curl where the bottle is held vertically, you’ll work the biceps on different planes to get better results. Sit in a chair with your arms to the sides to do an incline curl. Bicep curls are some of the most effective exercises for toning arms.

Do chair dips that work your arms and your abs.

Use a straight-back chair with no arms and sturdy enough not to move as you move. You can also use a sturdy coffee table. Sit with your bottom close to the front edge, extending your legs and lightly touching your heels on the floor. Lift yourself by grabbing the sides of the chairs and slide yourself forward. Lower your buttocks beyond the edge of the chair until your arms are parallel to the floor and your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. You may not be able to go that low initially, so just lower as far as you comfortably can while maintaining control. Hold for a few seconds then lift yourself back into the chair.

  • Another tricep workout to eliminate upper arm flabby skin is the overhead extension. You don’t need weights. Hold one end of a sheet firmly in your hands and step on the other end. Pull up with one hand against the resistance, then the other, then both.
  • Build other muscles in your arms by modifying a plank. Do high planks with your upper body weight resting on your palms or a low plank with your weight on your forearms.
  • Build your arm strength like boxers and throw a few punches. You don’t have to hit anyone to exercise your arm muscles. Throwing air punches can do the trick for you. Hold weights to make it more difficult.
  • We have hundreds of arm exercise videos you can access with the basic plan for pennies a day. You’ll also get customized meal plans and other perks, like discounts on prescription drugs.

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Pros And Cons Of A Keto Diet

Pros And Cons Of A Keto Diet

For centuries, doctors noted the beneficial effects of fasting to control epileptic seizures but realized fasting isn’t sustainable. In the 1920s, they found using an extremely low-carbohydrate diet accomplished the same thing. Cutting back on carbohydrates forced the body to switch metabolism from burning sugar to burning fat. The body converts fat to ketones and burns them. That was the birth of the Keto diet that eventually morphed into a weight loss diet. It works, but as with any diet, it has pros and cons.

It’s more than just a low-carbohydrate diet.

Low-carb diets can vary dramatically. It’s all about the source of calories. In traditional diets, between 45% and 65% of the calories come from carbohydrates Low-carb diets like the Atkins diet get 25% to 40% of the calories from carbs. With the keto diet, 5% of calories come from carbohydrates, 20% from protein, and 75% from fat. If your caloric intake were 2000 calories, you’d only be able to eat 100 calories from carbohydrates. Since one gram of carbohydrates is approximately 4 calories, you could eat 25 grams of carbs. That’s a half cup of cooked asparagus and 5 grapes at 5 grams each, and 1/3 a cup of rice at 15 grams. The rest of the calories come from protein and fat.

The good news is that you’ll feel fuller longer.

The high protein and fat content of the keto diet keeps you feeling full longer. By switching from burning glucose to burning fat, it reduces insulin levels. That helps reduce insulin resistance and lower inflammation from high insulin levels. Keto diets burn more fat and that fat tends to come from the abdomen. It’s visceral fat, the most dangerous type of body fat. It can improve your blood cholesterol profile, help control diabetes, and may lower blood pressure.

There are drawbacks to using the keto diet, too.

The first thing most people notice when they use the keto diet is the keto flu.

There are negatives to the keto diet. It can cause dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, and constipation. It comes from the adjustments made by the body when switching from glucose to ketones. A keto diet can be hard on the kidneys and interfere with your microbiome. It’s the sudden limit of fiber that creates that problem. The keto diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies. It can also cause blood pressure to drop too low. Using a keto diet may affect bone health.

  • Even though a keto diet may lower blood pressure, there’s also a danger that it increases the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease or cancer.
  • Since fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, the keto diet limits the amount of healthy foods. It’s one reason why it can cause nutritional deficiencies.
  • While the keto diet gets most of the calories from fat, people often focus on the bacon you can eat and forget about the healthy fat of avocados and nuts.
  • There are both positives and negatives to the keto diet. If you choose to use the keto diet or any other diet, always check with your healthcare professional first, especially if you have health issues.

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Get More Out Of Each Workout Session

Get More Out Of Each Workout Session

Working out can take a lot of effort. Getting the maximum benefits from that time is important to people from Louisiana and everywhere in the US. You can get more from your workout session using these tips and tricks that burn extra calories or help you get fit faster. If you’re spending the time, you may as well reap the maximum rewards for your efforts.

Have a cup of Joe before you start.

A pre-workout snack can fuel your workout so you don’t hit the wall mid-session. Eat a snack containing a combination of carbs and protein about 45-60 minutes before your workout. You can wash it down with a cup of coffee, also improving your productivity. The caffeine in the coffee increases endurance, strength, and power. It helps boost the use of fat for energy and improves overall focus to boost your performance.

Compound exercises work more muscle groups and burn more calories.

If you’re focusing on bicep curls, you’re only working one set of muscles, ligaments, and joints. However, doing squats or lunges exercises several muscle groups at once. The more muscles you work at once, the more benefit you’ll get! Isolation exercises only work single joints, so fewer muscles put forth effort. You’ll work more muscle groups in less time with compound exercises.

Make your workout a HIIT workout.

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It’s not a specific exercise but a way of doing any exercise. You alternate between peak intensity and a moderate recovery pace, HIIT training burns about 30% more calories than running, biking, or weight training according to one study. It elevates your metabolism for hours after the workout, burning even more calories. It boosts fat loss and can improve oxygen consumption.

  • Stay hydrated throughout your workout. Drink water before you workout and sip on it during your workout. Even mild dehydration can diminish your performance.
  • Include kettlebell workouts in your fitness program. Kettlebells build endurance, flexibility, strength, and balance. The offset center of gravity makes your core muscles work harder to maintain stability.
  • Take fewer breaks and make them shorter. Cutting the rest time between sets and exercises makes better use of your time, but it also works your body harder. Remove distractions and cut all breaks short.
  • No matter what type of exercise you’re doing, adding weights to your workout makes you work harder. Ankle weights can add a challenge to running. Holding weights while doing squats increases the calories burned and builds muscles faster.

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Common Fat Loss Mistakes

Common Fat Loss Mistakes

Losing weight isn’t easy and losing fat is even harder. There is a difference. If you’re shedding pounds, those pounds aren’t always from fat. It can be from muscle tissue, making it even harder to lose additional pounds. You may be working your hardest and staying true to your path but still see slow or no change. You may be making fat loss mistakes that are setting you back. It’s time to make changes and turn your weight and fat loss efforts into a success.

Are you just focusing on a diet without including exercise?

Eating healthier will help you lose weight, but it won’t give you all the progress you may desire. By creating a calorie deficit, the body gets calories from burning both fat and muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so the less you have, the slower your metabolism. Include strength training in your workout and build muscle tissue as you burn fat. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism, the easier it is to lose weight and the more success you’ll have.

You may cut your calories too much.

If cutting your calorie intake by 500 is good, then would cutting it by 1500 be three times better? In most cases, the answer is no. Cutting calories too severely can make weight loss harder. A severely calorie-restricted diet can cause the body to go into starvation mode. That’s when it slows metabolism so there are calories for vital life functions or organs. Keeping your metabolic fires burning is vital. It’s one reason people include cheat days in their diet plans.

You might be eating low-fat diet food.

You’ll find diet foods in every grocery. They’re low-calorie or low-fat alternatives. If you want to lose fat, eating less fat sounds sensible. It doesn’t work that way. First, you need fat to burn fat. That has to be healthy fat. Second, when manufacturers remove fat, they replace it with something else to maintain taste and texture. That something else is often sugar that is far worse than fat.

  • Only doing cardio is a big mistake. Include strength training to build muscle and burn fat. Cardio burns calories from both muscle and fat.
  • You may think you can exercise away those extra pounds of fat, but that’s not enough. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Combine a healthy diet with an exercise program to burn fat.
  • You focus too much on counting calories and don’t focus on eating healthy. Eating healthier means eating lower-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables and cutting out highly processed food or food with added sugar.
  • One big mistake is burning the candle at both ends. Too little sleep affects your hormones. It causes the body to create too much ghrelin—the hunger hormone—and too little leptin—the one that makes you feel full.

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